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San Diego Chargers (5-2) at Denver Broncos (5-1)

Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers beat Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos on a Thursday night last season, then Manning and the Broncos returned the favor in the AFC divisional round with a 24-17 victory.

Time: 6:25 p.m. Thursday, KCNC, KREZ; NFL Network; KRSJ 100.5 FM.

Opening Line: Broncos by 7½.

Record vs. Spread: Denver, 3-3; San Diego, 5-2.

Series Record: Broncos lead 59-49-1.

Last Meeting: Broncos beat the Chargers 24-17, Jan. 12, 2014, in the AFC divisional playoff.

Last Week: Broncos beat the 49ers, 42-17; Chargers lost to the Chiefs, 23-20.

AP Pro32 Ranking: Broncos, No. 1; Chargers, No. 7.

Chargers Offense: overall (11), rush (29), pass (6).

Chargers Defense: overall (5), rush (13), pass (3).

Broncos Offense: overall (4), rush (25), pass (3).

Broncos Defense: overall (6), rush (3), pass (18).

Streaks, Stats & Notes

The Chargers have won four of the last five regular-season games in Denver, including the Thursday-night contest last December.

San Diego head coach Mike McCoy knows Denver well after spending 2009-12 as offensive coordinator.

Tight end Antonio Gates and quarterback Philip Rivers have hooked up 67 times for touchdowns, most by a QB-TE combination in league history.

Rivers has at least one touchdown pass in team-record 27 consecutive games. His last game without a touchdown throw was Dec. 2, 2012, against Cincinnati.

The next touchdown pass will be the 239th of Rivers’ career, tying him with Len Dawson for 19th all-time.

Gates has 73 catches for 916 yards and six touchdowns in 20 games vs. Denver.

Former Broncos wide receiver Eddie Royal has 14 receptions on third down, tied for the second most in league. Royal needs one more catch for 300 in his career.

Chargers placekicker Nick Novak has converted a franchise-best 31 consecutive field goals.

Chargers cornerback Brandon Flowers (concussion) was knocked out of last weekend’s game with a concussion.

Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning broke Brett Favre’s NFL record for most touchdowns passing with his toss to wide receiver Demaryius Thomas in the second quarter Sunday. Manning had four touchdown passes and is at 510.

Manning is 5,026 yards away from Favre’s mark for most yards passing in league history.

Thomas has 521 yards receiving in his last three games, the most prolific stretch in team history.

Broncos linebacker Von Miller leads the NFL with eight sacks. Defensive end DeMarcus Ware is tied for second with seven.

The Broncos are 15-4 in divisional games under head coach John Fox.

In 74 series, Denver’s defense has forced 24 three-and-outs, the second-best percentage in the league.

Aqib Talib has 25 career interceptions, tied for third most by a cornerback since he broke into the league in 2008.

Associated Press

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