The official San Diego Chargers pre-game show.
The official San Diego Chargers pre-game show.
The official San Diego Chargers pre-game show.
The Chargers and the San Diego Blood Bank are gearing up once again for one of the community’s longest running and most successful life-saving events of the year; Chargers Blood Drive XXXVI.
After a disappointing loss, the San Diego Chargers return to action quickly with a Thursday night tilt at the Denver Broncos. Kickoff is set for 5:25pm PST at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. A Look Back At Last Week The Bolts were beaten at their own game as the Kansas City Chiefs dominated time of possession nearly 2-to-1 and converted on third down to leave Qualcomm Stadium with a 23-20 victory. Philip Rivers ’ string of games with at least a 120.0 passer rating was snapped at five as he completed 17 of 31 passes for 205 yards, two touchdowns and one interception for an 83.4 rating. Nick Novak set a team franchise record with 31 consecutive field goals, the last of which tied the game at the two minute warning. However, the Chiefs marched down field and Cairo Santo kicked a game-winning field goal with 26 seconds left to drop the Chargers to 5-2. What to Watch For… On Offense for the Chargers Entering Week 8, Philip Rivers has completed 155 of 230 passes (67.4%) for 17 touchdowns and three interceptions for a 113.0 passer rating. Antonio Gates ranks third in the league with seven touchdowns to go along with 26 catches for 363 yards. Keenan Allen has a team high 34 catches for 354 yards while Malcom Floyd has a team-high 412 yards on 20 receptions. Eddie Royal has also been effective with 23 catches for 345 yards and five TDs. Meanwhile, Branden Oliver has emerged as an effective running back, carrying the ball 72 times for 316 yards (4.4 yards per carry) with two touchdowns. On Offense for the Broncos Peyton Manning made history last week when he eclipsed Brett Favre for the most passing touchdowns in NFL history (510). For the year, he’s completed 149 of 217 attempts (68.7%) for 1,848 yards, 19 touchdowns and three interceptions for a 118.2 passer rating. He has a plethora of weapons, headlined by Julius Thomas who leads the NFL with nine touchdowns. The tight end also has 28 catches for 304 yards. Meanwhile, Demaryius Thomas has 39 receptions for 662 yards and six scores, Emmanuel Sanders has 38 for 514 and one touchdown and Wes Welker has 17 for 176 and one score. San Diego State alum Ronnie Hillman has ascended into their main running back, leading the Broncos with 55 carries for 240 yards and two touchdowns. On Defense for the Chargers Corey Liuget took over the team lead in sacks (2.5) with a takedown of Alex Smith last week, passing Dwight Freeney who still paces the club in pressures (12) and QB hits (14). Donald Butler has a team-high 47 tackles, followed closely by Eric Weddle with 45 and Shareece Wright with 31. Liuget also leads the club with 7.5 tackles for loss. On Defense for the Broncos The Broncos boast two of the top pass rushers in the league as Von Miller leads the NFL with 8.0 sacks while DeMarcus Ware is tied for second with 7.0. Brandon Marshall is Denver’s top tackler with 47 while Nate Irving has 35 and rookie corner Bradley Roby has 30. Aqib Talib and Rahim Moore each have two interceptions, accounting for four of the team’s five picks on the year. Series History Two original members of the American Football League, the rivalry between the Chargers and Broncos dates back to 1960. The Broncos hold a 59-49-1 series edge and have had the upper hand of late, capturing five of the last six meetings overall, but the Chargers have won four of the last five played in the Mile High City, i ncluding a win last December in a Thursday Night Football game at Sports Authority Field . By the Numbers For the year, the Chargers rank 11 th in total offense (360.0 yards per game), sixth in passing (270.7 ypg), 29 th in rushing (89.3 ypg) and ninth in points (26.3). The Broncos rank fourth in total offense (394.0ypg), third in passing (298.8 ypg), 25 th in rushing (95.2 ypg) and first in points (31.5). Defensively, the Bolts rank fifth in total defense (316.4 ypg), third in passing (209.6 ypg), 13 th in rushing (106.9 ypg) and third in points allowed (16.3). Denver ranks sixth in total defense (316.8 ypg), 18 th in passing (242.5 