The divisional round of the 2014 NFL playoffs concludes on Sunday afternoon when the San Diego Chargers travel to Mile High Stadium to face the Denver Broncos. Let's preview the game. Use this thread as an open thread to discuss the action during the game.
Chargers (10-7) at Broncos (13-3)
Game Time: 4:40 p.m. ET
TV: CBS (Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson).
Radio: Westwood One -- Kevin Harlan, Dan Fouts, Tim Ryan (Field reporter). Sirius -- 88 (WW1), 92 (SD), 86 (Den.). XM: 88 (WW1), 225 (SD), 86 (Den.).
Odds: Broncos -9
Denver won the AFC West and secured home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a 13-3 record. The Broncos scored 606 points, the most in a season in NFL history. The Broncos had five players selected to the Pro Bowl: QB Peyton Manning, K Matt Prater, WR Demaryius Thomas, TE Julius Thomas and G Louis Vasquez. Manning passed for 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns, both single-season NFL records.
"All the records and all the stats go out the window," says Denver head coach John Fox. "It's a whole new season. The key is playing the best football during the playoffs. It's a single-elimination tournament, so you can't have a bad day. You have to be on your game from beginning to end. The team that usually does that is the team that usually wins it all."
The Chargers have won five in a row, including last week's 27-10 win at Cincinnati. San Diego rushed for 196 yards and got touchdown runs from Danny Woodhead (five yards) and Ronnie Brown (58). Pro Bowl quarterback Philip Rivers threw a touchdown pass in the win and posted a 118.8 passer rating.
"We challenged everyone on the football team that going on the road in a playoff game is not going to be easy," says San Diego first-year head coach Mike McCoy, who spent the previous four seasons with Denver as the team's offensive coordinator. "The players have gone out and executed and now we've got another week."
The two teams have faced one another 108 times but this will be the first meeting in the postseason. This year, the clubs split the season series. San Diego won 27-20 at Denver in Week 15 with Rivers throwing two touchdown passes.
Rootability Index: Well, this is an interesting one. Do you want to root for the favorite, in which case you are rooting for Peyton Manning to get one step closer to the Super Bowl in his brother's home stadium? Do you want to root for the underdog team on a roll, the one that reminds you some of the Giants? Up to you. Personally, I like underdogs.