Perhaps the most intriguing wild-card battle will take place in San Diego(a whale's…you know the line), as the surging Colts will face the 8-8 Chargers, somehow in the playoffs following an improbable December run combined with the implosion of Denver.

Indianapolis has the MVP, Peyton Manning, on its team. Really, do they need much more? He makes the necessary adjustments throughout the game, finds the open man by making great reads, and is overall just a fantastic leader. For a San Diego defense that has struggled throughout the season, the only way to beat him is getting consistent pressure, knocking him down, rattling him, and taking him out of the game, meaning taking the ball out of his hands and making someone else execute(not injuring him). The Colts, if the Chargers manage to do this, will need to run the football, a task that they have failed miserably in in 2008, mainly because of injuries. The Chargers line should get decent pressure on Manning, but I still expect him to have a nice day, throwing to Anthony Gonzalez in the slot and Dallas Clark. Remember, the Chargers have been miserable at defending tight ends all year, and the Colts happen to have one of the best in the game.

On offense, though, the Chargers will be dangerous. Phillips Rivers, even though he's a – for lack of a better word – arrogant punk, can pick a defense apart. In last week's game against the Broncos, LT showed flashes of his old 2006-form, but, with a groin injury, could be hindered. The final result could come down to how healthy he really is, and if he can attack a defense that can struggle against the run. Bob Sanders needs to make a big impact in this game if that's the case, as he usually does.

As each day passes and with each practice he misses, it's looking like Antonio Gates, with his sprained ankle, might not play, and if he does, play poorly. This would be a significant blow to San Diego, forcing receivers like Vincent Jackson to show up and play their best. If Tomlinson and Gates aren't at their best, which appears fairly likely at this point, the Chargers – especially Rivers – would find it very difficult to stay with Manning.

For this reason, among the opinion of mine that the Colts are more disciplined with much better coaching, Indianapolis should win; I'll say 24-17, obviously a very close game. Indy just has too much confidence right now, and while they are still vunerable with a poor running game, shaky offensive line and questionable defense, I don't see the Chargers making enough plays and stopping Manning enough to pull out the victory.