Probably not. Perhaps a more telling stat, though, is their 0-5 record against this year's playoff teams. Granted, the Chargers played better down the stretch, but their four consecutive wins to close out the season included decisions over each of their weak division rivals and a Tampa Bay Buccaneers squad that was in the process of falling apart. They could earn a lot of respect on Saturday, however, if the can knock off the red-hot Colts.
As the seeding system would have it, the Colts will actually have to travel to San Diego despite having won four games more than their opponent during the regular season. So that's one thing in the Bolts' favor. But they are going to need a lot of things to go in their favor if they're going to pull this one off. Especially with the way quarterback Peyton Manning has been playing lately.
Manning got off to a slow start after missing all of the preseason while rebounding from knee surgery to remove an infected bursa sac. But after shaking off the rust, he has put together an MVP-worthy season, throwing for nearly 4,000 yards and tossing 26 touchdowns. The way to get him out of his game is to get in his face, but I'm not sure the Chargers have the pass rush to do that consistently on Saturday. And that could be deadly for their championship hopes if they don't keep Manning out of his comfort zone considering San Diego's pass defense ranked 25th in the league this season.
On the opposite end, the Chargers should have little problem moving the ball as well. So, as with the day's first game between the Arizona cardinals and Atlanta Falcons, this contest has the potential to turn into a shootout between Manning and Philip Rivers, who sported the league's highest passer rating during the regular season. Indianapolis, though, should get a boost with the return of safety Bob Sanders after he missed the bulk of the season because of ankle and knee injuries.
It should, because that's what happened following the 2006 regular season when Sanders' return sparked a defensive revival and helped key their championship run. Only time will tell if they can take it all the way again this year, but I certainly think they have a great chance of advancing to round two. In my view, Manning and the Colts passing attack is going to simply be too much for the Chargers to control, and San Diego just isn't going to be able to keep up. I think Indianapolis takes this one going away.
Prediction: Indianapolis 35, San Diego 17