It's an all-AFC West affair tonight, as the 6-7 San Diego Chargers travel to
Festung Pey Pey Mile High Stadium to face the 11-2 Denver Broncos. The Broncos won the previous matchup 28-20 in San Diego in week 10 and are an undefeated 7-0 at home this season.
Admittedly there's nothing to bait your interest from a purely Chicago Bears perspective, as nothing that happens with either team for the remaining games of the season will have any effect on the Beloved's chances of making the postseason - both face only AFC teams to close out the stretch - but it's the only game on and, unlike some previous Thursday Night Football matchups (~cough~ Texans-Jaguars) this one does at least feature the probability of seeing some quality play from at least one of the teams.
The Broncos are already guaranteed a playoff spot and are playing to win the division and claim home field advantage in the playoffs, being a game ahead of the 10-3 Chiefs (effectively two games, since they swept the Chiefs this season).
The Chargers obviously can't win the division and are currently in 8th place in the wild card race, ahead of the Jets but behind the Dolphins. Since the Chiefs are likely to claim one of them, they're all pretty much chasing the Ravens, who play the Lions on Monday. Wes Welker is out with a concussion though, so there's a glimmer of hope for the Chargers against a team that's racked up 1,086 offensive yards in the last two weeks.
Added frisson: Peyton Manning is only five shy of matching the NFL quarterback single season passing touchdown record of 50, set by Tom Brady in 2007. Think he'd like that back after Brady overtook Manning's previous high of 49, set in 2004?
This is your Thursday Night Football open thread... Hasta la vista, baby.