Smart money says you should start drinking early – it could get pretty crazy.
Speaking of crazy – how about the b*#ch slap Richard Seymore laid out on Roethlisberger? Couldn't happen to a more deserving guy – unless, of course, it was Philip Rivers – then it would considered a classic.
Over/under on Rivers pitching a hissy fit sometime tonight – 17.0
You may want to set your DVR.
Be sure to refresh for all the latest madness…
If you could hope for the perfect opening drive – this would be it. Orton comes out gunning – six picture-perfect plays rolling out 69-yards and they light the board with Knowshon Moreno busting it up the middle for the final four. Orton bagged 3/3 for 47 through the air and Moreno added a sweet 22–yards on three carries including the TD.
Almost choked on my fries – amazing start on the road – let's see what the D brings…
Ok, they're bringing it big – Rivers rocks a three and out and this is starting to look like a real game…
Golden opportunity to start the pile comes up a bit short – one-yard short to be precise and the Chargers get another shot – which is never a good thing. Still love the aggressive approach – Chargers will take it on their own 30.
You knew it wouldn't take too long for Rivers to figure it all out – Broncos can't stop the run. They also have a hard time with fake punts, which SD executed perfectly – Punter Mike Scifres air mails it to Mike Tolbert and it's downhill from there. While Denver's D in the end zone was busy trying to figure out who they were supposed to cover, the name Malcolm Floyd never came up. Rivers hits him perfectly for the seven.
Big series here for Denver – rolling in from the end of the first they cross midfield and hit the Chargers 39 before Orton melts and gives up his first INT of the evening – team continues to backpeddle since the opening drive.
Gods of football smile – briefly – on the Broncos. Chargers fail to capitalize on Orton's pick with Nate Kaeding shanking it from 52. I'm sure the miserable condition of the field didn't have anything to do with it…
I sense a drink coming on.
Broncos respond in what we've come to know as typical Bronco fashion – take the short field, cross into Chargers territory and stall it out on sacks, penalties and incomplete passes. Collquit makes another appearance and I'm running out of fingers counting all the missed opportunities.
Broncos defense responds in similar fashion – two penalties, personal foul and unnecessary roughness, give up 30-yards of real estate and Tolbert takes it off-tackle for the score – Chargers pull ahead 14-7.
Really, really sense a drink coming on – probably not the only one.
(Copy and Paste) Denver Broncos – three and out… can't be encouraging.
SD grabs it on very short field – 52-yards from paydirt. Rivers comes in for the kill – Tolbert around right end for zip – Rivers sacked out of the shotgun and the perfect follow up – INT by Champ Bailey, who saw it coming all the way…
Missed Opportunity # 42 – run (1-yard), pass (5-yards) and an incomplete pass – standard operating procedure and Collquit gets some more footage for his demo reel – this one's a grand total of 38-yards. He may want to edit that one out.
Two plays later Rivers makes them pay. Airborn to Crayton for a 40-yard strike and we're looking at a 21-7 Chargers lead. The meltdown has officially begun in Southern California.
Denver's final drive of the half covers a ton of ground and produces absolutely zero results. Two offensive pass interference penalties seal it and the Broncos limp in trailing by fourteen with two quarters to go…
Are we having fun yet?
Halftimes can sure go a long way in restoring your mental health. Well, at least temporarily. Rivers and Co. quickly get their point across – five plays, 72-yards – and this thing is starting to get ugly real fast, very similar to my first marriage.
Chargers are burying it 28-7.
Look on the bright side - it's not as bad as the Raiders facial, at least not yet… give it time. Orton and Co. get slammed, Demaryius Thomas gets his leg jacked and it all boils down to another three and out. When your number one draft pick gets carted off the field you know you're in for a long night.
Mid-quarter slump – going through the motions, both teams come up short and the Broncos have another name go down – DJ Williams. Two major blows with dangerous ramifications – in Williams case it's a concussion. Definitely not what you want to hear at this point.
Chargers follow up with a drive you could almost see coming, grinding it out from their own 47, thanks to a 32-yard waste of time form Collquit, and close out the third sitting on the Broncos eight. Bet you can't guess what happens next…
Ok, maybe you can guess – Tolbert on the ground for one and Rivers through the air for the score. Wow, that was suspenseful - Bolts on top 35-7.
Defense looks gassed… offense looks inept - ANOTHER three and out and you can call this one over. Sadly, there's still nearly 12:00 left on the clock.
Broncos decide to take advantage of that clock – McD opens it up a bit and the response is good - 4th and 10 from the Bolts 13 and Orton finds the outstretched arms of Brandon Lloyd. Just when I thought it was over, they're working their way back toward mediocrity. Broncos trim the lead 35-14.
Garbage time – SD wastes as much time as possible – Scifres sails the punt and the Broncos field it at their own 9-yard line with 4:44 left on the clock. Don't hold your breath – Bolts could easily give up another score and not even break a sweat about it.
Doesn't matter - drive completely stalls on its own – enter Colquitt, this one can't end fast enough. Rivers winds it down to the two-minute warning and I'm seriously considering a major investment in Coors Lite.
Thankfully, all bad things come to an end and this one's in the books. Love how the monitors keep eloquently pointing out that the Broncos have dropped 15 of their last 20 games – that always looks good on national television.
So much for my 8-8 prediction...
Michael John Schon has covered the National Football League and the Denver Broncos for the past twelve-years. As a member of the Pro Football Writers Association he has published and syndicated columns to both newspapers and magazines throughout the United States and Canada. His syndicated radio broadcast: "Schon Live" airs weekly on various radio and Internet stations around the country. You can follow all of Schon's updates on Twitter - Facebook or drop him an email at Michael John Schon
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