BRONCOS AT CHARGERS, 5:30 p.m., ESPN, 950-AM
Line: Pick ’em
Key stat: San Diego QB Philip Rivers is 9-3 against Denver; the Broncos’ Peyton Manning has an 11-4 record in Monday night games.
The buzz: The Chargers would like to take a two-game AFC West lead (and 3-0 division record) into its bye next week, while the Broncos must work to claim a share of the lead through a grueling opening schedule. San Diego has been tough on Peyton Manning, twice eliminating him from the playoffs with the Colts, ending an unbeaten season another time, and recording six- and four-pick games.
Quote: “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.
Bottom line: 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.
The pick: Broncos 27, Chargers 20.
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