Thursday night, the San Diego Chargers will take on the Denver Broncos in an AFC West showdown. Twitter helped preview the game storylines which include: Peyton's shot at a NFL record, playoff implications and injury updates.
The biggest storyline surrounding this game is Peyton Manning's shot at breaking a NFL record. He sits at 45 touchdown passes right now, and he needs five to tie Tom Brady's single-season record set in 2007.
With 3 games remaining, Peyton Manning is 5 TD passes shy of tying Tom Brady’s single-season record of 50 from 2007 season.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 12, 2013
While that is an important record, Gray Caldwell captured the sentiment with this tweet that Peyton Manning only cares about one record: the win-loss record.
Peyton Manning, nearing 50 TDs, said the only record he's concerned with is the team's win-loss record: http://t.co/VtoVW1B7Vt— Gray Caldwell (@GrayCaldwell) December 10, 2013
There are also playoff implications in Thursday night's game. Herm Edwards of ESPN thinks the Chargers can make the final wildcard spot in the AFC.
Herm Edwards says the @Chargers are the team that will make the playoffs as the 6th seed in the AFC. 4 of their last 5 games are at home.— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) November 25, 2013
Mike Sando of ESPN also gives a great stat, strengthening the argument for the Chargers during the season's final month.
Best records since 2007 over final four games of regular seasons: Patriots 23-2, Chargers 22-3, Colts 18-7, 49ers 17-8, Eagles 17-8.— Mike Sando, ESPN.com (@SandoESPN) December 12, 2013
Manning and the Broncos will have to win without two key players though. USA Today's Lindsay Jones shares that Wes Welker and Derek Wolfe will miss the game.
Welker and Wolfe officially out. Champ is questionable but I'd be surprised if he plays vs SD.— Lindsay Jones (@bylindsayhjones) December 11, 2013
This game will be all Denver. This makes sense because Peyton Manning has the opportunity to break the record with six touchdowns tonight, so the Broncos will come out throwing the ball.
The Chargers also have the 28th ranked passing defense in the NFL, which should allow Manning to have his way through the air.
A loss for the Chargers tonight would put them at 6-8 for the season. They would be fighting for that final wild card spot with Baltimore and Miami, but they would still have a shot at getting in the playoffs. The team has two home showdowns with Oakland and Kansas City in the following weeks, and could very well win both of those games with them being at home.
Thursday night's game will give the Broncos the validation from the media that they are in fact the best team in the AFC. The Chargers moving forward will need to rebound quickly from this loss and find a way to win the next couple of games.
As for Peyton's record, I don't expect him to get to 50 Thursday night. He probably will have to break that record in the next game, but this storyline is one that will interest fans from all over the NFL.
The Broncos will take this game 38-17 and show the NFL fans questioning them after the Patriots loss that they are the best team in the AFC.