cbs4 My 33 Header Logo

TALE OF THE TAPE

Tale Of The Tape: San Diego Chargers At Denver Broncos

San Diego Chargers
Denver Broncos
(credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
(credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
(credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
(credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Quarterback
The Chargers outplayed and outschemed the Cincinnati Bengals in their wild-card victory. Philip Rivers threw just 16 passes in the win, but the Chargers took advantage of Cincinnati turnovers to advance. Rivers is an accurate passer who can buy time and wait for his receivers to break open. He completed 69.5 percent of his passes and had a 32-11 TD-interception ratio.
Winner The Broncos have the most prolific offense in the game and Peyton Manning is coming off a record-setting season in which he threw 55 TD passes. Despite his overwhelming success, the heat is on Manning because the Broncos lost in the divisional playoffs last year and he has only won one Super Bowl ring.
Offense
The Chargers need to get a solid contribution from Ryan Mathews if they are going to keep the ball away from Manning and the Denver offense. Mathews ran for 1,255 yards and averaged 4.4 yards per carry this season. Keenan Allen caught 71 passes during the regular season and can make game-changing plays while tight end Antonio Gates caught a team-high 77 passes.
Winner The Broncos scored an NFL record 606 points and are capable of stringing touchdowns together and blowing open any close game. Knowshon Moreno is a solid back who ran for 1,038 yards and 10 touchdowns. Demaryius Thomas caught 92-1, 430-14 this year and 66 of his catches went for first downs. Eric Decker and Wes Welker are versatile threats who combined for 21 TD catches.
Defense
Winner The Chargers are not the most impressive defense from a statistical perspective as they ranked 23rd in yards allowed, yet their defense played a key role in their wild-card victory over the Bengals as they blanked Cincinnati 20-0 in the second half. Safety Eric Weddle had a team-high 115 tackles and 10 passes defensed. Corey Liuget had 5.5 sacks during the regular season.
Winner The Broncos are vulnerable on defense and Rivers may be able to pick apart the Denver secondary, which ranked 26th against the pass. Linebacker Danny Trevathan had an excellent season, as he led the team with 128 tackles and he also had 13 passes defensed. Defensive end Shaun Phillips led the team with 10.0 sacks, while strong safety Duke Ihenacho is one of the hardest hitters in the league.
Special Teams
Winner The Chargers have been solid in their punt and kickoff coverage all season, and Danny Woodhead is capable of producing big plays with his quickness and change-of-direction. Placekicker Nick Novak made 34-of-37 FG attempts this year and Mike Scifres dropped 30 of 61 punts inside the 20.
The Broncos have a game-changing returner in Trindon Holliday, who returned both a punt and a kickoff for a touchdown. However, their coverage teams have been vulnerable to big returns this season. Matt Prater made 25-of-26 FG attempts and has overpowering leg strength.

The Winner Is

(credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Winner Denver Broncos
3 out of 4

The Chargers turned their season around when they beat the Broncos in Denver in Week 13. They will not sneak up on Manning & Co. Look for the Broncos to start the game in an explosive manner and put the Chargers on their heels.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. (Source: Jeff Gross/Getty Images) (Source: Lars Baron/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: Football vs. Futbol

    With the World Cup still going strong and the NFL just weeks away from getting started it seemed like a fun idea to compare the two sports that share the same name…sort of. From the global “futbol” to the American “football” these sports are two of the most popular in their own right. As somewhat of a disclaimer I will add that this Tale of the Tape is being written by an American, though I am a big soccer fan. That being said, let’s start the debate.

  2. FIFA President Jospeph Sepp Blatter and South Africa President Jacob Zuma present the World Cup trophy to Iker Casillas, captain of Spain, during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Final match between Netherlands and Spain at Soccer City Stadium on July 11, 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa.  (Source: Jasper Juinen/Getty Images) South Korea's Kim Donghyeon practices during a men's Luge training session at the Sanki Sliding Centre in Rosa Khutor on February 6, 2014, on the eve of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games' opening ceremony. (Source: LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: World Cup Vs. Olympics

    There are very few worldwide occurrences that captivate fans of every nation the way that the Olympics and World Cup have proven to do. When the time comes for either event you can bet that the majority of the world shifts their attention to these amazing month-long competitions. 2014 has been a great year for fans of the Olympics and the World Cup as both took place in the span of just a few months. With the World Cup still going strong and the Olympics fresh in the minds of fans across the globe, let’s see how they match up when placed side-by-side.

  3. (Photo Credit: Getty Images/Richard Heathcote) (Photo Credit: Getty Images/Warren Little)
    Tale Of The Tape: Winter Olympics In Sochi Vs. FIFA World Cup In Brazil

    With both sites having their share of issues in hosting major international sporting events, we went to the tape to decide who was the worst host of 2014.

See All Tales of the Tape
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,468 other followers