Denver Broncos Host Chargers in Regular Season Finale

Dec 6, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler (17) awaits the snap during the fourth quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 6, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler (17) awaits the snap during the fourth quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /

This is it, folks. The Denver Broncos finish out the 2015-2016 regular season as they play host to their division rival, the San Diego Chargers, on Sunday at Sports Authority Field.

The Denver Broncos enter Sunday’s game as the current number 2 seed in the AFC after their gutsy win this past Monday night against the Cincinnati Bengals: but with a win and a loss by the New England Patriots, can enter the AFC playoffs with not only a first round bye, but as the number 1 seed in the conference.

While there are certainly playoff implications in this game, the biggest storyline in Sunday’s regular season finale for the Denver Broncos is undoubtedly about Peyton Manning returning to the Broncos, but for the first time in his heralded NFL career, as a backup quarterback. Manning has missed Denver’s last six games due to plantar fascia in his left foot. He left at halftime of the Denver Broncos November 15th contest against the Kansas City Chiefs.’s Ian Rapaport reported a couple of weeks ago that Peyton Manning would not take kindly to becoming the Denver Broncos’ backup QB; but as we all now know, Manning refuted Rapaport’s report, denying any allegations that he considering serving as the team’s reserve at quarterback beneath him. Controversy continued to swirl around Peyton Manning, as allegations came to light last week that alleged that the Broncos QB had used HGH in 2011 while recovering from an injury. He whistle-blower subsequently recanted, clearing Manning of any wrongdoing for the time being.

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Brock Osweiler will start his seventh consecutive game for the Denver Broncos on Sunday. Osweiler has performed well over the better part of the past two months in Manning’s absence. Last week against Cincinnati, Osweiler went 27-39 on Monday against the Bengals, throwing for 299 yards and 1 touchdown to lead the Broncos to a victory. In his six games as the Denver Broncos’ starting quarterback, Brock Osweiler has thrown 8 touchdowns to only 3 interceptions.

The Denver Broncos won in their last meeting against the San Diego Chargers in Southern California by a score of 17-3. Brock Osweiler threw for 166 yards and a touchdown, while Danny Trevathan returned a Philip Rivers interception for a touchdown to lead the Broncos to a victory.

Another storyline that is definitely overshadowed by the return of Peyton Manning is that this is perhaps the final game for the San Diego Chargers, if in fact the franchise does move north to Los Angeles this offseason. Amidst a disappointing season for a time going into the 2015 campaign with high hopes for a playoff berth, it is looking more and more likely that the city of San Diego will bid adieu to their football team, with a departure to Los Angeles county soon to follow.

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Philip Rivers has performed well this season, posting good numbers once again. Rivers has the chance to break the Chargers’ single season passing record on Sunday against the Denver Broncos, only needing 239 yards to beat out former QB Dan Fouts‘s record of 4,802 yards, established in the 1981 season.

The Denver Broncos enter Sunday’s game with the number 1 ranked defense in the league, and should handle the 4-11 Chargers. Last week’s big showing against the AFC North Champion Cincinnati Bengals showed that the Broncos are carried by their defense, and it could take them very far in the playoffs.

This season has shown ups and downs for the Denver Broncos, as the team has dealt with a litany of injuries on both sides of the ball. If they can take care of business at home on Sunday against the Chargers, they have put themselves in a great position to make a run in the playoffs in Head Coach Gary Kubiak‘s first season at the helm.

Next: Peyton Manning to Back Up Brock Osweiler on Sunday

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