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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The last top seed to open its playoff run against a team it had just lost to at home in December was the 2008 New York Giants, who were beaten again by Philadelphia in the rematch.
Six years later, the Denver Broncos and another Manning brother open against the San Diego Chargers, who held the highest-scoring team of the Super Bowl era to its lowest point total of the season in a 27-20 upset in Denver last month.
The Broncos figure to be a different team than the one that took the field on the final Thursday night game of the season, however.
This time, they’ll have Wes Welker, Champ Bailey, and Jeremy Mincey, but they’ll also be without Von Miller, who was scheduled to undergo surgery to repair his torn right ACL Thursday.
The Chargers (10-7) and Broncos (13-3) have played 108 times but never in the postseason.