Chargers wish list being granted

The Holidays are coming and the Chargers wish list is complete.

Careful what you wish for, Chargers? The Chargers were wishing last week was this week. The result is this week they are coming in with a loss from last week.

Got it?

It's not too complicated: all the Chargers (8-5) have to do on Sunday is hand the Indianapolis Colts their first loss of the season. By snapping the Colts' 13-game winning streak, it will keep the Chargers' playoff hopes alive.

They are nearly dead, though, because the Chargers went toes up at home against the Miami Dolphins last Sunday. Looking past Miami toward their matchup with the Colts, the Chargers suffered a serious setback.

Now that could open up some serious doubt among the Chargers.

That's not to say the Chargers are no stranger to a strut. From quarterback Drew Brees to running back LaDainian Tomlinson to tight end Antonio Gates to wide receiver Keenan McCardell, the Chargers know confidence.

That said, the Chargers were challenged by coach Marty Schottenheimer - and the players embraced it - to go on a nine-game, season-ending winning streak to steal the AFC West title from the Denver Broncos and enter the playoffs as the NFL's hottest team.

And it was working just like it was drawn up, with five consecutive wins and an under-.500 Dolphins team being served on a Qualcomm Stadium platter.

But the Chargers got to full of themselves, playing without the fire the previous five games had featured. Now their playoff hopes aren't so hot.

So it's worth watching how steadfast that confidence is, with the players knowing one more loss is essentially a season-ender, and that confidence being tested by one of the top NFL teams in recent history.

It's a tall task the Chargers face. A visit to Kansas City - where the Chiefs have won 17 straight December games - and a regular-season finale against the Broncos await.

Even if they sweep that landmine of games, the Chargers need help to play in January. It can happen - it's the NFL, anything can happen - but the likelihood isn't strong.

The Chargers point to their five losses being by a combined 14 points. But good teams win the close games, and the Chargers have been telling everyone since training camp they are just that. That spoke to their considerable talent, but also their deep confidence.

With powerful Indianapolis on the other side of the ball, and the season hanging in the balance, the Chargers' confidence must be stout where Colts fans love to shout.

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