The host Colts lost their first game of the season to the Patriots, 24-20, as New England rallied to score 14 points in the final eight minutes to win the game. Was San Diego looking ahead to the Colts in an uninspired 35-17 loss at Minnesota? Vikings running back Adrian Peterson rushed for an NFL-record 296 yards, including 189 in the fourth quarter, and scored three touchdowns.
The Colts need to rebound strong from their loss to the Patriots. Not just for their own psyche, but to help keep pace from the hard-charging Steelers, who looked impressive on Monday night and will challenge for a first-round bye. The Chargers players said they were embarrassed by their performance against the Vikings. After losing three-in-a-row, the Chargers appeared headed in the right direction before their stumble in Minnesota. While in no real danger of falling out of the AFC West race, the Chargers need a win to be considered one of the top teams in the AFC.
Colts left tackle Tony Ugoh vs. Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman. The Colts have been without Ugoh in recent weeks but are hopeful he can return against the Chargers. San Diego will look to put pressure on Manning by rushing Merriman, who had two sacks and forced an intentional grounding in the Chargers' 2005 victory. San Diego has to put pressure on Manning, who will otherwise pick apart the suspect Chargers secondary. Compounding matters is an injury to defensive end Luis Castillo, who is expected to miss more than a month after undergoing surgery Monday to repair a tendon in his right ankle. The Chargers will turn to Jacques Cesaire to replace Castillo, and the team could get linebacker Shaun Phillips back this week.
Did you know?
Last week, running back Joseph Addai became the first player in club history with more than 100 rushing and 100 receiving yards in the same game. ... Cornerback Antonio Cromartie has three touchdowns in the past two games, including an NFL-record 109-yard missed field goal return against Minnesota.