PFF Preview: Chargers @ Broncos, Week 8
After handling the San Francisco 49ers, 42-17, the Denver Broncos (5-1) look to continue their dominant play and stay atop the AFC West, as they welcome the San Diego Chargers (5-2) — who will play their third divisional game in as many weeks — to Mile High on Thursday night.
Having surpassed Brett Favre on the all-time passing touchdown list, Peyton Manning has now totaled 510 touchdown passes and doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. Yet, if the Chargers hope to win this game, they must get him to do exactly that.
How do they accomplish that? Well, a good place to start is with the play of Manning’s long-time former teammate, Dwight Freeney. Although Freeney has only registered two sacks thus far, he has generated a pass rush grade of +8.5, that’s Top 10 for qualifying 3-4 outside linebackers. Freeney has 21 hurries, good for second among 3-4 outside linebackers and six hits on the quarterback, tied for eighth. He has done most of his damage from the right side of the defensive line. In fact, his rush percentage of 83.9% from the right side, is the third highest amid all qualifying 3-4 linebackers.
Look for him to draw the attention of Ryan Clady, who has been very much inconsistent this season, as he has three positive and three negative graded games in terms of pass blocking. That being said, Clady has yet to give up a sack and has only given up 11 total pressures on the year, a Pass Blocking Efficiency (PBE) of 96.3 and is the 16th-ranked tackle.
The effectiveness of Freeney and the Chargers’ pass rush on Thursday night will likely dictate the outcome of this game. The Chargers better come after Manning quickly and with some urgency, as his 2.24 seconds per attempt is second quickest in the league.
Here are three more notable numbers:
San Diego Chargers
Branden Oliver – On 86 total touches this year, Oliver has forced 19 missed tackles and has produced an Elusive Rating of 57.0.
Keenan Allen – Clearly Philip Rivers’ favorite target, Allen’s 50 targets and 34 receptions are both team-highs, yet he has still not found the end zone.
Eric Weddle – With 32 tackles and 14 stops, Weddle leads all Chargers’ defenders in both categories.
Von Miller – Von Miller has rushed the passer 189 times, a pass rush percentage of 83.3%. In comparison to other 4-3 outside linebackers, Anthony Barr is second on that list with 61 pass rush snaps.
Chris Harris Jr. – Aqib Talib who? Harris Jr. has arguably been Denver’s best cornerback this season, holding opposing quarterbacks to a rating of 33.5; one of the best in the league.
Orlando Franklin – With a pass block grade of +4.8, Franklin has the fifth-best grade among all guards.
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