2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Broncos ready for rematch with rival Chargers

By ARNIE STAPLETON - AP Pro Football Writer
    2014-01-05 21:14

DENVER (AP) - The Denver Broncos are 13-3 and own the AFC's top seed, just like last year.

Only this time, they've lost to each of the three remaining teams in the bracket.

The Colts won 39-33 on Oct. 20 in Peyton Manning's unhappy homecoming in Indianapolis.

The Patriots won 34-31 in overtime on Nov. 24 in Wes Welker's disappointing return to New England

And, San Diego handed the Broncos their only loss in Denver 27-20 on Dec. 12.

The Chargers earned a return trip to the Mile High City by upsetting Cincinnati 27-10 Sunday in the wild-card round. The original AFL teams have never met in the playoffs.

Some Broncos admitted last year they were overly confident after roaring into the playoffs on an 11-game winning streak only to lose 38-35 in double-overtime to Baltimore, a team it had beaten handily on the road in December.

That shouldn't be a problem this time.

The Chargers held the Broncos, the highest-scoring team of the Super Bowl era at 37.9 points a game, to their lowest output of the season last month.

''It's fresh in our minds that if we don't do our best, we can get beat at home,'' wide receiver Bubba Caldwell said. ''Baltimore a year ago, San Diego a month ago.''

Denver was without Welker (concussion) against the Chargers that night, which cost them on third down (3 for 8) and in time of possession (22 minutes for Manning, 38 for Philip Rivers).

Ryan Mathews helped the Chargers gain more than 100 yards on the ground on first down, a problem the Broncos addressed with the signing of defensive end Jeremy Mincey a few days later after his release by the Jaguars.

Mincey has helped seal off the edge and curtail opponents' running games.

And Welker is set to return for the playoffs after missing the final 3 1/2 games.

But the Broncos also enter the playoffs without star linebacker Von Miller (knee) and a slew of other injured players on defense, one reason they so desperately wanted the home-field advantage and first-round bye again.

San Diego's win in Denver was one of four straight that helped the Chargers (10-7) sneak into the playoffs.

''SD it is! Excited! I'm done with sitting around. Now we have work to do!'' guard Zane Beadles tweeted Sunday night.

The Broncos and Chargers will be playing at Sports Authority Field exactly one year after Denver's devastating defeat to the Ravens when Rahim Moore's mistimed jump allowed Jacoby Jones' 70-yard TD catch from Joe Flacco in the final minute that tied it at 35.

''The main thing we really learned was as a team, we have to play 60 minutes,'' Denver wide receiver Demaryius Thomas said. ''Nobody is going to give up, because it's do-or-die.''

Broncos coach John Fox and his former offensive coordinator Mike McCoy took a lot of heat after that playoff pratfall for their conservative approach late in the game, especially when Manning was ordered to take a knee with 31 seconds and three timeouts remaining in regulation.

McCoy was hired as San Diego's head coach a few days later. Under his tutelage, Rivers, who is 6-2 in Denver, enjoyed a resurgent season and the Chargers ended a three-year playoff drought. On Sunday, they won their first playoff game since 2008 - against Manning's Colts.

''I'm not worried about last year, to tell you the truth,'' Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno said on Friday. ''I'm ready for this year, ready for this new season. Last year is last year. Let's get it going this year.''

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

---

Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Alshon JefferySep 22 07:21p

Chicago Bears WRs Brandon Marshall (ankle) and Alshon Jeffery (ankle) are both active for the Week 3 game against the New York Jets. Both were questionable for the game.

Brandon MarshallSep 22 07:13p

Chicago Bears WRs Brandon Marshall (ankle) and Alshon Jeffery (ankle) are both active for the Week 3 game against the New York Jets. Both were questionable for the game.

Eric DeckerSep 22 07:13p

New York Jets WR Eric Decker (hamstring) is active for the team's Week 3 game against the Chicago Bears Monday, Sept. 22.

A.J. EddsSep 22 07:13p

The New York Jets have declared LB A.J. Edds, OG Ben Ijalana, OL Dakota Dozier, CB Dee Milliner, DE IK Enemkpali, DL T.J. Barnes, WR Walter Powell inactive for Week 3.

Eric DeckerSep 22 06:23p

New York Jets WR Eric Decker (hamstring) said he felt good while working out before the game and expects to play in Week 3.

Jamaal CharlesSep 22 06:13p

Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles (ankle) will 'most likely' return to practice this week after sitting out in Week 3, according to head coach Andy Reid. Kansas City [ More ]

Nate FreeseSep 22 04:17p

The Lions released Freese on Monday.

