San Diego (5-2) at Denver (5-1), 8:25 p.m. (CBS) Sports Authority Field. A pair of AFL/AFC rivals meet in the Mile High City to open play in week eight as Peyton Manning and the first-place Denver Broncos welcome the San Diego Chargers and Philip Rivers. The Broncos and Chargers have met 10 times during the regular season since 2009, splitting the series with five wins apiece.

In San Diego, the Chargers and Chiefs found themselves locked up in a tie going into the final seconds of the game at Qualcomm before Kansas City rookie K Cairo Santos booted a 48 yard field goal with 21 seconds left to play. The Bolts tied

the contest up late in the fourth on a pair of Nick Novak field goals, including a 48-yarder with 1:58 left. Kansas City then marched down the field and it was Santos that sent the home crowd of 65,260 saddened. San Diego led 14-13 after 45 minutes of play before the Chiefs flexed some muscle and outscored the Chargers in the final 15 minutes of play 10-6. Kansas City outrushed the Chargers 154-69 and Alex Smith out-passed Rivers 221-205 and Rivers was picked off once and sacked twice. San Diego was 3-10 on third down tries and held the pigskin for 21 minutes to Kansas City’s 39 (the Chiefs for their part was 50 percent on third down conversions at 7-14).

“The big thing about all this is that it is a short week so we don’t have time to feel sorry about ourselves,” says San Diego linebacker Dwight Freeney. “I know Denver doesn’t care about last week. We just have to focus on Denver this Thursday night.” Rivers passed for 205 yards and two touchdowns in the loss and is currently ranked second in the AFC with 1,961 passing yards and ranks third in the conference with 17 touchdowns.

Rivers has compiled a 4-1 record on Thursday, including a 27-20 victory over Denver last season. For his career, he is 10-6 as a starter against Denver, and is 20 games over .500 (35-15) when starting against the AFC West. Since 2006, Rivers has the second-most passing yards (12,251) and third-most touchdowns (81) of any player in the AFC against his own division.

Rivers’ passing numbers against the AFC West since 2006:
RECORD (ATTEMPTS/COMPLETIONS, YARDS; TD PASSES/PASSER RATING)
35-15 (1,524/964, 12,251; 81/94.3)

Meanwhile in Denver, Manning and the Broncos were taking San Francisco to the woodshed Sunday night in prime time as the future Hall of Famer passed Brett Farve, beating the 49ers 42-17. In the contest, Manning surpassed Farve as the all-time TD pass leader with 509 career passes, connecting with Emmanuel Sanders, Wes Welker and Demaryius Thomas (twice) for the four scores with no interceptions. Thomas’ first catch, an 8-yarder, tied the record and finished with 510 TD passes. The one that allowed Manning to pass Farve was a 40-yarder with 11:48 left in the third quarter.

Denver led 21-10 at the half before outscoring San Francisco 21-7 in the final 30 minutes of play. The Broncos ran for 115 yards, while holding Colin Kaepernick, Frank Gore and the 49ers to 62 and the Denver defense looked a lot liked the old Orange Crush defense of the earlier years, sacking Kaepernick six times in the 25-point win. The Broncos were 5-9 on third down tries and held the ball for 27:59, while San Francisco was 3-12 and 1-2 on third and fourth down tries and kept the ball to themselves for 32:01.

Manning’s milestone touchdowns:
MILESTONE TD – PLAYER (YARDS) DATE-OPPONENT
001 – Marvin Harrison (6) September 6, 1998-Miami
100 – Marvin Harrison (11) November 11, 2001-Miami
200 – Reggie Wayne (35) November 21, 2004-Chicago
300 – Joseph Addai (19) December 9, 2007-Baltimore
400 – Demaryius Thomas (71) September 9, 2012-Pittsburgh
500 – Julius Thomas (7) October 5, 2014-Arizona
509 – Demaryius Thomas (8) October 19, 2014-San Francisco

“I’m very humbled and very honored. I certainly think about how grateful I am for all the teammates and coaches that I’ve played with and played for throughout my career, not only here in Denver – in Indianapolis and all the people that have helped me along the way,” Manning told the Rocky Mountain News, KUSA-TV and USA Today. “We have the Thursday night game this week, so there’s not much of a celebration right now.”

