Divisional Playoff 1/13/08: Indianapolis Colts vs. San Diego Chargers
Will Wayne, Harrison and company get separation from the talented Cromartie?
I’m late on this subbing for TBR. My bad. I have no excuses. Since the game just started, I’ll be brief.
There’s been mass speculation whether Tony Dungy will come back next season. Dungy is a family man first, but he has some work left to do. This is where the loss of Dwight Freeney becomes glaring. These playoffs also give Dungy and his staff a sense of urgency. We’ve heard nothing but the Pats, Pats, Tom Brady, Pats.
Don’t sleep on Peyton Manning and the Colts.
Norv Turner has a lot to prove. He seemed a little too happy last week after defeating a depleted Titans squad.
The heat is on Norv. Whatcha gonna do?
This is the easiest pick of the weekend in my opinion. Say what you will about the Pats, but the Colts are the best team in these playoffs because of the success they’ve had executing a true offensive balance.
Peyton Manning has thrown 8 interceptions in his last two games against the Chargers, but is this an aberration?
He’ll have his usual game today with 320 yards passing, 3 touchdowns and a passer rating over 130.
Joseph Addai will run all over the Chargers defense–set up by the play action pass to a bevy of receivers. Dallas Clark will be very instrumental in moving the chains similar to what Wes Welker does for the Pats. Two contrasting body types and styles, but the same result. Dallas is one of the best at his position.
It remains to be seen what affect Marvin Harrison will have being it’s his first game since October 22.
Reggie Wayne will have his hands full with ridiculously athletic and talented Antonio Cromartie.
On defense we’ll see how the Colts deal with LaDanian Tomlinson–who always has something to prove. It doesn’t come across in his reticent demeanor, but trust it’s there.
He’ll have 80 and a couple finger rolls.
The key to the Chargers success today is how Phillip Rivers will respond with his all world tight end, Antonio Gates, being less than 100% with a dislocated toe. Very painful injury.
Lorenzo Neal has been declared inactive even after returning to practice this week from a broken leg–hence the 80 for LT.
Vincent Jackson and Chris Chambers should have decent games but Marlin Jackson and the incomparable Bob Sanders lay in waiting over the middle. Sanders will also be instrumental in just how much success the Chargers have on the ground.
Shawne Merriman and Shaun Phillips will try to put pressure on Manning. They represent two of the best young and versatile linebackers in the league. Today they would rather rush the passer than dropping back into coverage.
Just like last nights Jags/Pats game, the question is whether the Chargers can consistently execute to keep pace with the Colts.
The Chargers will have success moving the ball but mistakes by Rivers will prove their undoing. I know LaDanian wants another shot at the Pats, but it ain’t happening.
Colts 35, Chargers 26