Game Day: Chargers at Colts

Here's what you need to know before the Indianapolis Colts take on the the San Diego Chargers today in the RCA Dome.

KICKOFF: Sunday, 1:00 ET

TV: CBS, Greg Gumbel, Dan Dierdorf

SERIES: 4th playoff meeting, 48th meeting overall.

KEYS TO THE GAME: The Chargers hope their improved passing game from last weekend will help open more running lanes for RB LaDainian Tomlinson against the Colts and Defensive Player of the Year SS Bob Sanders.


Bob Sanders
AP/David J. Phillip

The problem is that if TE Antonio Gates isn't available to draw the attention of the safeties over the middle, San Diego will have a difficult time finding the vertical success it enjoyed against Tennessee. The Colts' Cover-2 scheme is designed to prevent exactly those types of big plays.

Colts QB Peyton Manning was picked off a career-high six times during the regular-season meeting. That won't prevent him from pulling the trigger, but an early turnover or two would do San Diego's confidence a world of good. At home and with the starting offense finally back at full strength, Manning will focus on controlling the tempo. That means RB Joseph Addai early on to set up the passing game.

KEY INJURIES: Chargers: Gates (dislocated toe) was in a walking boot midweek and is very questionable; PK Nate Kaeding (leg) will likely be replaced on kickoffs by Dave Rayner. Colts: WR Marvin Harrison (knee), DE Robert Mathis (knees) and OT Ryan Diem (knee) are expected to play.

FAST FACTS: The Chargers' six interceptions against Manning were part of their league-leading 30 during the regular season. ... Indianapolis led the league in scoring defense at 16.4 points per game.


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