Chargers at Colts Preview

A lot is riding on this weekend's game. The Colts are staring at history and the Chargers are staring at the playoffs. Only a win will satiate the appetites.

LEADER 12-8  
STREAKS   Past 3
COACHES VERSUS OPP. Schottenheimer: 3-5 Dungy: 2-0
LAST WEEK L 23-21 versus Dolphins W 26-18 at Jaguars
LAST GAME 12/26/04: Chargers 31 at Colts 34 (OT). Indianapolis QUARTERBACK Peyton Manning throws 2 TD passes to break single-season record with 48.
BROADCAST CBS (1:00 PM ET): Dick Enberg, Dan Dierdorf, Armen Keteyian (Field reporter)
PASSING Brees: 275-420-3,092-22 (3L)-12-92.9 Manning: 269-394-3,290 (2L)-27 (T1L)-8-108.2 (1L)
RUSHING Tomlinson: 282-1,247 (3C)-4.4-17 (1C) James: 334-1,440 (1C)-4.3-12 (3C)
RECEIVING Gates (TE): 76 (1C)-997 (2C)-13.1-9 (3C) Harrison: 72 (3C)-992 (3C)-13.8-12 (1L)
OFFENSE 357.3 373.5 (2C)
TAKE/GIVE -3 +11 (T3L)
DEFENSE 309.8 285.8 (1C)
SACKS Merriman (R): 7.0 Mathis: 11.5 (3C)
Interceptions Jue: 3 June: 5
PUNTING Scifres: 44.1 Smith: 44.3
KICKING Kaeding: 96 (45/45 PAT; 17/20 FG) Vanderjagt: 104 (3C) (47/47 PAT; 19/20 FG)


Head coach Marty Schottenheimer, when coaching Kansas City (1989-98), hired Tony Dungy to be the Chiefs' defensive backs coach (1989-91). Club is No. 3 in the NFL in scoring, averaging 29.1 pointerceptions per game. Offense is NFL's best in the red zone, scoring 33 touchdowns on 45 trips (73.3 pct.).

Quarterback Drew Brees is the NFL's No. 2-rated passer on 3rd down with 100.7 passer rating on 71-of-109 (65.1 pct.) passing for 800 yards with seven touchdowns versus two interceptions.

Running back LaDainian Tomlinson has 79 touchdowns and needs four more to tie Hall of Famer Lance Alworth (83) for most in franchise history. Tomlinson has four 100-yard rushing games in the past five on road and has two of NFL's top four rushing totals on season (192, 184).

Wide receiver Keenan McCardell (810) needs five catches to surpass Henry Ellard (814) for 12th-most in NFL history. In his last game versus Indianapolis, McCardell (with TB, 10/6/03) caught four passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns.

The defense sacked quarterback Peyton Manning four times in last meeting (12/26/04) and has denied Edgerrin James 100 yards in previous two meetings. Rookie defensive end Shawne Merriman (7.0) aims to be the first rookie to lead the team in sacks for season.


Club has clinched AFC's No. 1 seed and is the 3rd team in NFL history to open the season at 13-0 (MIA 14-0, 1972; DEN 13-0, 1998). Team has scored in 31 consecutive quarters and has not trailed in 438 minutes & 16 seconds. Club has won 21 of past 22 games.

Manning has touchdown passes in 111-of-125 career games (88.8 pct.). Manning is 3-0 versus San Diego and in the past two meetings, has passed for 404 & 383 yards, respectively.

James (1,440) needs 60 rushing yards for 1,500 and would join Hall of Famers Barry Sanders (5), Eric Dickerson (4), and Walter Payton (4) for most 1,500-yard rushing seasons in career. James (49) needs one 100-yard game to be the third active player to reach 50 (Jerome Bettis, 61; Curtis Martin 57).

Wide receiver Marvin Harrison (992) needs eight receiving yards to reach 1,000 for the 7th time in career. Reggie Wayne (72) needs six catches to surpass career-high (77, 2004). Harrison (72) & Wayne (71) stand No. 3 and No. 4 in AFC receptions.

Club has No. 2 scoring defense in NFL (13.8/gm). Defensive end Dwight Freeney has a sack in 29-of-49 career starts (59.2 pct.). Linebacker David Thornton had two forced fumbles last week at Jacksonville.

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