By WOODY PAIGE
What time does the Denver Broncos-San Diego Chargers game start Thursday night?
8:35 p.m. (EDT), 7:35 p.m. (CDT), 6:35 p.m. (MDT), 5:35 pm. (PDT), 2:30 p.m. (HST).
No matter what the time is, the Broncos are about to lose a second game.
Too many issues and not enough time. So, this is Trap Time.
The Broncos are without their head coach and with a banged-up quarterback. And the Chargers still have Philip Rivers, which could be good or bad.
Rivers dominated the Broncos for years, but not so lately. Overall, he is 10-11 in games against the Broncos. But Rivers is about to go over 5,000 yards passing vs. Denver. He has completed 390 of 630 passes for 4,879 yards in those 22 regular-season games. (There was one playoff game.) He has 33 touchdowns and 19 interceptions.
Trevor Siemian, who presumably will be returning at quarterback for the Broncos after sitting out with the A.C. strain (or worse) in his non-throwing should, has nothing but zeroes against the Chargers. This will be his first game in San Diego.
Von Miller has 10 sacks in 11 games against the Broncos. San Diego linebacker Joey Bosa made his debut last week with two sacks.
Gary Kubiak will miss this game because of “”complex migraine’’ issues. San Diego coach Mike McCoy might miss every game the rest of the season if the Chargers fall again. They’ve lost leads in the fourth quarter four times and are 1-4.
McCoy was the Broncos’ offensive coordinator, and was considered an excellent play-caller (think Tim Tebow’s overtime pass against Pittsburgh), but he’s not in a class with Kubiak. So the Broncos will have to play without the real offensive coordinator (Kubiak) and their motivational leader (Kubiak) and their game manager (Kubiak). Special teams coach Joe DeCamillis will be head-coaching his first game.
Much depends on the right side of the Broncos’ offensive line and how Siemian is protected. Much depends on Rivers’ ability to throw against the Broncos’ secondary and avoid the Orange Rush of the linebackers.
The Broncos are favored by three. I think they’ll win by a field goal or lose by a field goal. I’ll choose the losing. Take the Chargers and the points in a 24-21 outcome.
I went 8-5-1 (Green Bay-Giants was exactly on the line) last week, and now am back to the good, 130 units ahead, betting 100 units on each game (and giving up 10 percent vig on losses).
My other picks this week:
Philadelphia (-3) at Washington: This is tough. Eagles lost their first game. Washington won over Baltimore. Should be close. I like Washington win or lose with a field goal. WASHINGTON 30-27.
San Francisco at Buffalo (-7.5): Colin Kaepernick starts first game. He won’t be kneeling at the end of the game. The Bills are on a roll. BUFFALO 27-10.
Cleveland at Tennessee (-3): Make mine TENNESSEE 31-13.
Carolina (-3) at New Orleans: Cam is back with a vengeance. But I’ve given up on the Panthers. They aren’t any good. I know. Neither are the Saints. NEW ORLEANS 42-37.
Jacksonville at Chicago (-2.5): Another stinker. CHICAGO 20-16.
Los Angeles at Detroit (-3.5): Who knows. I’ll take DETROIT, but only by three, 24-21.
Baltimore at New York Giants (-3): Why are the Giants ever favored in another game. This, too, will be decided at the end. The Giants have to win, don’t they? NEW YORK 26-20.
Pittsburgh (-7.5) at Miami: Save the whales. The Dolphins aren’t worth saving. PITTSBURGH 35-10.
Cincinnati at New England (-8.5). No stopping Tom Brady and the Patriots. NEW ENGLAND 30-20.
Kansas City at Oakland (even). Oakland continues to figure it out. The Chiefs haven’t. OAKLAND 30-28.
Atlanta at Seattle (-6.5): That’s a big spread given what the Falcons have done on the road, which is win all their game. I think it will be closer, but SEATTLE 31-30.
Indianapolis at Houston (-4.5) Sunday night: Let’s face it. Andrew Luck, Chuck Pagano and the Colts don’t have it. This week it’s the good Brock Osweiler. HOUSTON 33-17.
New York Jets at Arizona (-7.5): Really, Cardinals? OK, one more time. ARIZONA 31-21.