Now that chasing Brett Favre’s all-time touchdown record is out of the way, Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos can once again turn their attention to the simple task of winning the AFC West and attempting to repeat last year’s accomplishment of making it to the Super Bowl. You know, the easier stuff. The next leg of that journey begins Thursday night at home with a division rival coming to town. The San Diego Chargers made their late run to last year’s playoffs partially at Denver’s expense, so the revamped Broncos defense will be on high alert to keep Phillip Rivers and company in check while Manning keeps doing what he does.

Peyton Manning is officially the all-time touchdown leader after his performance versus the 49ers.

The Chargers backfield has been decimated by injuries so far this year, but rookie Brandon Oliver has recently helped steady that part of the Bolts’ attack. Rivers continues being his consistent, underrated, somewhat cocky self, but the receiver he helped usher into the limelight last season has had a quiet campaign so far. Keenan Allen is the target of nearly a quarter of Rivers’ passes but hasn’t yet found the end zone; if San Diego has a fighting chance this week at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, he’s going to need to find pay dirt as aggressively as he did in last season’s upset.

Keenan Allen broke out during the Chargers' 2013 upset of the Broncos; will he do it again on Thursday Night Football?

Fueled by this revitalized rivalry, Thursdays’ matchup is the most expensive Chargers game in Denver in recent history with an average of $241. Tickets are up 21% from last year’s average price of $199. In 2012, tickets went for $212, not as low as last season but still considerably lower than this year. Before Peyton Manning’s arrival, tickets averaged just $145 in 2011, so average ticket prices have increased 66% since the Tim Tebow era. Tickets prices averaged less than half what they are going for today back in 2010, with an average of just $98.

Denver Broncos Tickets & Game Dates

Ticket Demand for Broncos – Chargers Thursday Night Football

This ranks as the third most expensive Denver game this season. Sunday night’s game against the 49ers was priciest ticket of the season with an average of $376, about 56% more than Thursday’s matchup. Such a huge gap can be attributed to a combination of the Niners’ recent success, Manning’s attempt to break the record in front of a home crowd, and the rarity of a visit by an NFC West power to Denver.

This feat is particularly impressive given that the game is on a Thursday, when tickets tend to be considerably less expensive. The two teams met last year on a Thursday as well, meaning that the 21% increase could be partially attributed to the early success of San Diego. This is the most expensive ticket for a Thursday game since the NFL season opener when the Packers faced the Seahawks; that game averaged $395 on the secondary market.

Denver – San Diego AFC West Rivalry

Manning Sets Touchdown Record

Brandon Oliver Powers Charger Running Game