2013 Week 16 5* NFL Pick: CHARGERS -9 4* Broncos -10

[Broncos/TEXANS] The best thing that may have happened to the Broncos was the Chargers upset. Unsure which Texans squad will show up, the Broncos arrive 13-5 ATS versus losing teams over the last three seasons. Having made critical mistakes against San Diego, look for this game to be about Manning, 112.9, and his top ranked passing attack versus Houston’s 3rd ranked Home defense. The problem for the Texans, 2-8 ATS against conference opponents is their sputtering offense that has managed only 16.6 points per game in going 1-4 ATS in their last five games. Averaging less than 8 yards per pass in two of their last three games, look for the Texans to fall behind, and never catch up.

[Raiders/CHARGERS] The tide has definitely turned for the Chargers in 2013, who arrive 7-3 ATS over the last three seasons in the last four weeks of the season; powering 397 yards per game in going 3-2 ATS in their last five games. While the Raiders are also powering, they have gone 2-3 ATS, and have been outscored by nearly 9 points per game during the run. With the Chargers defense allowing 6.3 yards per play, it will be vital for Rivers, 106.9 rating, and Matthews, 4.3 yards per carry, to get off to a fast start, and force the Raiders, who have allowed three of their last four opponents to over 13 per yards per pass, to play from behind.

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  1. WINNER – Broncos 37, TEXANS 13 – Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) – Peyton Manning shook hands with teammates on the field. He pulled his helmet off and high-fived more on the sideline, then took a seat by himself on the bench. Manning is alone on top of the NFL’s single-season touchdown passes list, too. The Broncos quarterback broke Tom Brady’s league record for touchdown passes in a season with No. 51, throwing for four of them Sunday in a 37-13 win over the Houston Texans that clinched the AFC West for Denver. Three of Manning’s touchdown passes came in the fourth quarter — two to Eric Decker and the record-breaker to tight end Julius Thomas in the front right corner of the end zone with 4:28 remaining. Decker found the ball, tucked it inside his jersey and smuggled the keepsake to the sideline. The personal accomplishment came with a team reward for the Broncos (12-3) who wrapped up the division title and a first-round bye with a little help from the Kansas City Chiefs, who lost at home to Indianapolis.

  2. WINNER – Raiders 13, CHARGERS 26 – San Diego, CA (SportsNetwork.com) – Ryan Mathews ran for 99 yards and a touchdown while surpassing his previous career-high for rushing yards in a season as the San Diego Chargers kept their playoff hopes alive with a 26-13 win over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. The Chargers (8-7), who have won four of five, can clinch the sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC with a win over the Chiefs next Sunday and losses by Baltimore and Miami. San Diego defeated Kansas City 41-38 at Arrowhead Stadium earlier in the season. Philip Rivers completed 19-of-29 passes for 201 yards, a touchdown and an interception for San Diego. Danny Woodhead gained 52 yards on eight carries and rookie Keenan Allen hauled in his fifth touchdown catch in the last three games. Mathews’ previous career-high for yards on the ground came in 2011, when he collected 1,091. The fourth-year pro out of Fresno State now has 1,111 on the year with a game to go. Matt McGloin threw for 206 yards and a pick in his sixth start of the season for Oakland (4-11), which lost its fifth straight game. Darren McFadden scored the lone Raiders touchdown, his first since Oct. 27, and Andre Holmes caught five passes for 71 yards.

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