Mike TolbertSep 22 03:03p

Carolina Panthers FB Mike Tolbert (leg) has a hairline fracture in his leg. The timetable for his return is unknown.

Donald BrownSep 22 02:43p

San Diego Chargers RB Donald Brown rushed for seven yards on 15 carries in the second half against the Buffalo Bills in Week 3. Seven of Brown's carries went [ More ]

Jonathan StewartSep 22 02:43p

Carolina Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart (knee) could very well miss Week 4 with a severely sprained right knee. Stewart will not practice until Friday, Sept. 26 this week, [ More ]

Kyle RudolphSep 22 02:13p

Minnesota Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (groin) will need surgery and is expected to miss about six weeks.

Marqise LeeSep 22 02:13p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Marqise Lee (hamstring) will be evaluated during the week but is not expected to play in Week 4.

Vincent JacksonSep 22 02:13p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Vincent Jackson (wrist) fractured his wrist against the Atlanta Falcons last Thursday night. The fracture is small and Jackson is expected to play this week.

Josh McCownSep 22 02:03p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Josh McCown (thumb) is not expected to play in Week 4 against the Pittsburgh Steelers because of his thumb injury and could miss more time [ More ]

Jason KelceSep 22 02:03p

Philadelphia Eagles C Jason Kelce (hernia) will likely need six weeks of recovery time following surgery to fix his sports hernia, according to a source with knowledge of the [ More ]

Jonathan GoodwinSep 22 01:53p

New Orleans Saints C Jonathan Goodwin (ankle) is dealing with a high ankle sprain, according to a source. An MRI exam confirmed the injury, and he's likely to miss some time.

Frank GoreSep 22 01:53p

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore wasn't pleased with the offensive game plan in which they unleashed five-receiver sets against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 3 because of a [ More ]

Ryan TannehillSep 22 01:32p

Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill is not guaranteed to be the starting quarterback in Week 4 against the Oakland Raiders after head coach Joe Philbin declined to name a starter for the game.

Stephen TullochSep 22 01:22p

Detroit Lions LB Stephen Tulloch (knee) will have surgery on his knee at an undetermined date. LB DeAndre Levy will likely slide to middle linebacker to replace Tulloch.

Demaryius ThomasSep 22 01:12p

Denver Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas finished with four catches for just 31 yards in the team's Week 3 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, but QB Peyton Manning targeted him [ More ]

Jason KelceSep 22 01:12p

Philadelphia Eagles C Jason Kelce (hernia) will undergo surgery to repair a sports hernia he suffered in Week 3. Head coach Chip Kelly said he does not know how [ More ]

Chris ProsinskiSep 22 01:12p

Jacksonville Jaguars FS Chris Prosinski (elbow) will miss two to four weeks because of an elbow injury.

Eric DeckerSep 22 12:52p

New York Jets WR Eric Decker (hamstring) will be a true game-time decision in Week 3 against the Chicago Bears Monday, Sept. 22.

Alex HenerySep 22 12:43p

Detroit Lions PK Nate Freese was waived Monday, Sept. 22, and the team signed free-agent PK Alex Henery (Eagles) to an undisclosed deal to take his place. Freese made [ More ]

Stephen TullochSep 22 12:43p

Detroit Lions LB Stephen Tulloch (knee) tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee and is out for the season, according to head coach Jim Caldwell. Tulloch injured himself while celebrating in Week 3.

Owen DanielsSep 22 12:43p

Houston Texans TE Owen Daniels will be relied on in the tight end position with TE Dennis Pitta (hip) out indefinitely. Daniels has experience in offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak's [ More ]

Frank GoreSep 22 11:32a

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore had just 10 yards on six carries Sunday, Sept. 21. He received 16 carries in Week 1 and 13 carries in Week 2.

T Y HiltonSep 22 11:32a

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (ankle) is not expected to have a severe ankle injury, according to head coach Chuck Pagano.

Darrelle RevisSep 22 11:02a

Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr was 5-for-6 on passes against New England Patriots CB Darrelle Revis Sunday, Sept. 21. That is tied for the second-most receptions Revis has allowed [ More ]

Jarvis JonesSep 22 10:13a

Updating a previous report, Pittsburgh Steelers LB Jarvis Jones (wrist) will require surgery on his wrist injury suffered Sunday, Sept 21.

LeSean McCoySep 22 10:03a

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy was held in check by the Washington Redskins' big nickel package and base defensive front Sunday, Sept. 21. He was rarely able to bounce [ More ]

Ike TaylorSep 22 09:32a

Pittsburgh Steelers CB Ike Taylor (forearm) suffered a broken forearm Sunday, Sept. 21, and is out indefinitely.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group