Chargers driving down the stretch

When the Indianapolis Colts were getting thwacked by the Jacksonville Jaguars there were private smiles in the San Diego Chargers locker room. They had just received the break that put them in the driver's seat. Now, the goal is to stay behind the wheel.

San Diego might have locked up the AFC West with three regular-season games remaining, but the Chargers still have plenty to fight for down the stretch.

The Indianapolis Colts are making sure of it.

By losing three of their past four games, the Colts have gone from undefeated to scrambling just to hold onto a first-round bye. Meanwhile, the Chargers have taken over the No. 1 spot in the AFC.

"Anybody can be stopped," said Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson, who rushed for more than 100 yards for the seventh straight time Sunday. "I really think that we are on our game, when we are playing the way we can play, we're tough to stop, We're not 11-2 for nothing."

The Colts aren't likely to blow their AFC South lead, but they have failed to clinch the division title in each of the past two weeks. Considering Indianapolis' history of road struggles in the playoffs, it's critical for the Colts' playoff future that they rebound and secure at least a first-round bye and two home games.

"We can get this turned around just as fast as it went downhill," coach Tony Dungy said. "And that's our job right now. (Playing at the RCA Dome next weekend) will help. We've got to get ourselves fundamentally going and get some people healed up and rested up and ready to go. We've got to come back and just play a great game and get ourselves a win."

For now, it appears the road to the Super Bowl in the AFC will go through San Diego.

"We don't even want to start thinking about being the favorite in the Super Bowl," Tomlinson said. "We'll let you guys talk about it. We'll see what happens."


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