Frankly, it sucks that an 8-8 Chargers is in the playoffs while our 11-5 New England Patriots are packing their lockers, but that's life. The Bolts did what they needed to and played well in December, chocking up 4 of their 8 wins in month 12. Apparently, a little karma was involved as the game that got them into the playoffs was a 52-21 trouncing of the Denver Broncos, payback for ref Ed Hochuli's bad call. The result of that loss? Denver HC Mike Shannahan was later fired after failing to capture the magic of the John Elway era Broncos.
But that's neither here nor there. At 8:00 PM EST, the WC1 Indianapolis Colts hope to end the AFC West Champion San Diego Charger's winning streak in the first game of the AFC Wild Card Round. This may be obvious, but I do favor -gulp- Indy. I mean, I still hate the Colts and feel proud we came within an Adam V. field goal of an OT situation, but that's beside the point - they're in the playoffs and we're not. And, after 9 straight wins, they belong there. Everybody's 0-0, but Indy stands a MUCH better chance, IMO.
Except for Gary Brackett, most of Indy's key starters are ready to go. Indy is ranked 6th in pass defense and 11th overall; Philip Rivers will have a tough time airing the ball against them. The weak spot could be Indy's 24 ranked rushing defense which may prove to be the opening The Bolts and LT needs, even if SD is ranked 20th in rushing offense. On the offensive side, the Colts are 15th in overall offense, 5th in passing, and 31st in rushing.
Stats mean little; W's mean everything and NFL MVP Peyton Manning finds ways to win. No, I'm not slipping into Peyton love; I still can't wait to see the depressed, pouty Manning face on Mr. Potato Head, but ya can't argue with the win/loss column.
If LT has a breakout game, the Colts could be in trouble. San Diego will be in deep doodoo if they can't get their 31 ranked pass defense in gear; Manning will continuously connect with Wayne, Harrison, Dallas Clark, and Anthony Gonzalez which could make for a long day at Qualcomm Stadium for the hometown Chargers.