The Broncos and the Chargers are the first teams to start the season as winners of the AFC West, and that’s a good thing for Manning.
But for the Chargers, who had a bye week in Week 3, the bye gives them more time to prepare for Sunday’s wild-card game in Los Angeles.
The Chargers are a wild-Card favorite to win their division, and Manning’s return to Denver could make things even tougher for the Broncos.
The Broncos, who are 4-1, lost their last three games before a victory over the Chargers last week.
“You know, this is a big deal,” Manning said.
“I mean, the thing that’s really important to me right now is I’m a Denver Bronco.
We have the best football team in the league.
And we’re going to come out here and make a run for it.”
The Broncos have won four straight and 12 of 15 games.
The two teams are tied for third in the AFC.
They have played each other five times since 2011, the last time Manning and the Broncos won two consecutive games.
But this is the second time the Chargers have played in San Diego since Manning returned from the team’s bye.
They beat the Chargers 31-26 in the season opener last year.
“We’ve done a lot of good things,” Chargers running back Rashad Jennings said.
San Diego has won seven straight and 10 of 12 games in the series.
The three teams last met in Denver in 2012, when the Chargers beat the Broncos 35-31 in a shootout.
The winner advances to the Super Bowl.
“The last two times we’ve played in Denver, we’ve lost,” Chargers linebacker Melvin Ingram said.
The teams split the last three meetings between them, including a 27-10 win in Denver last season.