The Broncos have established themselves as Super Bowl contenders already, but this Thursday, Denver will get the opportunity to demonstrate why it’s atop the NFL futures, more than anybody else in the grueling AFC.
In the primetime game, Peyton Manning and the Broncos will welcome their division rival San Diego Chargers to Mile High Stadium, and both critics and football fans alike have already started to forecast just what the mid-week matchup could mean in the big picture. The Broncos have 10.5-point advantage on the Week 15 spread, suggesting that oddsmakers see this game as a potential blowout waiting to happen.
Just two clubs have knocked off the Broncos so far this season and that doesn’t bode well for the 6-7 Chargers heading into the pairing. While it’s important to note that San Diego has come up big in the past — they’ve beaten both the Kansas City Chiefs and Indianapolis Colts this season — they haven’t exactly made a name for themselves as a consistently dominant team.
As a result, the Chargers sit on the NFL futures with 75-1 odds, while the Broncos lead the list with 11-4 odds of winning the Super Bowl. The discrepancy between the Broncos and Chargers will be held under the microscope this Thursday night as Manning and company set out to justify the lofty expectations given to them by oddsmakers and football aficionados around the country.
By now we can assume that Denver will play a significant role in the NFL postseason, and after the Thursday night matchup with a scrappy and surprisingly competent Chargers team, we may have an even better idea of what we can expect.
Alternatively, while the Week 15 clash may serve as a means of gauging Denver’s might, it could also serve as a springboard for the wild card eligible Chargers. A San Diego victory over the Broncos wouldn’t assure them a playoff spot, but it would put them in an interesting conversation with the Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens and New York Jets.
Though it’s within reason for these Chargers to hold onto the second and final wild card spot in the AFC, even if they did qualify for the first round of the playoffs, their real challenge would only then just begin.
Hey, it’s the playoff push, anything can happen.