Week 15 NFL Gridiron Guide: Take the Broncos on Thursday Night Football

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) calls an

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) calls an audible at the line of scrimmage against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first quarter. (Nov. 17, 2013) (Credit: AP)

John Boell

Newsday sports writer John Boell John Boell

Boell has worked in the Newsday sports department in various

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TONIGHT

CHARGERS (6-7)

at BRONCOS (11-2), 8:25 p.m.

Line: Broncos by 101/2; O/U: 56.5.

TV: NFL Network Radio: WFAN (660, 101.9) joined in progress

I know us East Coasters like to think we're the Kings of Trash Talk. But give Chargers coach Mike McCoy some credit. The former Broncos offensive coordinator and San Francisco native took direct aim at his old team just after the Chargers' win over the Giants on Sunday.

"We're going to beat Denver on Thursday night," McCoy said, "not play close." Wow. Challenge issued.

The offensive juggernaut known as the Denver Broncos have already clinched a playoff berth; they own a one-game lead on New England and a two-game advantage over Cincinnati for the AFC's No. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. San Diego is on the outside looking in at the AFC playoffs, in a similar position to the Jets.

I know the Chargers are 5-2 against the spread (ATS) in their last seven games vs. winning teams. Plus, the Broncos will be without WR Wes Welker (concussion). However, I have to follow Peyton Manning here. The Broncos are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven home games, as well as 5-0-1 in their last six AFC West games.

No trash talk, just the facts.