Originally written on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 10/13/12
I was reading an article today by Mark Kizla of the Denver Post, where he talks a little a bit about how this is a 'statement' game for Manning this upcoming Monday night against the Chargers.

In the article, he goes into detail about the history of the Broncos with Phillip Rivers. Obviously, Kizla notes that Rivers has had the better of the Broncos in his six years as starting quarterback of the Chargers. It's also noted about how brash and cocky Rivers is, and how Manning having a great game along with a win vs. the divisional rival Chargers would go a long way towards "delivering a personal message".

I couldn't be anymore in agreement.

Rivers is 9-3 against the Broncos all-time. Think about that for a moment. I'd like to remind Broncos fans and anybody else that is reading this article, that since 2006 when Rivers took over, it has been the Broncos and Chargers competing for the AFC West division title every season, except for 2010 when the Broncos finished 4-12.

From 06-09 and 2011, either the Chargers or Broncos have won the AFC West. 

In Week 11 of the 2006 NFL season on Sunday Night Football, first place in the AFC West was on the line. In what was the turning point in this rivalry – and marked the beginning of River's dominance of the Broncos – the Chargers erased a 24-7 deficit in the third quarter to defeat the Broncos 35-27. The Chargers went on a 28-3 run to end the game.

This would mark Jake Plummer's second-to-last game as Broncos starter before being benched in favor of rookie Jay Cutler.

This would also arguably mark the turning point in Denver's season, as they would lose three more straight games – including one more to the Chargers – before winning two consecutive games, and finally losing their season finale to the lowly 49ers in overtime by a field goal. After starting out the season 7-2, the loss to the Chargers put the Broncos in another late season collapse, where they would finish 2-5 and miss the playoffs for the first time since 2002.

Remember when the Broncos held a three game division lead over the Chargers with three games left in 2008? Only to become the only team in NFL history to lose their division with such a lead so late in the season. To top it all off, the Broncos were blown out 52-21 on Sunday Night Football with everything on the line. This would lead to the Broncos being blown up as a team, with franchise coach Mike Shanahan being fired and Jay Cutler being shipped to Chicago.

Remember 2009 when the Broncos started out the season 6-0, only to finish the season 2-8 and miss the playoffs for a fourth consecutive year? The Chargers defeated the Broncos 32-3 at Mile High in Week 11 to drop the Broncos to 6-4.

So what's the point in all of this?

It's only Week 6 of the NFL season, and yet, this game could make or break Denver's season.

It's happened in the past before.



Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.
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