Colts vs. Chargers
No Repeat of November's Game
This should be quick and painless San Diego, coming off a very hard-fought win against Tennessee in the Wild Card round, is simply overmatched. This barely two-dimensional team will be reduced to virtually no dimensions (would that be "pointless"?) with tight end Antonio Gates, who dislocated his left big toe in the second quarter last week, listed as doubtful.
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San Diego Chargers (12-5) @ Indianapolis Colts (13-3)
RCA Dome, Indianapolis, Ind.
January 13, 1 p.m. (on CBS)
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The Colts, for all their injuries throughout the season, are relatively healthy, and they've had nearly two weeks to prepare after mailing it in against Tennessee in Week 17 and resting during the bye last weekend. Indy also has just about every other advantage, not the least of which is playing home in the RCA Dome.
These teams met almost exactly two months ago, the Chargers escaping with a 23-21 home win on an uncharacteristically inclement-weather night in southern California.
The Chargers had or ended up with nearly every advantage in that game. They were home (which is no great advantage, but it's better for them than playing in Indy's dome), and they were entertaining Indy after the Colts were worn down by New England the previous week. The Colts were without several key players, and Peyton Manning and Adam Vinatieri had some of the worst games in their illustrious careers.
Don't expect a repeat or anything even close to one.
The worst news for Indy in that one: They lost defensive end Dwight Freeney for the year.
San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers, who had a poor season, will be all but lost without Gates. Rivers had a Tom-Brady-Jermaine-Wiggins connection with Chris Chambers last week that apparently took Tennessee by surprise, but the Colts have undoubtedly scoured that videotape for details.
That leaves the Colts to concentrate most efforts on LaDanian Tomlinson.
With San Diego impotent on offense, Indy should be able to wear down the Charger defense and have their way with them by game's end.
This should hardly be a game at all.
Prediction: Colts, 34-13.
Who will win the San Diego @ Indianapolis divisional playoff game?
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San Diego Chargers