INDIANAPOLIS – An old nemesis will be on the visiting sideline of Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday.
The Colts and Chargers will meet at 4:25 p.m. on Sunday in a second straight game against the AFC West.
What are the key ingredients to victory, presented by Papa Johns, when the Colts host the Chargers on Sunday afternoon?
1. Rattling Rivers
-It's no easy task disrupting the rhythm of Philip Rivers. The skill guys continue to turnover in San Diego, but Rivers has been a constant, consistent quarterback. The Colts have had their troubles with Rivers. Including the playoffs, Rivers is 5-1 all-time against the Colts.
2. Healthier Defense
-The Colts are getting healthier at a very, very important time. Finally, the defense could have a look at what the starting unit was supposed to be this season. That could mean the 2016 debut for second-year defensive end Henry Anderson, who tore his ACL last November.
3. Missing Moncrief
-Without Donte Moncrief, the Colts are missing a key ingredient to their offense. Couple that with Luck being limited at practice, and the timing of No. 12 and the receiving group is going to be something to watch on Sunday. You know San Diego is going to try and take away T.Y. Hilton with cornerback Jason Verrett.
4. Time To Tackle
-The tackling was better in Week Two, but Ted Monachino still was shaking his head at a handful of third-and-long situations Denver converted against the Colts. Philip Rivers and the Chargers have not challenged teams deep much at all in the first two games of 2016, so wrapping up on underneath routes will once again be vital for Monachino's bunch.
5. Finding The Ground Game
-San Diego has struggled in stopping the run. Teams are averaging 5.1 yards per carry versus the Chargers. Opponents haven't been able to consistently pound the rock though because San Diego has jumped out to early leads. With Donte Moncrief out, the Colts have to find some balance with Frank Gore and company.
6. Critical Stretch Coming
-Just how important are the next five weeks for the Colts? In the next three weeks, the Colts play teams with a combined record of 1-5. Also, none of those games are true road contests. After the next three weeks, the Colts will then have road games with Houston and Tennessee. It's a favorable stretch, combined with three divisional games away from home, that will set up the second half of 2016 for the Colts.
7. London Awaits
-Crazy to think that in one week, the Colts will be in London getting ready for a football game some five time zones away. The good news for the Colts is they are starting to get healthier on defense. The bye week won't come until mid-November, so it's a welcomed sign for Ted Monachino having his expected personnel nearing 100 percent.