No one saw it coming. Going into week seven of the NFL season the Denver Broncos are undefeated.
With a lot of offensive firepower and defensive grit the Broncos are off to a 5-0 start atop the AFC West and seem to be a clear playoff contender.
The Broncos have beat some good teams along the way too. Denver needed overtime to get by perennial power New England while beating Dallas and sudden threat Cincinnati in convincing games.
The Patriots were by far the biggest test for Denver last week but now the Broncos get another tough customer in the San Diego Chargers.
Cayman fans see Denver and San Diego square off on Monday Night Football tonight at 7:30pm Cayman time on ESPN.
Both division rivals are known to play tight, entertaining games that have huge bearings in the standings and tonight’s match-up should be no different.
Locals should see no shortage of bone-crunching tackles, breath-taking throws and blitzes.
What Denver has to watch for with the 2-2 Chargers is their prolific offense that has not strayed far from last season’s form.
The team is in the top ten in the league in almost every statistical category including points per game (25.3), yards per game (349.3) and pass yards per game (295.5).
Leading the way for San Diego has been the rocket arm of Philip Rivers, who has already racked up 1, 245 passing yards.
His favourite targets have been Vincent Jackson (373 receiving yards, two touchdowns) and Antonio Gates (349 yards and two touchdowns).
The only area the Chargers look far from impressive is their run game, which is among the worst in the league (ranked 32nd with a paltry 53.8 yards per game average).
Darren Sproles has done his part to try and change that but the team has been hurt by the ineffectiveness of LaDainian Tomlinson.
In this reporter’s eyes the play of the offensive line for both sides will be key. Both defenses are pretty decent in stretches but can shine against a lack of blocking.
For Denver the likes of Champ Bailey and Andra Davis can wreck havoc on quarterback blitzes.
San Diego meanwhile could see Shawne Merriman and Luis Castillo get loose and disrupt passing and running plays.
In particular either run game can be energized if the offensive line holds its own, limits penalties and provides running lanes.
Ultimately Denver are on too much of a high not to be favoured in this game.
Little known backs Knowshon Moreno and Correll Buckhalter may not have had starring roles yet but this game could be when the stars align.
Moreno in particular is making his mark with short yardage situations this season and he could be big on third down and goal line plays.
This reporter likes the Denver runners to gain upwards of 100 yards and set things up for star receivers Brandon Marshall and Jabar Gaffney.
San Diego’s defense is decent but the time for it to step up may not be until the Eagles or Giants take the field.
A 38-30 score in favour of Denver would not be a surprise, especially if Rivers throws interceptions.