To say that the Chargers have been a thorn in the side for the Colts lately would be an understatement.

The last time the Colts and Chargers faced off, Darren Sproles ended things with a stroll to the end zone that ended Indy's season.

While the Patriots are considered the Colts’ biggest rival, lately it’s been the Chargers blocking their path to postseason glory.

After winning Super Bowl XLI, the Colts were knocked out of the playoffs by the Chargers in gut-wrenching fashion the next two seasons.

In the 2007-08 playoffs the Chargers marched down the field for a late go-ahead score with backups Billy Volek and Michael Turner leading the way for a 28-24 victory. In the 2008-09 playoffs a San Diego field goal late in the fourth quarter sent the game into overtime and Darren Sproles broke free for the game-winning touchdown on the first possession.

In all, the Chargers have defeated the Colts in four of the last five meetings. Indianapolis needs to reverse this trend in the worst way.

As usual the Chargers (5-5) came out of the gates slowly and are heating up as the seasons wears on – they’ve won their last three.

The Colts’ defense was picked apart by Tom Brady last week and should expect a similar assault from Philip Rivers and company.

Rivers is having an MVP-caliber season – he leads the NFL in passing yards (3,177), touchdown passes (23), and yards per attempt (9.0). The Chargers have the NFL’s top-ranked offense (418.2 yards per game). Rivers is finding this success despite missing many of his offensive weapons. Unfortunately for the Colts, some of those key players could return Sunday.

Vincent Jackson is set to make his season debut after a lengthy holdout. Jackson has led the team in receiving the past two seasons. Antonio Gates – arguably the best tight end in football – may also return after sitting out the past two games with a bum foot.

If the Colts’ defense plays like it did last week, this game may be over by halftime. The Patriots scored touchdowns on each of their first three drives, jumping out to a 21-7 lead.

Tom Brady and the Patriots' passing offense carved the Colts' secondary last week. They'll have to shape up or Philip Rivers will do the same.

In total, the Patriots scored on five of their first six possessions – excluding a one-kneel drive to end the first half. On offense, three Peyton Manning interceptions and 0.9 rushing yards per carry in the first half won’t cut it either.

Luckily for the Colts, the rest of the AFC South is cooperating while they are struggling. The Texans have dropped off like a rock, the Titans are a mess, and the Jaguars, while tied with the Colts atop the division at 6-4, are hard to take too seriously.

Still, if the Colts don’t get things together soon, their streak of eight-consecutive playoff berths will be in serious jeopardy.

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