Indianapolis now has a 7-4 record and is the leading contender for an AFC wild-card bid. The Colts have the tiebreakers in their favor over Baltimore, New England and Pittsburgh, which also have 7-4 records.
"You want to be playing your best football at this time of year. I think we are. We've played a lot of AFC (playoff) contenders. We came up a little bit short at Tennessee, but we've beaten everybody else," Colts coach Tony Dungy said.
"We've given ourselves now the tiebreakers over everybody who is close to us now, which is great. San Diego is a good football team. It wouldn't surprise me at all if they win their division and we see them again somewhere down the line."
After getting the season off to a 3-4 record, Indianapolis appears to have found its footing and is primed to make a strong run the rest of the way.
"When you look at who we played, we played Tennessee, New England, Pittsburgh. Tough teams. We've played two tough places on the road. We're doing the things that you have to do," Dungy said.
"We're hanging in there and getting ourselves a chance in the fourth quarter. I like where we are. We've improved every week. We just have to keep battling and keep going and get ready to go until December."
But Cleveland comes first this week.
"We'll enjoy (the San Diego win). But going to Cleveland (this week), we've put ourselves in such a hole to start the season we really just can't afford to give one back. Every week is kind of that do-or-die situation and you don't want to give one back to the field," quarterback Peyton Manning said.
"So every game is a dog fight. Every game you kind of expect a close game. Going to Cleveland is a tough place to play. It's always a challenge coming back from a west coast trip. Hopefully we can bounce back and play well (this) week."
Manning admits that the Colts have been able to play well, especially on third down and in the fourth quarter of recent games.
"In the games we've lost, we haven't made the plays in the fourth quarter. Against Jacksonville, they made the plays. Against Tennessee, they made the plays in the fourth quarter and we didn't," he said.
"These last few games we've won, they've all been fourth-quarter games. And that's all you ask for is an opportunity. And fortunately, we've made the plays. But we're earning them. And hopefully we can keep that going."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "To get this win, it was big. It sets us up for a road game in Cleveland (this week) and then two (games) back home. So, really, a four-game winning streak, where we are — right now, right in the thick of the wild-card race — it's a good place to be." — Colts coach Tony Dungy, on the ramifications of the team's win at San Diego Sunday night.
TRENDING: WR Marvin Harrison has caught 15 passes for 134 yards and a touchdown over the past two games for the Colts. After getting off to a slow start earlier this season, Harrison has begun to get on a roll.