Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen, left, and quarterback...

Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen, left, and quarterback Justin Herbert (10) react after connecting on a touchdown pass against the Green Bay Packers during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023, in Green Bay, Wis. Credit: AP/Morry Gash


Sunday, 4:25 p.m. EST, CBS

BETTING LINE: Chargers by 2 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

AGAINST THE SPREAD: Broncos 5-6-1; Chargers 5-7.

SERIES RECORD: Broncos lead 70-55-1.

LAST MEETING: Broncos beat Chargers 31-28 on Jan. 8 in Denver.

LAST WEEK: Broncos lost to Texans 22-17; Chargers beat Patriots 6-0.

Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson (3) tries to get past...

Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson (3) tries to get past Houston Texans linebacker Christian Harris (48) in the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023, in Houston. Credit: AP/Eric Gay





Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) tosses the ball...

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) tosses the ball to running back Joshua Kelley (25) during the second half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023, in Foxborough, Mass. Credit: AP/Michael Dwyer

TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Broncos plus-5; Chargers plus-4.

BRONCOS PLAYER TO WATCH: S P.J. Locke is coming off the most productive two-game stretch of his career. He has made 15 tackles in that span, including his first two career sacks. Locke also had multiple tackles for loss in a game for the first time against the Texans.

CHARGERS PLAYER TO WATCH: OLB Khalil Mack continued his dominant season by getting two more sacks against New England. He has two sacks in three straight games and four of his past five. With 15 sacks on the season, Mack has already tied his career high set in 2015 with five more games to go.

KEY MATCHUP: Chargers WR Keenan Allen vs. Broncos CB Pat Surtain II. Allen’s usage as the go-to receiver for Los Angeles has been magnified by injuries elsewhere at receiver, which makes it all the more likely Denver defensive coordinator Vance Joseph decides to have Surtain follow him all over the field. Surtain’s importance was evident as Houston accumulated nearly half its passing yardage in the brief period when he was out of the game with a knee injury. Allen had a run of three straight 100-yard games end in the slugfest versus the Patriots, but he became the first player in the NFL with 100 receptions this season.

KEY INJURIES: Surtain and OL Mike McGlinchey (back) were limited in practice on Wednesday, but both are expected to play. … Chargers WR Joshua Palmer (knee) returned to practice this week, opening the window to activate him off injured reserve. … CB Deane Leonard, who has helped stabilize the pass defense over the past month, is dealing with ankle and heel injuries.

SERIES NOTES: The Chargers have won all three games with the Broncos at SoFi Stadium, though they needed overtime to get the victory last season. … The home team has won seven straight in the series. However, five of those games were decided by three points or fewer.

STATS AND STUFF: The Broncos have not had 300 net yards passing in a game this season and have been held under 200 net yards eight times, including 164 yards against the Texans. … OLB Nik Bonitto leads Denver with seven sacks. However, he has just 1 1/2 sacks in his past seven games. … Special teams has been a strength in Sean Payton’s first season, as the Broncos have the best kick return and punt return averages in the game. Rookie WR Marvin Mims Jr. is generating 31 yards per kick return and 17.7 yards per punt return. … QB Russell Wilson threw three interceptions against the Texans. He had been picked off four times through 11 games. … WR Courtland Sutton needs one touchdown catch to become the first Broncos player with double-digit receiving scores since TE Julius Thomas (12) and WR Demaryius Thomas (11) in 2014. … The Chargers do not have a run of 10 yards or longer from their tailbacks in their past two games. QB Justin Herbert has the team’s longest run in that span, a 35-yard scramble against Baltimore. … Los Angeles has picked up 25 of its 41 sacks this season on third or fourth downs. … Allen needs two more receptions to reach 900 in his career. If he does it on Sunday, Allen will have done it in 139 games to become the fastest player to do so in NFL history. Antonio Brown did it in 143 games. … Mack has had at least 12 sacks in a season with the Raiders, Bears and Chargers, joining Kevin Greene as the only player to have done so for three different teams since sacks became an official stat in 1982. … Punter J.K. Scott had seven of his eight punts against the Patriots downed inside the 20-yard line, the most in a game in Chargers history.

FANTASY TIP: This looks like a game where points could be at a premium, which isn’t great for fantasy purposes. However, that should bode well for both kickers, especially in a favorable stadium for long field goals. Cameron Dicker is 4 of 5 from 50 yards or longer for the Chargers this season, and Wil Lutz has made 3 of 4 attempts for the Broncos.

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