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NFL playoffs: Broncos to face Chargers next
First Published Jan 05 2014 08:52 pm • Last Updated Mar 24 2014 11:32 pm

Denver • The Denver Broncos are 13-3 and own the AFC’s top seed, just like last year.

Only this time, they’ve lost to each of the three remaining teams in the bracket.

At a glance

Playoff schedule

Wild-card playoffs


Indianapolis 45,Kansas City 44

New Orleans 26,Philadelphia 24


San Diego 27, Cincinnati 10

San Francisco 23,Green Bay 20

Divisional playoffs

Saturday, Jan. 11

New Orleans at Seattle, 2:35 p.m., Ch. 13

Indianapolis at New England, 6:15 p.m., Ch. 2

Sunday, Jan. 12

San Francisco at Carolina, 11:05 a.m., Ch. 13

San Diego at Denver,2:40 p.m., Ch. 2

Conference championships

Sunday, Jan. 19

AFC, 1 p.m., Ch. 2

NFC, 4:30 p.m., Ch. 13

Super Bowl XLVIII

Sunday, Feb. 2

At East Rutherford, N.J.

4:30 p.m., Ch. 13

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The Colts won 39-33 on Oct. 20 in Peyton Manning’s unhappy homecoming in Indianapolis.

The Patriots won 34-31 in overtime on Nov. 24 in Wes Welker’s disappointing return to New England

And, San Diego handed the Broncos their only loss in Denver 27-20 on Dec. 12.

The Chargers earned a return trip to the Mile High City by upsetting Cincinnati 27-10 Sunday in the wild-card round. The original AFL teams have never met in the playoffs.

Some Broncos admitted last year they were overly confident after roaring into the playoffs on an 11-game winning streak only to lose 38-35 in double-overtime to Baltimore, a team it had beaten handily on the road in December.

That shouldn’t be a problem this time.

The Chargers held the Broncos, the highest-scoring team of the Super Bowl era at 37.9 points a game, to their lowest output of the season last month.

"It’s fresh in our minds that if we don’t do our best, we can get beat at home," receiver Bubba Caldwell said. "Baltimore a year ago, San Diego a month ago."

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Denver was without Welker (concussion) against the Chargers that night, which cost them on third down (3-for-8) and in time of possession (22 minutes for Manning, 38 for Philip Rivers).

San Diego’s win in Denver was one of four straight that helped the Chargers (10-7) sneak into the playoffs.

"SD it is! Excited! I’m done with sitting around. Now we have work to do!" guard Zane Beadles tweeted Sunday night.

The Broncos and Chargers will be playing at Sports Authority Field exactly one year after Denver’s devastating defeat to the Ravens when Rahim Moore’s mistimed jump allowed Jacoby Jones’ 70-yard TD catch from Joe Flacco in the final minute that tied it 35-35.

"The main thing we really learned was as a team, we have to play 60 minutes," Denver receiver Demaryius Thomas said. "Nobody is going to give up, because it’s do-or-die."

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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