With an incredible comeback victory over the Seahawks in the books, the Colts travel to San Diego to take on the 3-3 Chargers. Years ago, this was one of the NFL’s premier rivalries as the Chargers always had the Colts number in the regular season and especially the playoffs. In 2013 however, both franchises have experienced high turnover and are not the same teams when they last met in 2010 and years prior. The Chargers no longer have the elite defense they had since Ron Rivera left to go coach the Panthers. The offense has drastically changed with the mainstays in Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates still remain intact. The Colts have only a few players left since their last clash with the Chargers back in mid-2010. The cherry on top is that this game is on Monday Night Football.
Why the Colts will win
- The Chargers defense has not been very good this season ranking in the bottom in both passing and rushing. Andrew Luck has played well on the road this season only limiting himself to one turnover and looks to slice and dice the Chargers secondary. The Chargers pass rush took a massive blow when former Colt Dwight Freeney got hurt against Dallas and got put on Injured Reserve. The Colts shouldn’t let up though and expect no pass rush. That’s what the Colts did against the Raiders and the Raiders had four sacks.
- If there was a game that Trent Richardson to have a breakout game, this would be the first of an upcoming slate of many. San Diego’s defense allows over 117 yards per game. Not to mention Trent Richardson’s best statistical game last season where he ran for 122 yards and a TD in a 7-6 affair.
- The Colts defense has been outstanding against the rush against running backs. The Colts may rank 30th in yards allowed in terms of rushing but among the yards they allowed on the ground, Nearly 50% of that was to mobile quarterbacks like Terrelle Pryor, Colin Kapernick, and Russell Wilson. Fortunately, the Colts don’t face another read option offense the rest of the season and look formidable enough to handle the porous Chargers run game that only runs for 91 yards a game.
Why the Colts will lose
- The Colts secondary has been considerably better with Delano Howell in for the injured LaRon Landry. Although they’ve only shut down Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson, and Blaine Gabbert, Philip Rivers will be the best quarterback they face thus far and will be a big test for the defense. If Rivers manages to throw all over the Colts defense, it would look bad moving forward for Indy win or lose.
- Danny Woodhead has been the new Darren Sproles for the Chargers and becoming a fantastic pass catching threat. He is a speedster that could easily run through the Colts defense. Colts fans don’t want to remember Sproles from the 2008 playoffs and hope Woodhead doesn’t torch them on both aspects of the ball.
- The Chargers offensive line has protected Philip Rivers very well only limiting him to getting sacked eight times. It is very impressive and indicative of how well the Chargers have been in the passing game. No pressure on Rivers equals trouble for the Colts.
- The Colts will just plain lose if they are looking for their game against Denver Sunday and over look the Chargers.
The Colts will be on Monday Night Football for the first time in the Andrew Luck era. This is the first of three consecutive prime-time games for the colts and first of five as well. The Colts should face a big challenge with the resurgence of Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates but the Chargers defense is not very good to keep it a close game. San Diego puts up a good fight but the Colts will prove to be too much on both sides of the ball which will give the Colts their fourth consecutive win and a stranglehold on the division.
Colts 38 – Chargers 17