By Eric Schmidt

The San Diego Chargers have enhanced their playoff chances this evening with a win over the Denver Broncos. By defeating the Broncos, they might have given the NFL a blueprint on how to defeat Denver heading into the playoffs. Keep QB Peyton Manning off the field.

The Chargers, a surprising team this season, were able to control the ball for nearly 40 minutes on Thursday night while rushing for 179 yards. Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers attempted just 19 passes but threw two touchdowns as San Diego kept their playoff hopes alive while coming away with a 27-20 win in the last Thursday night game of the regular season.

Tonight’s loss is the first divisional loss for Peyton Manning since moving to the AFC West.

Chargers RB Ryan Mathews carried the ball 29 times for 128 yards and a score and he helped to control the clock. Broncos QB Peyton Manning only threw for 289 yards, his second lowest passing total of the 2013 season.

With the Broncos loss, the New England Patriots could move into the number one seed for the playoffs if both teams win out for the remaining games. The Patriots play the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. New England will have to move forward into the post-season without TE Rob Gronkowski.

However, a possible rematch between the Broncos and Patriots could be very interesting. Denver’s defense is looking very suspect. The Chargers illustrated tonight that if you can run the football, control the clock, and not turn the ball over, you can defeat the juggernaut known as the Broncos. Once the Patriots get into the playoffs, all bets are off, especially if they end up with the number one seed in the AFC.

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Filed under: AFC, AFC East, AFC West, Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, NFL, San Diego Chargers

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