Manning enters this week’s matchup with a 9-2 record as a starter on Thursday and is the all-time leader in passing yards (3,305) and touchdown passes (35) on Thursday.

Including contests played when the Chargers were in Los Angeles, the Broncos hold a lead in the series of 58-49-1 but San Diego has outscored Denver 2,359-2,306. The Bolts and Broncos met three times last season (twice in the regular season and the two teams split the series, with each team winning in the other team’s stadium) and again in the post-season.

In the first meeting in week 10 in San Diego, Denver came away with a 28-20 win at Qualcomm. Although the Broncos were outrushed by the Bolts 131-84, Manning did manage to throw four TDs in the eight-point AFC West win. Denver led 21-6 at the half before the Chargers rallied to make the contest close. Denver was 3-8 on third down conversions, while the Chargers were 7-16 (1-1 on fourth down) and the clock was the ally of San Diego, who held the ball for 38:03, while the Broncos kept it for 21:57.

San Diego would get revenge in week 15 in the Mile High City and again it was a close contest but the Chargers came out on top 27-20. San Diego led 13-10 at the half and then held off Denver in front of the home crowd at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Denver was held to a season-low 18 yards on the ground and the Chargers’ Robert Matthews ran for 127 yards and a TD, while Manning and Rivers threw two TDs each in the second meeting. San Diego went 6-12 on third down tries, holding the ball for 38:49, while the Broncos were 2-9 (1-1 on fourth down), keeping the ball for 21:11.

Round three returned to the Mile High City and San Diego stood in Denver’s way of getting to the Super Bowl in the Meadowlands. Once again, another close contest between the two rivals and this time, it was Denver coming away with a hard-earned 24-17 win. Denver led 17-0 after 45 minutes of play before the Chargers rallied to give Broncos fans another scare.

This time, it was the San Diego run game that was held in check, as the Chargers could only muster 65 yards on the ground, while Denver tallied 133 and once again, it was Manning and Rivers throwing a pair of TDs in the contest. Denver was 9-13 on third down tries despite turning the ball over twice, while San Diego was 4-12 (1-1 on fourth down). Time was on the side of Denver at 35:27 to San Diego’s 24:33.

Denver was a 7-point favorite in the week 10 contest and the over/under was 58 1/2. Denver covered the spread with the 8-point win, even though both teams missed the over/under by 10 1/2, combining for 48 points. When the two teams re-convened in Denver on a Thursday night, it was the Broncos that were favored by 10 1/2 with a 56 over/under. San Diego won by 7, missing the spread and both teams missed the 56 over/under, tallying only 47.

That was regular season.

The post-season? In the contest where the winner moved on and the loser went home, it was Denver as the favorite again, this time by 10 with a 55 over/under. Denver won the game but did not cover the spread, winning by only 7 and once again, both clubs missed the over/under, scoring only 41 points. It appears that the boys and girls in Vegas have a crush for the Broncos, because they’re favored by 7 1/2 with a 51 1/2 over/under. The spread? A bit high. The over/under? Makes sense, considering that these are two AFC West rivals. Denver wins… that’s the good news. The bad news? They won’t cover the 7 1/2.

Broadcast Information – CBS/NFLN at 8:25 p.m.: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson (Field reporter). Westwood One: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Chad Brown (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood 1), 93 (San Diego), 92 (Denver). XM: 88 (WestWood 1), 225

(San Diego), 226 (Denver).

Injury Report

San Diego
OUT: RB Donald Brown (concussion), CB Brandon Flowers (concussion), RB Ryan Mathews (knee), LB Manti Te’o (foot)
DOUBTFUL: LB Jeremiah Attaochu (hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Jason Verrett (shoulder), CB Steve Williams (groin)
PROBABLE: LB Kavell Conner (ankle), T D.J. Fluker (ankle), LB Dwight Freeney (knee), G Rich Ohrnberger (back)

Danver
OUT: RB Montee Ball (groin), CB Omar Bolden (concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Steven Johnson (ankle)
PROBABLE: S Quinton Carter (hamstring), CB Chris Harris (knee), K Brandon McManus (right groin), RB Juwan Thompson (knee), S T.J. Ward (knee)

Weather Information: Sunny and 69 degrees.

Broadcast and injury report courtesy the National Football League, Odds courtesy Dons Best and USA Today, weather information

courtesy The Weather Channel.

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