http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=200880109010 BOB KRAVITZ This time, Chargers are in over their heads First, three bold predictions about Sunday's divisional playoff game between the Indianapolis Colts and San Diego Chargers: • Peyton Manning will not throw six interceptions, as he did when the teams met earlier this year. Maybe one, since San Diego has caused more turnovers than anybody else in football. But not six. • The Colts' special teams, which figure to be bolstered by several starters as coach Tony Dungy once again re-tools his kickoff- and punt-coverage teams, will not give up both a kickoff return for a touchdown and a punt return for a touchdown. One or perhaps the other, but not both. • Adam Vinatieri will not miss a 29-yard field goal attempt with the game on the line. Maybe a 52-yarder. But 29? Never again. What I'm trying to say in my adorably circuitous way is this: The Chargers are going to be in over their heads. Yeah, they've won seven in a row, which qualifies them as the hottest team in the playoffs this side of the New England Patriots. Take a moment, though, to look at those seven victories: Over Baltimore. Over Kansas City. Over Tennessee. Over Detroit. Over Denver. Over Oakland. And, last weekend, over Tennessee again. So in this stretch, they've beaten only one team with a winning record (Tennessee), knocking them off twice. And through this entire season, they've won only three times against teams with a winning record (Tennessee twice and the Colts once). While it's true the Chargers have had the Colts' number the past three years -- if two victories in three years qualifies as having a team's number -- it's also true the midseason game between Indy and San Diego was a complete aberration. Remember, the Colts were coming off the epic, Game of the Millennium loss to the New England Patriots. They invested heavily into that game, physically and emotionally, then were left to take their battered remains across the country for a game in San Diego. Remember, too, the Colts played that game without Tony Ugoh, Dallas Clark, Marvin Harrison, Anthony Gonzalez, Freddy Keiaho, Tyjuan Hagler, Raheem Brock and Charlie Johnson, all of whom are expected to be available Sunday. And during that game, the Colts lost their other tackle, Ryan Diem, and their all-world pass rusher, Dwight Freeney. Diem is expected to be ready Sunday. Freeney, of course, won't return until next season. All that -- the Manning interceptions, the injuries, the special-teams buffoonery -- and still, if Vinatieri makes a kick that he makes the other 99 times he tries it, the Colts are flying home from San Diego with a victory. "I don't think we'll play a game like we played out there (San Diego),'' Dungy said. "But I think San Diego is playing better, too. (Earlier) they were in the process of finding themselves, but they're pretty grooved now with a seven-game winning streak and knowing what they do well.'' There's no question, San Diego has some phenomenal individual talent on both sides of the ball. They still have LaDainian Tomlinson, merely the best running back in the league and maybe the best in the past five years. They still have Shawne Merriman, former Purdue standout Shaun Phillips and a 3-4 defense that rattled Manning the last two times these teams have met. That said, if the Colts can do a decent job of protecting Manning and keeping Tomlinson under some kind of control, this ought to be a two-score game. What? You're afraid of Philip Rivers? Especially if tight end Antonio Gates can't play? There's a reason the team with the bye week and home-field advantage has won 108 of 148 divisional playoff games since 1970, a 73 percent success rate. To start, it is usually the better team, having proven so through the course of the regular season. But the bye week is a huge factor. The Colts are as healthy as they've been all year, with only Ben Utecht viewed as a question mark. And they dedicated a lot of the bye week to attacking 3-4 defenses, understanding they would probably play Pittsburgh or San Diego. "I don't know that we've had difficulty with the 3-4,'' Dungy said. "I think we've had difficulty with good 3-4 teams that have good players. That's the difficulty of it when you're blocking Shawne Merriman and Shaun Phillips and Jamal Williams. Whether they're in a 4-3 or a 3-4, they're going to cause you problems. "The 3-4, you have four guys who can come at any time. You've got to know who's coming and who isn't. They can get you with your backs blocking those guys at times. Just having four different guys who can come without having to blitz and be in man-to-man coverage. It's a system with a lot of variations.'' Again, today's bold prediction: If Manning doesn't throw six picks, if the special teams don't give up two touchdown returns, if Vinatieri makes the kicks he usually makes in his sleep, the Colts win by 10. Click the link for the rest (not alot more).