ypg), third in rushing (74.3 ypg) and sixth in points allowed (20.2). Milestones on the Horizon Philip Rivers comes into Thursday’s game with 238 career touchdown passes, 20th in NFL history. He needs one more to tie Len Dawson (239) for 19th. New York’s Eli Manning is 18th with 243 and former Chargers quarterback John Hadl is 17th with 244. Rivers comes into Thursday’s game 25th in NFL history with 34,330 career passing yards. Arizona’s Carson Palmer is 24th with 34,546 yards. Jim Hart ranks 23rd with 34,665 (335 ahead of Rivers) and Matt Hasselbeck is 22nd with 34,667 (337 ahead of Rivers). Rivers also enters Sunday’s game ranked 26th on the NFL’s all-time list for career completions with 2,801 and he needs 30 more to overtake Johnny Unitas (2,830) and crack the league’s all-time Top-25. Antonio Gates is the Chargers’ second all-time leading receiver with 9,556 yards. He needs just 29 more to overtake Hall of Fame wide receiver Lance Alworth, the franchise’s all-time leader with 9,584 career yards. Gates ranks 10th in NFL history with 94 career touchdown catches. He already has seven this season, third in the NFL. Gates needs five more to tie Don Hutson (99) for ninth place and six more to become the ninth player in NFL history to catch 100 touchdown passes. Eddie Royal needs one catch to get to 300 for his career. Malcom Floyd’s last 45 third-down catches have gone for either a first down or a touchdown. It’s the longest active streak in the NFL and the longest by any player since Chad Johnson had 50 straight third down catches that went for a first down or touchdown from 2006-09. Eric Weddle has 19 career interceptions. He needs two more to climb into the team’s top 10 for career picks. Weddle also has 290 career interception return yards and needs just 19 more to enter the team’s all-time top 10 in that category as well. Mike Scifres (29,791 career punt yards) is 209 yards shy of 30,000 for his career. Past Milestones Keenan Allen had two touchdown catches in both of the Chargers’ last two games against Denver. He caught two in the Chargers’ Dec. 12 game at Denver late in last year’s regular season (19 and 10 yards) and then he caught two more (16 and 16) in the Bolts’ AFC Divisional Playoff loss to the Broncos at Sports Authority Field. Two of cornerback Brandon Flowers ’ 19 career interceptions have come against Denver while playing for Kansas City. He had one in 2009 and another in 2012. Playing for Indianapolis in 2007, Dwight Freeney had a sack and two forced fumbles in a game against the Broncos. In 20 career games against Denver, Antonio Gates has 73 catches, 916 yards and six touchdowns. He had a two-touchdown game vs. Denver in San Diego in 2012. Corey Liuget was named Monday Morning Quarterback’s Defensive Player of the Week after a tackle for loss and two key pressures in the Chargers 27-20 win over the 11-2 Broncos last Dec. 12. His first pressure led to a 12-yard sack and his second led to a late fourth-quarter interception that the Chargers converted into a field goal for a 10-point lead. Nick Novak hit a career-high five field goals and scored a career-best 17 points in a 29-24 win over the Broncos in Denver in 2011. That same season, he hit the longest field goal of his career (53 yards) vs. the Broncos in San Diego. In 2008, Novak hit four field goals in a game vs. Denver while kicking for Kansas City. Kendall Reyes had the first two sacks of his career against Denver and Peyton Manning in 2012. In 2010, Philip Rivers threw four touchdown passes in a game against the Broncos in San Diego. In 2008, he threw for a season-high 377 yards against the Broncos at Sports Authority Field. After the Bolts’ 41-3 win at Denver in 2007, Rivers was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week and FedEx Air NFL Player of the Week after posting a season-high 151.4 passer rating. In 2006, Rivers led the Chargers to a 35-27 win in an NBC Sunday Night Football game in Denver after the Bolts had trailed 24-7 early in the contest. Rivers is 10-6 all-time against Denver as a starter in the regular season. It includes a mark of 6-2 and wins in four of his last five starts at Sports Authority Field. All-time, Rivers has faced Denver 18 times and in those games he’s completed 63.4 percent of his passes (320 of 505) for 4,162 yards with 29 touchdowns to just 13 interceptions, good