Records: San Diego 5-5, 1-4 road; Indianapolis 6-4, 4-0 home
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Ind., 8:20 p.m
Spread: Indianapolis -3
Trends: The over is 7-1 in the Chargers last 8 games following an against the spread win and 24-11-3 in the Chargers last 38 road games; The Colts are 7-0-1 against the spread in their last 8 games in Week 12.
Key Injuries: San Diego – Out: LB Larry English, WR Patrick Crayton; Questionable: WR Malcolm Floyd, S Steve Gregory, RB Ryan Mathews, TE Antonio Gates, WR Legedu Naanee; Probable: WR Vincent Jackson. Indianapolis – Out: DB Bob Sanders; Questionable: LB Gary Brackett, LB Clint Session, RB Mike Hart, WR Austin Collie, RB Joseph Addai.
What To Look For: Of all the games the San Diego Chargers have left on their schedule, this could be the last game San Diego will enter as the underdog. And, thanks to the fact they play in the AFC West, it most likely won’t matter if they win or lose.
A win would, however, greatly help their psyche, if not their playoff hopes.
San Diego has won three in a row and, more pertinent to this game, they have won four of the five meetings against the Colts. That stat, along with the fact it was the Chargers who knocked the Colts out of the playoffs last year, with a 23-17 OT win, should be more than enough for the Colts to buckle down and make sure San Diego leaves with a sinking feeling in their stomachs, a their postseason chances.
Since the start of 2005, including playoffs, Peyton Manning’s 77.5 passer rating versus San Diego is by far his lowest against any team he’s faced more than three times. He’s lost four of five matchups in that span, including a career-high six-interception game in a 2007 defeat at San Diego.
During that span, the Colts have failed to score more than 24 points in any game.
This game features two teams in very different positions. The Chargers, as they always do, started the season off poorly and are trying to make up ground in the AFC West. They are one game behind Kansas City for the lead.
Indy, on the other hand, is tied atop the AFC South with Jacksonville.
More important to Indianapolis is the fact Manning will be without (again) TE Dallas Clark and WR Austin Collie. That means he will once again depend on people like Pierre Garcon and Blair White. And Reggie Wayne, of course.
San Diego QB Philip Rivers will most likely be without TE Antonio Gates, but he gets back Vincent Jackson, who has missed the entire season to this point thanks to a holdout and subsequent suspension.
The Colts are playing at home, where they are 4-0 and have won 19 of 20. San Diego is 1-4 on the road. And, to be honest, it may come down to that stat, alone. Look for the home team to pull one out.
Payton’s Pick: Indianapolis 31, San Diego 30
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