Broncos-Chargers 2014 Divisional Playoffs: Game Notes

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T-Knighton

The Denver Broncos won the AFC West and secured home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a 13-3 record. They scored 606 points, the most in a season in NFL history. Their Quarterback. Peyton Manning, passed for 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns, both single-season NFL records.

Denver head coach John Fox:

“All the records and all the stats go out the window. It’s a whole new season. The key is playing the best football during the playoffs. It’s a single-elimination tournament, so you can’t have a bad day. You have to be on your game from beginning to end. The team that usually does that is the team that usually wins it all.”

The San Diego Chargers have won five in a row, including last week’s 27-10 Wildcard win at Cincinnati. San Diego rushed for 196 yards and got Touchdown runs from Danny Woodhead and Ronnie Brown. Pro Bowl quarterback Philip Rivers threw a Touchdown pass in the win and posted a 118.8 passer rating.

San Diego first-year head coach Mike McCoy:

“We challenged everyone on the football team that going on the road in a playoff game is not going to be easy. The players have gone out and executed and now we’ve got another week.”

This year, the clubs split the season series. In the more recent game, San Diego won 27-20 at Denver (Week 15) with Rivers throwing Two touchdown passes. The Chargers are the only AFC West opponent Denver has never faced in the postseason. In four meetings with other divisional teams in the postseason, the Broncos own a 2-2 all-time record (1-0 at home).

Denver earned the AFC’s No. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs for the 2nd consecutive year and the 7th time in franchise history. They advanced to the Super Bowl in four of the previous six times they earned the conference’s No. 1 seed.

 

OFFENSIVE NOTES

  • The Broncos topped 40 points in a team-record six games and have tied the NFL record by eclipsing 50 points in three contests.

  • They are the first team in NFL history with five players scoring at least 10 Touchdowns from scrimmage.

  • QB Peyton Manning is the league’s only four-time MVP and the NFL’s active leader in nearly every major passing category.

  • Manning has orchestrated an NFL-record 50 game-winning drives in the 4th quarter or overtime. His 26 career AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors are the most by a player since the award was initiated by the NFL in 1984.

  • He threw an NFL-record 55 Touchdown passes and 5,477 yards for Denver in 2013 and tied the NFL record with seven passing TD’s against Baltimore in Week 1.

  • WR Eric Decker’s 33 career receiving Touchdowns are the most by a Broncos player through his first four seasons.

  • WR Demaryius Thomas ranked 2nd in the NFL with 14 receiving Touchdowns and 4th in the league with 1,430 receiving yards.

  • Thomas ranks 1st in the NFL with 35 receptions of 25+ yards during the last two years.

  • Thomas and Decker are joined by Cris Carter and Randy Moss (Min., 1998-99) as the only Wide Receiver tandems in NFL history with 1,000 yards and 10 Touchdowns each in consecutive seasons.

  • WR Wes Welker owns 841 career receptions, trailing only Broncos Ring of Fame Wide Receiver Rod Smith (849) among undrafted players in league history.

  • Welker owns two of the Top 4 single-season receiving totals in NFL history in addition to representing one of just two players in league annals to top the 100-catch mark five times.

  • TE Julius Thomas posted 12 receiving Touchdowns in 2013 to represent the most by a Tight End in franchise history.

  • RB Knowshon Moreno is the first player in franchise history to reach 1,000 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards in a season.

 

DEFENSIVE NOTES

  • Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio is in his second season with the Broncos after serving as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars for nine seasons (2003-11).

  • Denver led the NFL with 16 takeaways in the 4th quarter this season and produced a +7 turnover margin in the final frame.

  • CB Champ Bailey owns 12 career Pro Bowl selections to rank first in NFL history among defensive backs and tie for the sixth most overall.

  • CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is tied for first in the NFL with 98 passes defensed since he entered the NFL in 2008.

  • Rodgers-Cromartie has returned five Interceptions for Touchdowns during his career to tie for 3rd in the league since he entered the NFL in 2008.

  • LB Danny Trevathan is one of seven NFL players with at least 120 Tackles and three Interceptions this season.

  • DE Shaun Phillips led the Broncos with 10 Sacks and has totaled at least seven Sacks in eight of his 10 seasons.

  • Phillips’ 10 Sacks ranked 2nd in the NFL among pass rushers who signed with new teams during the offseason.

  • Safety Duke Ihenacho totaled 12 Tackles and three Pass Breakups against Baltimore in Week 1 to become the first player since Kansas City’s Derrick Johnson (2010) to reach both of those totals in the same game. He also became the first player (since at least 1994) to accomplish that feat in his first career start.

 

SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES

  • Broncos kicker Matt Prater earned his first career Pro Bowl selection in 2013 after leading the league in Field Goal percentage (96.2/25-of-26) and finishing 2nd in the NFL in scoring (150 pts.).

  • Prater kicked an NFL-record 64-yard Field Goal in Denver’s Week 14 win against Tennessee.

  • Prater is 51-of-54 (.944) in his career in the 4th quarter or Overtime, including 8-of-8 in 2013.

  • Matt also owns the best Field Goal percentage from 50+ yards (.778/21-of-27) in NFL history among players who started their career after 1970.

  • Prater led the NFL with 81 touchbacks on kickoffs in 2013. He also ranks first in the league with 260 touchbacks on kickoffs since his first full season in 2008.

  • Wide Receiver/Returner Trindon Holliday recorded the longest punt return (90t) and the 2nd-longest kickoff return (104t) in NFL postseason history in Denver’s AFC Divisional Playoff Game against Baltimore (1/12/13), becoming the first NFL player to score multiple return Touchdowns in a single postseason game.

  • Holliday is just the third player in franchise history to record a touchdown on a kickoff return and a punt return in the same season (2012 & ‘13).

 

The Broncos have a 13-4 Home playoff record, the altitude and the attitude. United in Orange, it’s time to ride. We got this!

 

Go Broncos!

– Kaptain Kirk

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