Denver 35, San Diego 24
This game was a tale of two halves. Denver’s special teams had two red zone turnovers early in the game limiting the Broncos offense to only eight plays in the first quarter. Eric Decker caught a wide open pass mid-second quarter and should have moon walked into the end zone for an 85-yard score. Instead Decker was tripped up by the turf monster. Two plays later it was Chargers’ cornerback Quentin Jammer going the other way for a San Diego defensive touchdown. Denver would not score a single point in first half.
In the second half, Manning came to life tossing three touchdowns starting with Demaryius Thomas, moving to Eric Decker and ending with Brandon Stokly. The Denver defense also tacked on two scores in a knockout of the Chargers.
San Diego started the game on fire putting 24 quick points on the scoreboard with Gates finding paydirt twice. The second half would prove costly as Philip Rivers tossed three interceptions (four total) also giving up a sack, scoop and score. Rivers completed his horrible outing with a second fumble in the final minute as the Chargers could not muster a second half point. Now averaging 17 fantasy points per game, Rivers’ sporadic play has him pegged as a low end QB1.
Last week we speculated that Robert Meachem’s two touchdown performance was a fluke. He proved us right with three receptions for 30 yards. Unable to create separation against the Broncos 3rd string cornerbacks, Meachem should remain on the waiver wire until further notice.
Ryan Mathews had a decent day totaling 94 yards on 26 touches. He was seen limping slightly late in the game. Worth monitoring in the coming week as fantasy owners should already have Jackie Battle handcuffed.
From the kickoff, my focus was on Chargers’ undrafted rookie left tackle Mike Harris. Filling in for the injured Jared Gaither, and playing an important position, Harris had a yeoman’s effort holding off the pass rush of pro bowlers Von Miller and Elvis Dumerville. Harris’ performance should provide faith in Rivers and Mathews moving forward.
Quick Sunday update – The Ravens have lost linebacker Ray Lewis (tricept) and cornerback Lardarius Webb (knee) for the remainder of the season. The fantasy value of the Baltimore DST will be in decline likely forcing fantasy owners to make alternate plans.