for a 97.6 rating, his highest against any of the Chargers’ three division rivals. In 2010, Mike Scifres completed a 28-yard pass on a fake punt against the Broncos. Scifres set his career-high for single-game punt yards (493) against the Broncos in 2012. In the Bolts’ 2012 game at Denver, Eric Weddle intercepted a Peyton Manning pass and returned it 23 yards for a touchdown, ending Manning’s streak of 231 passes thrown at home without throwing an interception. In the Chargers game against Denver in San Diego last November, Tourek Williams had the first sack and forced fumble of his career against Manning. Connections Chargers Head Coach Mike McCoy came to the Chargers from the Broncos. He spent the 2009-12 seasons as Denver’s offensive coordinator, in addition to serving as their quarterbacks coach in ’09. McCoy ’s last two seasons (2011- 12) were spent working under Broncos’ Head Coach John Fox. Chargers wide receiver Eddie Royal was a second-round pick of the Broncos in 2008. Royal played his first four seasons in Denver before signing with the Chargers in 2012. During his time with the Broncos, Royal caught 206 passes for 2,107 yards and nine touchdowns, while also returning two punts and a kickoff for touchdowns. Defensive tackle Tenny Palepoi ’s brother, Anton, played for the Broncos in 2004. Defensive Coordinator John Pagano and Linebackers Coach Joe Barry are both natives of Boulder, Colo. They both played football at Fairview High School in Boulder, where Pagano’s father, Sam, was the head coach. Secondary Coach Ron Milus came over from Denver with McCoy , having spent the 2011-12 seasons coaching the Broncos’ secondary. Prior to that, Milus coached the secondary for Fox in Carolina during the 2009-10 seasons. This last stint in Denver was the second of Milus’ coaching career. During the 2000-01 seasons, Milus coached the Broncos’ defensive backs and in 2002, he coached their nickel backs. Assistant Special Teams Coach Craig Aukerman spent the 2010 season as a defensive assistant in Denver. Denver Head Coach John Fox served as the Chargers’ secondary coach from 1992-93 under former Head Coach Bobby Ross. He also was a graduate assistant at San Diego State, attended both Southwestern CC and San Diego State, and is originally from Chula Vista, a San Diego suburb. Broncos’ Tight Ends Coach Clancy Barone held the same position with the Chargers from 2007-08. Louis Vasquez was a third-round pick by the Chargers in 2009, who played for the Bolts from 2009-12. Broncos wide receiver Andre Caldwell is the younger brother of former Chargers wide receiver Reche Caldwell. Running back Ronnie Hillman graduated from San Diego State. Wide receiver Wes Welker began his career as an undrafted rookie with the Chargers in 2004. Broncos tight end Julius Thomas is a native of Stockton, Calif., the hometown of Chargers’ owner Alex Spanos. Broadcast Information CBS ( KFMB , Channel 8 in San Diego and KCBS , Channel 2 in Los Angeles and Orange County) and NFL Network – Jim Nantz (play-by-play), Phil Simms (analyst) and Tracy Wolfson (reporter) Rock 105.3 FM, XTRA Sports 1360 (San Diego) and AM 570 KLAC (Los Angeles & Orange County) – Josh Lewin (play-by-play), Hank Bauer (analyst) Spanish Radio –XHFG 107.3 (San Diego) and KWKW 1330 AM (Los Angeles) – Jorge Villanueva (play-by-play) and Dante Lazcano (analyst) All Chargers radio broadcasts are now being streamed live on the team’s official website, www.chargers.com. XTRA Sports 1360 Broadcasts with Josh Lewin (play-by-play) and Hank Bauer (analyst) will begin two hours before kickoff and continue for 90 minutes of postgame coverage.
Going into tonight’s game, the Chargers ranked in the bottom quarter of the league in rushing. Coming out of Denver, things don’t look much better. “I don’t think we ran the ball efficiently enough,” Head Coach Mike McCoy said. “We’ve got to do a better job there.” In the team’s 35-21 loss to ...
Nobody is happy in defeat, and that only intensifies when losing two in a row. Change is necessary to improve upon the status quo, especially when it comes down to execution. In fact, Head Coach Mike McCoy began his postgame press conference Thursday stressing that very point. "We’ve got to do a ...
Head Coach Mike McCoy speaks to the media on Tuesday as the team faces a short week preparing for Thursday night at Denver.