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Chargers face big challenge in defending Manning

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SAN DIEGO (AP) — Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano has a plan to contain Peyton Manning when San Diego hosts the Broncos this Sunday.

"Drop 11 guys into coverage," Pagano said with a laugh. "That would be innovative."

Although even that might not stop Manning.

"If they completed it, I would be really disappointed," Pagano said.

The Chargers (4-4) can even their AFC West record at 1-1 by beating the visiting Broncos (7-1). The Chargers, who are coming off an overtime loss to the Redskins, know that's a tough task, especially with Manning on the other side. Manning has thrown for 2,919 yards and 29 touchdowns with only six interceptions so far this season.

The Chargers' defense does get a boost with the expected return of inside linebacker Donald Butler, who has been out the past two games with a groin injury.

Butler, a team captain, could only stand and watch as the Chargers allowed 500 total yards and 209 yards rushing in the loss at Washington.

"It looked like I should be in there, that's what it looked like," Butler said of his vantage point on the sidelines.

Coach Mike McCoy said his team is ready for Sunday.

"They've had a great week of practice; you got to move on and have a short memory in this business," McCoy said.

And if it takes putting 11 defenders into pass coverage, like Pagano joked about, so be it.

"You never know," McCoy said. "You will see on Sunday afternoon."

___

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

 

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