SAN DIEGO, Calif. -
The Denver Broncos will face the San Diego Chargers on Monday Night Football without one of their best defensive players -- cornerback Tracy Porter stayed home in Denver with the flu. Chris Harris or Tony Carter will start in Porter's spot.
First place in the AFC West division is on the line in tonight's game. The Chargers are 3-2, the Broncos 2-3. A Broncos win puts Denver in first place, a loss puts Denver two games back. The Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs each have one win this season.
It's only week 6, but some players are calling tonight's game, a must win. And playing on the national stage of Monday Night Football makes it an even bigger deal for most players.
''I think everybody's excited to play in that environment," said quarterback Peyton Manning.
''Big stage, couldn't ask for a better opportunity to redeem ourselves," said defensive end Elvis Dumervil.
The Chargers have been successful lately against the Broncos and Manning. The Chargers have won 9 of their last 12 meetings between the teams. Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers has 20 touchdown passes against the Broncos, his most versus any team.
Peyton Manning has lost 5 of his last 6 to the Chargers as a Colt.
San Diego Homecoming
San Diego is a homecoming of sorts three Broncos. Running back Ronnie Hillman and long snapper Arron Brewer played for San Diego State. Coach John Fox played at San Diego State in 1976 and 1978 and coached the Chargers in the early 90s.