Top stats to know: Chargers at Broncos

The Denver Broncos host the San Diego Chargers in an AFC West battle to kick off Week 15. Here the stats to know in advance of tonight’s game at Mile High Stadium.

1. The Broncos have already clinched a playoff spot for a third straight season and will clinch the AFC West with a win and a Chiefs loss this week. The Broncos are seeking to win three straight division titles for the first time in team history.

Since divisional realignment in 2002, the Chargers and Broncos have combined to win eight of the previous 11 AFC West division championships. The Chargers are the only team to win three straight titles in that span, when they won four in a row from 2006-09.

Most Playoff Appearances By Starting QB
NFL History

2. Peyton Manning has 45 touchdown passes this season, five shy of Tom Brady’s single-season record of 50 set in 2007.

He has three games remaining and appears poised to shatter the record. His fewest pass TD over a three-game span this season is seven from Weeks 10-12.

Manning also has 4,522 pass yards, the most through 13 team games in league history. He needs 955 pass yards to break Drew Brees’ single-season record set in 2011, or 318.3 yards per game.

Manning is averaging 347.8 pass yards per game this season and has thrown for over 300 yards in 11 of 13 games.

3. Denver has won 13 straight home games, tied for the second-longest streak in team history. If any team can stop the streak, it might be the Chargers. San Diego is 30-6 in December and January regular-season games since 2006, the second-best record in that span behind the Patriots (32-4).

However, the Chargers have lost four straight versus the Broncos and are trying to avoid losing five straight in the series for the first time since 1997-99. A loss will also secure a third straight non-winning season for the Chargers. The last time they had three straight non-winning seasons was 1996-2003.

4. The Broncos have scored 515 points this season, the most ever by a team through 13 games. They need 75 points over the next three games to break the NFL record for points in a season.

Chargers Defense and Broncos Offense
NFL Ranks This Season

The Chargers are hardly the team to stop the Broncos’ scoring spree. They are allowing the most yards per play and the fourth-worst QBR this season. Their defense has cost the team nearly seven points per game, the third-worst Defensive EPA (expected points added) in the league.

5. While the Chargers defense will probably prevent them from beating the Broncos, their offense is built to give them a good game by keeping Manning off the field. They rank first in the NFL averaging 6.3 plays per drive, and are the fourth-slowest offense in the league (29.9 seconds per play).

The last time the Chargers and Broncos met, San Diego lost by eight points, but held Denver to its second-lowest scoring output of the season (28) and had the ball for over 38 minutes.