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Week 1 Prediction Article – Los Angeles Chargers @ Denver Broncos

Good morning Bronco fans!  The wait is finally over and it is officially game day!  Week 1 of the 2017 season is fully underway and we have the center stage for the grand finale of the evening.  The newly relocated Los Angeles Chargers make their annual visit to Mile High with a very familiar cast.  Led by Quarterback Philip Rivers, the Chargers are hoping to improve upon last year’s results, where they finished last in the AFC West with a 5-11 record.  Rivers, who threw for over 4,300 yards and connected on 33 touchdown passes last season, also showed signs of struggle, as he led the NFL in interceptions with 21.  The Chargers also boast several productive playmakers offensively with their two third-year stars WR Tyrell Williams and RB Melvin Gordon.  The Chargers will also be attempting to help TE Antonio Gates break the all-time receiving touchdowns record for a tight end.  Gates comes into the season tied with Tony Gonzalez with 111 touchdowns.

Chargers, be warned.  You are now entering the No Fly Zone.

Led by Chris Harris and Aqib Talib, the No Fly Zone is back, however with a new member, as T.J. Ward was cut prior to the beginning of the regular season.  In just his second NFL season, SS Justin Williams has become a full time member of the No Fly Zone as he and FS Darian Stewart will start in the secondary with Harris and Talib.  The Broncos look to build off of the defensive success that they had last year, as Denver led all defenses allowing just 13 passing touchdowns all season long.  The Broncos will need to improve on their run defense this season if they plan on returning to the postseason.  In 2016, the Broncos allowed teams to stay on the field for too long, extending drives and controlling the clock due to a poor run defense.  Only the 49ers, Browns, Dolphins and Bills allowed more rushing yards in 2016 than the Broncos.  Denver will also need to work on discipline, as they allowed the 5th most 1st downs due to penalties.

The QB battle is over, and now this is Trevor’s team.

Trevor Siemian, now in his second year as the starter will need to make better decisions in order to have success.  Denver’s offense has plenty of weapons, however, the offensive line was just that last year, offensive.  The porous offensive line of the Denver Broncos allowed teams to feast on the Denver QB, allowing 31 sacks in the 14 games Siemian started.  Paired with a 18/10 Touchdown/Interception ratio, a lot will need to change on offense if this team wants to return to the postseason.

5 Keys to Winning 

  • Stop the run, get your defense off of the field.  The more time the defense is on the sideline and our guys are out there making plays, the better it will be for all of us Bronco fans.
  • Control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the field.  Football is won and lost in the trenches.  The O-Line must protect Siemian and the D-Line must put pressure on Rivers.
  • No Stupid Penalties.  We can’t do favors for other teams.  Play with discipline, and be smart.
  • Establish the run to set up play action.  Get C.J. Anderson going early and often.  Put them to sleep with the run, the take the big shot over top.
  • Get the ball in the hands of your playmakers.  Be creative.  Run WR screens to Sanders and Thomas.  Connect with running backs out of the backfield.  Use your weapons.

Final Score Prediction

Von Miller will be a one man wrecking crew and will record his first 3 sacks of the season.  Rivers will throw 2 interceptions.  Siemian takes 0 sacks.

Chargers – 17

Broncos – 27

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