Peyton Manning: Struggles Against Chargers Will Continue Monday Night

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistOctober 14, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 7:   Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos gestures during a game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on October 7, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Peyton Manning is one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, but the San Diego Chargers have been one team he's been unable to solve in recent years.

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Manning, though, hasn't been very good against San Diego (3-2) in recent years. He's lost five of his last six starts including the postseason, throwing 11 touchdown passes and 15 interceptions. Manning threw a career-most six INTs versus the Chargers on Nov. 11, 2007, and four the last time he faced them in a 36-14 defeat Nov. 28, 2010.

Considering Manning's incredible career, those numbers are pretty stunning. San Diego clearly has Manning's number, and that won't change on Monday night.

The Broncos haven't won on the road all season. Despite San Diego's usual inability to close out football games, its defense has the ingredients needed to disrupt the Broncos offense.

Denver has allowed 10 sacks so far this season. San Diego, led by Shaun Phillips' 4.5, have 9.5 team sacks. John Pagano runs an extremely aggressive unit, and he knows how to attack Manning from his years as the Chargers' linebackers coach.

The Chargers have the weapons necessary to contain Manning in the secondary as well. Safety Eric Weddle is one of the league's unheralded defensive playmakers, using his instincts to hunt the ball on a consistent basis.

The Broncos need to run the ball well with Willis McGahee on Monday, something that they've struggled with at times this season. As a team, they're No. 17 in the league at running the football.

McGahee's presence will be necessary to keeping Pagano's unit honest, giving Manning time to throw in the pocket, but it shouldn't be expected. San Diego has the fifth-best rush defense in the league, allowing just 74 yards per game.

San Diego is far from a perfect squad, but you can't deny history. Manning's woes against the Chargers will continue against a defense that has played better than expected this season.

Expect a close game, with the Chargers' aggressive play making the difference in the end.