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NFL Monday night preview: Broncos vs. Chargers

San Diego can open a two-game lead in the NFC West with a victory over Denver.

October 15, 2012|By Lance Pugmire

Denver (2-3) at San Diego (3-2)

Time: 5:30. TV: ESPN.

Story line: San Diego would like to take a two-game AFC West lead (and 3-0 division record) into its bye next week while the Broncos will work to claim a share of the lead through a grueling opening schedule. Chargers QB Philip Rivers is 9-3 against Denver. The Chargers have been tough on Peyton Manning, twice eliminating him from the playoffs as a Colt, ending an unbeaten season another time, and recording six- and four-interception games.

Broncos said: "This is my first time playing the Chargers under these circumstances. If you guys see it as the same scenario, that's fine. I just don't see it that way. There is some newness to this game and some unknown in terms of what they'll do." — Manning.

Chargers said: "I'm sure this will be the first of some more great games." — Rivers.

Bottom line: The Chargers are a standard three-point favorite as a home team in a tossup game. The over/under is 50. … Manning is 11-4 in Monday night games. … Chargers RB Ryan Mathews had 139 yards rushing and receiving last week in New Orleans. … Denver defensive end Elvis Dumervil said the league's 11th-ranked pass defense expects to swarm Rivers, who has had pass-protection issues, especially late, last week.

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