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Chargers Eyeing A Win Against the Raiders, Welker Out Until the Playoffs

For the AFC West, two teams have playoff implications on the line for this Week #16: the Denver Broncos (11-3) and the San Diego Chargers (7-7).

Sure, the Broncos are already headed to the playoffs but in Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans (2-12), they can clinch the division and a first-round bye with a win and a Kansas City Chiefs (11-3) loss. Even better, they’ll get a home-field advantage all through the AFC playoffs with a win and losses by both the New England Patriots (10-4) (or a tie) and again, the Chiefs.

The Chargers are not a sure thing. Their road to the playoffs will come through a wildcard berth and will only happen if they win out. They will also hope that the Baltimore Ravens (8-6) and the Miami Dolphins (8-6) both lose their last two games.

Should all the stars align for them, it will be the first time since 2009 they have made it to the playoffs.

Phillip Rivers

Phillip Rivers

Lucky for them, quarterback Phillip Rivers is having a good season. He sits among the league’s best for pass completion percentage (69.9 percent), touchdowns (28) and passer rating (106.9), according to ESPN.com. Rivers has been making great plays and decisions.

He’s also been assisted with some good weapons. Wide receiver Keenan Allen has been there for him in the red zone. In the two previous games, Allen’s had four touchdowns there. In the team’s first game against the Raiders in October, he had six catches for 115 yards and one touchdown.

On the ground is running back Ryan Mathews. From his two previous games, he’s had a combined 230 ground yards and two scores. He should find success against Oakland’s challenged run defense. In their last four games, they’ve allowed 119.8 rushing yards per game and last week against the Chiefs, running back Jamaal Charles grabbed five touchdowns.

The Raiders also had seven turnovers and gave up a team record of 56 points in Week 15.

Their quarterback roulette can’t seem to find a winner between Matt McGloin and Terrelle Pryor. One Sunday, McGloin will again start and will look to his bright weapon: wide receiver Rod Streater. The sophomore player is nearing a 1,000-yard season. He is short 154 receiving yards and should he hit this number, it will be a first for the team since 2005 with Randy Moss.

Streater said of the milestone via NFL.com, “There’s something about that number you want to get to as a receiver to be considered one of the good ones for the year. That’s what I’m reaching for and also to get these last … wins.”

The Raiders’ ground game could have running back Darren McFadden back after a two-week absence.

San Diego will look to avenge its previous loss against the Raiders on Oct. 6 and seek a fourth win in five games. Vegas sees this happening (-9, 51 o/u).

Welker Out Until the Playoffs

For the Denver Broncos, they’ll be without wide receiver Wes Welker for the next two Sundays as he recovers from his second concussion in three weeks.

Welker Broncos

Wes Welker

On Friday, the player was ruled out by the team to play in Sunday’s game as well as next week’s against the Raiders. Now the hope is to have him return to play when the team heads to the playoffs, according to media reports. He continues being evaluated by the team’s doctor as well as an independent one.

This week could be an interesting for the Broncos–perhaps a high-scoring game as the Texans defense has given up a touchdown 69.8 percent of the time when an opponent makes it to the red zone–a league worst. For the Broncos, they’re the NFL-best when converting red-zone opportunities to scores with their 78.3 percent success rate.

Yes, the Broncos will get the win this week (-9.5, 53.5 o/u).



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