The Chargers are 7-2 for the first time since 2006 when they were based in San Diego and have the NFL’s fourth-best record behind the 9-1 Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs and 8-1 New Orleans Saints.
The Chargers have won six consecutive games, their longest winning streak since an 11-game streak to conclude the 2009 regular season.
“It’s been a heck of a run,” Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers said. “We haven’t run six in a row in a while, but it can be a one-game losing streak just like that. So I think, again, it’s week-to-week. Just resetting every week.
“Coach (Anthony) Lynn talks about that, just resetting every week and knowing that we have a new challenge this week. The teams that I have been on over the years that have continued that streak and won 11 in a row and done those things, we did it. We just reset every week, and we found a way that week to win, however we had to.”
Since the Chargers last played at StubHub Center they traveled 13,773 miles to Cleveland, London, Seattle and Oakland, outscoring their opponents 103- 56. The 56 points they allowed were the least in the league during that span.
The Chargers could have a key member of their defense for the first time during the 2018 regular season. Defensive end Joey Bosa practiced on a limited basis Wednesday through Friday and “looked good in individual” drills, Lynn said Friday.
Bosa is listed as questionable, meaning it is uncertain whether he will play. He has been sidelined because of an injured left foot.
Bosa was not among the players the Chargers listed as inactive at Sunday’s 90-minute deadline to decide which 46 players will be eligible to play.
He was a Pro Bowl selection in 2017, leading the Chargers with 99 tackles and finishing seventh in the NFL with 12.5 quarterback sacks.
Reserve tight end Antonio Gates is the other Charger listed as questionable. He missed Wednesday and Thursday’s practices because of a knee injury, practiced on a limited basis Friday and “looked fine,” Lynn said.
Cornerback Trevor Williams will miss his second consecutive game because of what Lynn described as a sore knee. Williams started the first eight games of the season, then was replaced in the starting lineup by Michael Davis.
The Chargers added one player to their active roster since last Sunday’s 20-6 victory at Oakland, linebacker Tre’von Johnson, who had been on the practice squad.
Johnson replaces Denzel Perryman, a starter at inside linebacker for each of the first nine games. Perryman was placed on the reserve/injured list Tuesday because of a knee injury.
Denver is 3-6 and has lost six of its past seven games. Four of the losses during that stretch have come to division leaders.
“We have to obviously start faster and score more points early,” said Broncos coach Vance Joseph. “I think defensively we had a couple games where we didn’t stop the run. Our nickel run defense wasn’t very good. Our base run defense was really good.
“Obviously, taking the ball away more and helping our team that way, we need more of that. On special teams, our return units have to get better.”
The Chargers will have to be “careful” in dealing with Broncos outside linebackers Von Miller and Bradley Chubb, said Phil Simms, an analyst on CBS’ “The NFL Today.”
“Those two alone can win the game,” Simms said.
Miller is one quarterback sack away from joining and DeMarcus Ware and the late Pro Football Hall of Fame member Reggie White as the only players with 10 sacks in seven of their first eight NFL seasons.
Miller is also one sack away from becoming the fifth fastest player to reach 100 sacks for his career, including the postseason, for players who began their careers in 1982 or later.
Rivers has thrown two or more touchdown passes in 10 consecutive games, dating back to last season, matching a career high.
“Philip Rivers finally has an offensive line that he can trust,” said Simms, who quarterbacked the New York Giants to the victory in Super Bowl XXI and was chosen as the MVP.
The game is the Chargers annual Salute to Service military appreciation game, honoring and supporting members of the military.
An enlistment ceremony for 100 future Army soldiers will be held before the game. The national anthem will be performed by Army Staff Sgt. Michael Polmanteer.
Four F-16s from Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico will fly over StubHub Center at the conclusion of the national anthem.
The Chargers cannon will be fired by retired Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant Ralph DeQuebec, a defenseman on the gold medal-winning U.S. sled hockey team in the 2018 Winter Paralympics.
DeQuebec, who joined the Marine Corps a year after his 2001 graduation from San Pedro High School, lost both of his legs when a roadside bomb detonated while he was deployed to Afghanistan.
Veterans from World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War and Operation Enduring Freedom will be recognized at halftime.
Vincent Speranza was an Army infantryman in World War II, fighting in the Battle of the Bulge.
Robert Friend was a member of the famed all-black Army Air Corps unit the Tuskegee Airmen, flying 142 combat missions in World War II. He continued his service in the Korean and Vietnam wars.
Dennis Tucker served in the Army for more than 22 years, including being part of the team that liberated Kuwait in the Persian Gulf War.
Daniel Tabacchi was an Army platoon leader in Operation Enduring Freedom and was wounded in 2010 when an improvised explosive device detonated under his vehicle in Afghanistan.
Tabacchi was awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, two Meritorious Service Medals, four Army Commendation Medals, three Army Achievement Medals, the Combat Action Badge, Parachutist Badge, Pathfinder Badge, Ranger Tab and Sapper Tab.
Each NFL team designates a home game in November as its Salute to Service game. Players wear camouflage equipment including quarterback towels and captain’s patches. Helmets have decals honoring the branches of the military.
Game-worn Salute to Service merchandise and footballs will be auctioned at NFL.com/Auction. Special camouflage merchandise will be available at NFLShop.com.
The NFL does not profit from the sale of Salute to Service products, a league official said. All charitable contributions are donated to the league’s core military nonprofit partners, the Bob Woodruff Foundation, the Pat Tillman Foundation, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), USO and the Wounded Warrior Project.
A moment of silence will be held in memory of the victims of the mass shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks along with a symbolic remembrance of the victims.
An in-game text fundraiser for the American Red Cross wildfire relief efforts will be held, with messages from the players running throughout the game.
The Chargers donated $250,000 to the American Red Cross Thursday to help provide around-the-clock shelter, food and comfort to people impacted by the California wildfires.
–City News Service