The Denver Broncos (3-6) will head to Stubhub Center to battle the Los Angeles Chargers (7-2) in Week 11 (November 18, 2018 at 4:05 PM ET). The Broncos opened as 7.0-point underdogs.
Denver’s offense is predicated on pounding the football. They average 22.8 points per game (19th), largely thanks to their ninth-ranked rushing attack. Led by Phillip Lindsay, the Broncos total 126.7 yards per game on the ground.
Case Keenum has been very happy handing the ball off to Lindsay and the rest of the Denver backfield this season. The pivot has only thrown for 2,400 yards (14th) with 11 touchdowns (22nd) and 10 interceptions, “good” for an 83.9 passer rating. Meanwhile, Lindsay has rushed for 591 yards (8th) and three touchdowns.
But the Broncos will have to find new ways to get Lindsay the ball in space, after he only managed 60 yards on the ground last time out. Getting Lindsay rolling early will be vital on Sunday.
Denver’s defense is built to defend the pass. They only spot their opponent 232.4 yards per game through the air (10th), compared to 131.6 rushing (26th). The Broncos’ strength against the pass has led to them allowing just 23.7 PPG (15th), even though the rush defense (131.6 YPG against) has been routinely gashed.
Denver’s defense has its work cut out for them this week against a Los Angeles offense that is scoring points at will. The driving force behind the Chargers’ powerful offense has been their rushing attack. Led by Melvin Gordon, they average 127.1 yards per game on the ground (seventh).
But QB Philip Rivers (2,459 yards with a 21:4 touchdown to interception ratio) has certainly played his part, and the balanced attack has the Chargers averaging an impressive 26.7 points per game (10th), even though they play at a relatively slow pace. Their efficiency is evidenced by their DVOA ranking. Football Outsiders ranks the Chargers third in offensive efficiency, behind only the juggernaut offenses of the Chiefs and Rams.
The fact that Los Angeles dares take the ball out of Rivers’ hands so often tells you just how good their ground game is.
On the other side of the ball, Los Angeles’s defense has been solid, even without Joey Bosa. They’re permitting just 20.7 PPG, ranking eighth in the league. This is the result of a defense with no obvious Achilles heel. The Chargers allow 244.0 passing yards per game (17th) and 112.6 rushing (17th). Nothing will come easy for Case Keenum and company this week.
The last meeting between these two came on October 22nd, 2017, when Los Angeles destroyed the Broncos 21-0. The Broncos were 1.0-point favorites in that game.