Four quarterbacks that have spent the entire 2013 season as a starter have a passer rating of more than 100. Two of them will be featured in the "Thursday Night Football" game in Week 15.
Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers have been two of the best signal callers this year, and they’ll go head-to-head when the Denver Broncos host the San Diego Chargers. In their first meeting, the Broncos were victorious, 28-20.
Manning is having one of the great individual seasons of all time, on pace to set records for touchdowns and passing yards. The Broncos are also on their way to scoring the most points in NFL history. The veteran has led a balanced attack that features five players with at least 48 receptions. Even with all their passing yards, the Broncos have still managed to rank 12th in rushing yards.
"All year, we've been talking about how dynamic our entire offense is," tight end Julius Thomas said. "There are guys that maybe hadn't been getting as many touches in the beginning of the season. Now, they're going out there and they're showing everybody what they can do."
The Broncos may be forced to rely on more options than usual this week. Wes Welker, who’s just one reception and one touchdown shy of the team lead, will miss the game with a concussion. He suffered the injury on Sunday, giving him two concussions in four weeks.
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While he hasn’t put up numbers like Manning, Rivers is playing his best football in a few years. His 26 touchdowns have already tied his mark from 2012, and he’s already thrown for more yards. His 70.3 completion percentage leads the league.
The success of both teams has been dependent on the play of their quarterbacks. In the Broncos’ two losses, Manning’s passer rating is almost 35 points lower.
When Rivers has a big game, the Chargers are almost guaranteed a win. The Chargers are 6-7, and five of the six games in which he’s posted a rating of higher than 100 have resulted in victories. When Rivers throws at least one interception, the Chargers are 1-5.
Moreover, San Diego’s unreliable ground game forces a larger responsibility on Rivers’ shoulders. The Chargers are 20th in rushing yards. They are one of 10 teams that average less than four yards per carry.
Player To Watch: Philip Rivers
Time: 8:25 p.m. Thursday
Place: Sports Authority Field at Mile High
TV: NFL Network
Online Stream: nfl.com/tnf
Updated Betting Odds: Broncos by 10.5
Prediction: Broncos over Chargers, 38-24