The Denver Broncos ran an astounding 91 plays in their 51-28 lashing of the Tennessee Titans in week 14. It was the most plays run in team history for a non-overtime game.
Peyton Manning threw an eye-popping 59 times. He completed 39 of those passes (many were catchable balls that his receivers simply dropped), which was the most in Broncos history and one shy of his career best.
That brings up the question, how well will the Broncos perform just four days later in their Thursday night home game against the San Diego Chargers?
“[Running 91 plays] is probably not the best scenario for a Thursday night game and we took some injuries, and we’re not sure how that’s going to effect us,” Manning said. “I’m not a fan of Thursday games for this reason alone.”
Players have Monday off, and they’ll resume practice on Tuesday, which is usually their day off.
With as many plays as the Broncos ran Sunday, they only had 13 third-down plays.
“We were first-down, second-down, first-down,” Manning said. “When you’re in that kind of rhythm, it puts a lot of pressure on the defense. It doesn’t give them a chance to even get their third-down packages.”
Of the Broncos 39 first downs, 25 came from passing plays.
In the Chargers win over the Giants in week 14, they weren’t exactly slouches either. They ran 70 plays and put up 37 points. That means Thursday, the Bolts will be running on less than a full tank as well.
If the Broncos can find their rhythm and be willing to put in another high-octante offensive effort, it will be difficult for the Chargers to keep pace, particularly at altitude.
Another win and the Broncos will get a few days off, likely Friday through Sunday, to regroup.
Focus and grind are the themes for Chargers week, and beyond at this point.