The Denver Broncos lost just three games in the 2013 regular season. Those defeats just happen to have been dished out by the three remaining squads in the AFC postseason race- the San Diego Chargers, Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots.
Denver’s road to the Super Bowl and that elusive Lombardi Trophy will come via revenge.
First up is the division rival Chargers. The third Denver Broncos-San Diego Chargers game will be at home in the Mile High City on Sunday, January 12, exactly one month from the date of their previous matchup. In Week 15 of the regular season, San Diego came out victorious, holding the Broncos’ powerful offense to their lowest scoring game of the season with a mere 20 points.
San Diego was able to manage the clock efficiently, keeping the Peyton Manning-led offense off the field, translating to a Charger win. Manning was left to watch from the sidelines as Phillip Rivers and the San Diego offense were able to remain on the field for nearly 39 minutes.
The Broncos suffered their first home loss in 14 games that night and San Diego’s victory also snapped a 10-game AFC West win streak for Denver.
Heading into this important playoff matchup on Sunday, revenge and sticking it to the division rival Chargers will play heavily into the Broncos’ equation.
Meanwhile across the country, the other two teams to hand Denver losses in 2013 will be battling each other in Foxboro, Mass. Alongside the Denver Broncos-San Diego Chargers game, the matchup between the Patriots and Colts will take place on Saturday, January 11, with the winner advancing to the AFC Championship game.
As far as the Broncos’ stake in this game, both teams have their share of connections to Peyton Manning and this Denver team.
The rivalry between Tom Brady and Manning has been well documented and both men would probably love another crack at each other in the playoffs. Earlier this season on November 24, the Broncos suffered an epic second-half meltdown and allowed the Patriots to score 34 points after leading by 24 at the half.
Peyton Manning spent 1998-2011 as the Colts quarterback and was woven into the fabric of that city, franchise and new arena. After suffering an ugly divorce from the organization, regardless of how politically correct everyone involved wants to refer to it, Manning returned to Indy with the Broncos in Week 7 surrounded by a cloud of hype and media frenzy, and came up short, losing 39-33 at Lucas Oil Stadium.
As much of a competitor and perfectionist as Peyton Manning is known to be, he is probably chomping at the bit for this revenge tour. The Broncos signal caller would most likely love to play all three of these teams in the post season if it was logistically possible.
No matter how it all shakes out, the AFC playoff race is sure to be highly entertaining. Grab your snacks, beverages and lucky rabbit’s feet; it’s time for the Broncos revenge tour, first stop: San Diego Chargers.