The Denver Broncos will want to bounce back from their first defeat of the NFL season when they pay a visit to San Diego to face the Chargers on Thursday. Gary Kubiak's side went down to the Atlanta Falcons last weekend, and having made a really positive start to their title defence, they will know the importance of showing their powers of bouncebackability.
That win will have to come without their head coach Kubiak, who will not travel to California owing to a migraine. Joe DeCamillis will take over the role as the head coach and the special teams co-ordinator will hope the Denver Broncos have the wherewithal to regain the winning touch.
With Kubiak missing, the Broncos, 4-1, could also again be without quarterback Trevor Siemian, who has been listed as questionable for this game against the 1-4 San Diego Chargers. "I think I'm expecting to play," Siemian said. If the 24-year-old does not make it, rookie Paxton Lynch will take up the responsibility again of driving the Broncos to victory.
No matter who starts, what the Broncos will want is to provide better protection for their main man, while also improving on the defence, which wasn't up to scratch in the loss to the Falcons.
"We didn't play our best game, obviously," defensive co-ordinator Wade Phillips said of the Atlanta loss. "But some of the goals we had was to shut down the number one receiver that had 300 yards the week before and stop bootleg passes. We tried not to give up any big plays. Unfortunately we gave up big plays to the running backs."
Big plays right at the end is what the San Diego Chargers have failed to stop or provide in the NFL this season. While their record might read four losses and one win, it does not truly reflect their season. All four of those losses have been extremely close ones, the kind that could have easily gone either way, with the latest coming against the Oakland Raiders. Finding a way to hold their nerve in crucial moments will be essential if they are to make this season count.
"Well there's a number of different reasons why you lose games," Chargers head coach Mike McCoy said. "As the competitive balance in this league shows up week in and week out, when the game's on the line you've got to be at your best and make plays and do things the right way or somewhere earlier in the game we have an opportunity to make that play and put that team away. You've got to do it.
"We've lost a lot of close ones and it's been that way. There's a number of one-score games this year also. We've got to just find a way week in and week out to make those plays."
Where to Watch Live
Denver Broncos vs San Diego Chargers is scheduled for an 5.25 pm local time (8.25pm ET, 1.25 am BST, 5.55 am IST next day). Live Streaming and TV information is below.
India: TV: Sony ESPN and Sony HD. Live Streaming: Sonyliv.
USA: TV: CBS Sports. Live Streaming: CBS Sports Live.
Canada: TV: Sportsnet 1. Live Streaming: Sportsnet Now.
UK: TV: Sky Sports 1. Live Streaming: Sky Go.
Australia: TV: ESPN. Live Streaming: Foxtel.