INDIANAPOLIS — One week after losing to a weaker Miami Dolphins club, the San Diego Chargers looked quicker, stronger and hungrier than the Indianapolis Colts. Now with two weeks left in the season, the Chargers still have a shot at making the playoffs after their 26-17 win over the previously unbeaten Indianapolis Colts, thanks to a relative unknown.

Michael Turner, a second year man from Northern Illinois, provided the Chargers with a flash of lightning that is generally provided by LaDainian Tomlinson. However, Tomlinson was sidelined by bruised ribs, and when QB Drew Brees changed the call at the line of scrimmage to their “alert” play, Turner provided the spark the Chargers needed in the form of an 83 yard touchdown run!

“We call multiple plays in the huddle or on the line. That’s called an alert,” Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer said. “We see what they show. Then we either run the play or run the alert. That was the alert.” An alert that paid off in huge fashion.

After taking a 13-0 lead into the half, and adding a field goal early in the third quarter, the Chargers were in position to put the Colts away. Shawne Merriman pressured Manning constantly and the San Diego defense was relentless forcing the invincible Colts offensive into bad situations all day. They sacked QB Peyton Manning four times and knocked him down on several other occasions.

The Colts, however, would not go quietly into the night and their defense quickly got them back into the game, providing the offense with great field position after an interception and fumble recovery on consecutive Charger possessions. The Chargers must have been a bit shell shocked as the Colts quickly erased the 16 point deficit, taking a 17-16 lead just before the 3rd quarter came to an end.

But the Charger defense forced Manning into bad throw after bad throw late in the game, and when Merriman pressured Manning into a grounding call, which cost him 12 yards, and Castillo sacked Manning on the next play, the Colts had to punt. On the ensuing drive, Tucker’s run sealed the Colts fate. Although the loss might have hurt the Colts pride, it really does not affect their position in the playoffs as they have already locked up the number one seed in the AFC. Not true for the Chargers.

San Diego can take pride in a huge win over the Colts, but cannot celebrate too long, nor can they afford to get too comfortable with the win as they are still fighting for a playoff spot. The Chargers’ win over the Colts, although very satisfying, did not accomplish anything. They still need two wins over division rivals Kansas City and Denver.

San Diego did do three things with their win against the Colts. They kept their playoff hopes alive. They are the only team to defeat a strong Colts team this year. They have confidence against the Colts should they meet them again in the playoffs.