Don't Kill The Mellinger

Broncos-Chargers (and Chiefs, kinda) Insta-reaction? Sure, why not?

- The Broncos have one of the best offenses in recent NFL history. Peyton Manning is a quarterback cyborg, and the toys he has to throw to are gifted.

- That said, the Chiefs can beat them.

- I said CAN.

- A good chunk of the Broncos’ success came on missed tackles by the Chargers. The Broncos get some credit for this, of course — particularly Demaryius Thomas — but the Chargers get some blame, too. The Broncos are good enough on their own, you can’t give them extra yards by missing tackles.

- Missed tackles were a major problem for the Chiefs in Buffalo, you might remember.

- It’s hard to use this game as too much of a gauge for what will happen in Denver next weekend, because the Chargers are so different than the Chiefs. Specifically on defense, I’m talking about a lack of pass rush and cornerbacks who can’t play the physical style of Marcus Cooper and Sean Smith.

- Also, Philip Rivers and Alex Smith are such different quarterbacks. Rivers has a much stronger arm, and takes many more chances. Smith is a much better athlete, and takes care of the ball.

- A lot of San Diego’s success on offense came running the ball through the middle, or on quick slants to their receivers.

- Hey, look: Manti Te’o!

- The Broncos went fairly conservative on offense. Impossible to know how much this is John Fox’s absence, and how much of it is saving up for the Chiefs.

- Peyton Manning is ludicrously accurate. There was a pass down the left sideline, in the first half, on a go route by Demaryius Thomas where the ball was just perfectly dropped in. I mean that literally, too. The pass was perfect. It could not be improved upon.

- That said, Manning really struggles when there’s pressure. He threw one ball in the third quarter that should’ve been intercepted. Broncos (backup) left tackle Chris Clark was beat badly on the play, and Manning got hit hard after the throw. There were a few times where it looked like even the threat of a pass rush altered throws. This is something the Chiefs will try to exploit.

- They fumble a lot, too. The Broncos will hit some big plays, but they’ll also leave some big plays to be made by the Chiefs’ defense. That, as much as anything else, might determine the outcome next weekend in Denver.

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