San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos (-10, 54)
Chargers’ third-down success vs. Broncos’ third-down defense
The Bolts have already laid the blueprint for beating the Broncos, knocking off Denver 27-20 as 10-point road underdogs in Week 15. San Diego controlled the tempo and dominated time of possession in that game, burning up 38:49 to Denver’s 21:11. A big part of that win – and the Chargers’ overall success – is the team’s ability to keep the chains moving on third down. San Diego ranks tops in the NFL in third-down conversion rate, picking up the first 48.17 percent of the time, and went 6 for 12 on third downs in the win over Denver.
The Broncos defense has been the elephant in the room all season. Denver’s stop unit has been burned for big numbers and is missing one of its key cogs in LB Von Miller, who is out for the season with a torn ACL. The Broncos were in the middle of the road in terms of third-down defense, limiting opponents to a 38.07 conversion percentage (16th), but can’t afford to keep the Bolts on the field Sunday. San Diego did a great job holding on to the ball and removing Peyton Manning and the Denver offense from the equation in Week 15.