It’s the matchups, stupid!  Thoughts on the destruction of the San Diego Chargers

It's been said many times that quarterbacks like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are great because they can see things in the defense that others can't; that they have some innate ability that's just missing in quarterbacks like Tony Romo or Andy Dalton.

Of course, much of that is true. Manning can spot a leveraged linebacker a mile away, mostly because linebackers are stupid and often give away their intentions due to their aggressive nature. But that's beside the point, really. Each week, we have analysts break down the intricacies of Cover 1 vs. Cover 2, man-press coverage vs. zone, and everything in between.

But sometimes it's simpler than you think. Sometimes it’s just a matter of finding the weakest kid on the playground.

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Gut Reaction: Chargers 27, Bengals 10

After a week of waiting, the Broncos finally know who they'll be facing in the playoffs.

The good news? The Broncos ended up getting the weakest team in the playoffs, the San Diego Chargers. The Pats can have Andrew Luck--naked or otherwise...

The bad? There is no bad news, my friends. The Chargers are gonna get creamed.

Wait, you might say. Shouldn't we be at least a little worried? The Chargers just beat the Bengals, in Cincinnati, after all.

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Broncos will host Chargers in divisional round

After San Diego's thorough 27-10 victory at Cincinnati, the Chargers will travel to Denver to face the top-seeded Broncos at 4:40pm ET next Sunday.

The last time these two teams met, in Week 15's Thursday night game, San Diego came away with a stunning 27-20 (Gut Reaction) upset.

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Gut Reaction: Week 17 - Broncos @ Raiders

Most points in a season? Check.

Most passing yards in a season? Check.

Best team in football? We'll see.

It's playoff time.  Everyone goes bare chested and bare knuckles. And we all know what happened to the Broncos last year in the same set of circumstances.

The good news is that last year means not one damn thing; the Broncos are peaking at the exact right time.

Peyton Manning also isn't completely bare this time around. He's had a whole season to get used to the the glove.

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Final Score: Broncos 34, Raiders 14

Denver (13-3) claimed home field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a record-setting 34-14 (Gamebook) win over Oakland (4-12).

These Broncos now own the NFL's single-season marks for points, touchdowns, first downs, and extra points, while Peyton Manning extended his touchdown pass record to 55, and owns the single-season yardage record by three feet over Drew Brees.

It's the seventh time (and second straight year) that Denver has claimed HFA.

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Live Blog: Broncos at Raiders

Inactives: Broncos - Kayvon Webster, Derek Wolfe, Wes Welker, Steve Vallos, C.J. Anderson, Sion Fua, Zac Dysert

Raiders - WR Jacoby Ford, WR Brice Butler, CB Mike Jenkins, G Lamar Mady, C/G Andre Gurode, T Menelik Jackson, DT Ricky Lumpkin

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Gut Reaction: Week 16 - Broncos @ Texans

In an era of passing gunslingers and greatness, nothing is supposed to surprise us any longer.

Records are broken to be made to be broken--again and again. But let's consider what Peyton Manning has just done.

51 touchdowns and counting--in a Broncos uniform, no less.

Even if he doesn't throw another touchdown all year (which he will), that's over three touchdowns a game, for sixteen games. It's breakable, but you'd better bring your rabbit's foot, a lunchbox, and an army of Pro Bowl receivers.

What's left unbroken?  The Broncos hold on the overall number one seed.

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Final Score: Broncos 37, Texans 13

With a 37-13 (Gamebook) victory over the hapless Texans (2-13), and Kansas City’s 23-7 loss to the visiting Colts, the Broncos (12-3) clinched the AFCW for the third straight season on Sunday.

It’s the first time in franchise history that Denver has won three straight division titles.

The Broncos also clinched a first-round bye in the process, and will claim home field advantage if the Patriots lose or tie at Baltimore.

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Live Blog: Broncos @ Texans

Inactives: Broncos - Wes Welker, Kayvon Webster, Derek Wolfe, C.J. Anderson, Zac Dysert, Sione Fua, Chris Kuper

Texans - Case Keenum, DeVier Posey, Andrew Gardner, Garrett Graham, Alex Kupper, Jawanza Starling, Cody White

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Final Score: Dolphins 24, Patriots 20

The Broncos are again in control of the AFC playoff picture, thanks to Miami's (8-6) riveting 24-20 win over the visiting Patriots (10-4).

New England had a chance to move into the AFC's #1 seed with a win, but a late touchdown drive by Ryan Tannehill won the game for Miami.

Tom Brady led his team down the field in the final minute, but ultimately ran out of downs, and Michael Thomas intercepted his fourth-down pass in the end zone.

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