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Game Day

11/18/2015

Denver Broncos (7-2) vs. Chicago Bears (4-5)
Sunday, Nov. 22, 12 p.m. CST
Soldier Field, Chicago, IllinoisBears helmet Broncos helmet

Anyone who has followed the Denver Broncos knows about quarterback Peyton Manning’s struggles this year, but the team has still managed to pull out wins — until recently. The Broncos, now on a two-game losing skid, looked pathetic in the 29-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday. Manning’s four interceptions on the day resulted in him warming the bench. And his stats for the year? He is just 193 of 322 attempts with nine touchdowns and 17 interceptions. Yes, 17. Will head coach Gary Kubiak sit the legend down for Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears? Unlikely. The Broncos need a lift, and it has to come from Manning.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Bears have some momentum after Sunday’s 37-13 win over the St. Louis Rams. Tight end Zach Miller caught two touchdown passes and rookie running back Jeremy Langford added two more, while even the unpredictable quarterback Jay Cutler was spot on, hitting 19 of 24 with three touchdowns.

Even though Denver has won two of the last three versus Chicago, the Broncos’ woes will continue. Bears win at home in a blowout.

Kansas City Chiefs (4-5) vs. San Diego Chargers (2-7)
Sunday, Nov. 22, 3:05 CST
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CaliforniaChargers helmet Chiefs helmet

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Recent match-ups between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Diego Chargers have been close contests, with the Chiefs taking two of the last three by a combined 66-54 score. Expect another competitive game in this AFC West Division rivalry.

The Chiefs are now tied for second in the division behind the faltering Denver Broncos — a team they dismantled on Sunday — and are suddenly back in the wild-card playoff race. Now with three consecutive wins, thanks in large part to an amazing defense, the Chiefs are playing at their best — and all this since losing running back Jamaal Charles to a season-ending injury.

The Chargers are a better team than its 2-7 record shows, as four of the losses have been by five points or less. Having said that, they simply haven’t found ways to win. Quarterback Phillip Rivers’ stats are solid, completing 269 of 390 attempts with 19 touchdowns and seven interceptions. The team has the league’s No. 1 ranked passing offense. Unfortunately, the rushing is ranked No. 30, and, maybe even more importantly, the defense is ranked No. 24. The bye week gave the Chargers time to regroup and study the Chiefs. Will it be enough to pull off a victory at Qualcomm Stadium? Yes, but it will be a squeaker.

Green Bay Packers (6-3) vs. Minnesota Vikings (7-2)
Sunday, Nov. 22, 3:25 p.m. CST
TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MinnesotaVikings helmet Packers helmet

It is difficult to understand how the Green Bay Packers could lose to the lowly Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field, but that’s exactly what happened last Sunday, the first time since 1991. Now on a three-game losing streak, the Packers, and quarterback Aaron Rodgers specifically, have to prove their cheese isn’t melting.

The Minnesota Vikings, on the other hand, are red hot. The team is now leading the NFC North Division thanks mostly to Adrian Peterson, who rushed for more than 200 yards against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. The rest of the Vikings offense has been less than impressive. Yes, that’s been the story all season, but the wins keep stacking up. Despite home field advantage, that will end this Sunday. The Packers will gain the lead early and keep it in a close win. CV

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