Chargers are four-point home underdogs vs. Broncos

In this ESPN Insider piece, NFL handicapper Dave Tuley writes that the San Diego Chargers were initially six-point underdogs at home against the Denver Broncos. But after showing some life in a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Chargers will open this week as four-point underdogs.

* If the draft were held today, the Chargers would hold the No. 3 overall pick. For those of you who remain optimistic, at 3-8 San Diego is only three games back in the race for the final wild card spot.

My take: With five games left, the Chargers still have something to play for down the stretch. But San Diego faces a Denver team riding high after defeating the previously undefeated New England Patriots.

* Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune writes that Mike McCoy showed a different side of himself against the Jaguars, taking risks and actually smiling in a postgame news conference.

My take: A win makes everything better. Now let’s see if San Diego can put together the team’s first back-to-back wins of the season.

* Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune writes that despite a hip issue, Antonio Gates played like his old self Sunday, scoring two touchdowns in the red zone.

My take: It’s still a head-scratcher that teams don’t take away Gates near the end zone and make someone else beat them.

* Marty Caswell of The Mighty 1090 AM recaps Sunday's game in this video, including Javontee Herndon helping the team's field position with some solid punt returns.

My take: It was good to see Herndon, a Jacksonville native, contribute while playing in front of family and friends in his hometown.

* Ricky Henne of Chargers.com writes that Philip Rivers not only beat the Jaguars with his arm, but also with his feet. Rivers ran eight yards for a first down late in the game on fourth down to keep a touchdown drive alive.

My take: Rivers appears to be healtheir than a year ago. He ran five times for nine yards against Jacksonville, was sacked twice, and for the first time in his career did not throw an interception in a 300-yard passing performance.

* Derek Togerson of NBC San Diego writes that linebacker Manti Te'o had his best game of the season against the Jaguars. “We saw the Notre Dame Manti today,” said safety Jahleel Addae. “The one that’s flying around making plays, he was comfortable.”

My take: Te'o is becoming a glue guy for San Diego’s defense. Now he has to stay on the field on a regular basis.