By W.G. Ramirez

While three of Indianapolis’ wins this season were against teams considered less-than impressive (saving room for an opinion on the Dolphins), it’s two wins in the last three weeks that have everyone noting there’s nothing fluky – er, Lucky – about the Colts.

On the contrary, behind quarterback Andrew Luck, these Colts were anything but fortuitous in a dominating 27-7 win at San Francisco on Sept. 22, and in a 34-28 home shootout victory over the Seahawks.

Line1_PROOFThe second-year quarterback threw a pair of touchdown passes and guided the Colts on two time-consuming scoring drives in the fourth quarter, taking the lead on Donald Brown’s 3-yard TD run with 8:55 to play, last week against Seattle. It was his ninth winning drive in the fourth quarter or overtime, the most through the first 21 games by any quarterback that began his career dating back to 1970.

Now, in the Colts and Bolts’ first meeting since Peyton Manning was yelling “Omaha” for Indy, Luck is looking to run his string of good fortune to 3-0 with a suitcase in hand.

Meanwhile, the Chargers are in after committing five turnovers in a loss at Oakland including three interceptions by Philip Rivers, who has two straight 400-yard passing games and three in four games. Though he looked awfully different than the quarterback who threw for 401 yards and three touchdowns to beat the Dallas Cowboys a couple weeks back, believe it or not, he could become the first quarterback in NFL history to have three straight 400-yard passing games.

He can’t get too cocky, though, as the Colts’ stingy pass defense has intercepted seven passes in five games. As a matter of fact, the Colts are tied for fourth in the league with a plus-6 turnover differential.

There are several angles to look at with these two teams, as it could go from being a defensive struggle to an offensive shootout very quickly. It could come down to the end and take a stroke of ‘Luck’ or ‘Bolt’ of lightning, you just never know.

Let’s take a look at the key matchup…

KEY SHOWDOWN: Andrew Luck vs. Chargers’ Defense Line

Honestly, as impressive as the Colts were in their win over Seattle, it was a physical game in which – let’s face it – Indianapolis did after rally from after a horrendous start that included a blocked punt to give the Seahawks an early 12-0 lead. Now the Colts are making their third long road trip in four weeks.

True, they won the first two roadies at San Francisco and Jacksonville by a combined score of 64-10, and they can take solace in knowing the Chargers have allowed some glaring numbers on defense (432 yards per game). Then again, San Diego’s two wins came against highly explosive Philadelphia and the same Dallas team that almost knocked off Denver.

The Chargers will need to play exquisite on defense, if Luck plays his best game – something he’s been doing. The 6-foot-4, 240-pound quarterback is emerging quickly as the best young quarterback in the game, as he calls the signals and leads an offense as it’s supposed to be done. His fundamentals are near-flawless, and what has really matured him and separated him from the pack of others who broke out with him last year is his patience.

The biggest question about him, and we’ll all have to wait for the answer, is how will he do in his Monday night debut?

BY THE NUMBERS: Indianapolis (-2, 50) at San Diego

While Luck has spearheaded the Colts’ offense this season, it was the rushing game that was ranked 4th in the league overall to start Week 6; the passing game ranked 24th.

Indy’s pass defense has been stellar, as it came into the weekend 6th in the NFL. The rushing D has been less-than impressive, as it was 30th.

The Colts arrive in Southern California on ATS win streaks of 8-0 against losing teams, 6-3 on the highway, 8-1 on Monday Night Football, 4-1 in October and 12-5 dating back to last season.

Indianapolis has stayed under in 23 of its last 31 games dating back.

The Chargers came into Week 6 with the fifth-ranked offense overall, led by the fifth-best passing game. However, their defense has been lacking and entered the weekend ranked 27th overall. San Diego has been beaten by both facets, ranking 24th against the run and 27th against the pass.

The Bolts are tied for 28th at minus-8 in turnover differential.

San Diego checks into primetime on ATS runs of 5-0 after a straight-up loss and 4-1 overall. Conversely, the Bolts are mired in spread slides of 6-11 at home and 0-6 in the month of October.

In this series, however, the Chargers have covered 6 of 7 and the underdog is on a sterling 8-0 ATS run at the window. The under has cashed 5 of the last 6 meetings.

INJURY REPORT: COLTS: DNP (Did Not Practice): S LaRon Landry (ankle), LB Bjoern Werner (foot). LIMITED: LB Erik Walden (elbow). FULL: RB Stanley Havili (ankle), DT Ricky Jean Francois (groin). CHARGERS: DNP: LB Donald Butler (groin), LB Jarret Johnson (hamstring), CB Richard Marshall (groin), G Chad Rinehart (toe). LIMITED: T D.J. Fluker (calf). FULL: RB Ryan Mathews (concussion), CB Johnny Patrick (chest).

ON DECK: The Chargers will make their third trip across the country, while Indianapolis and Luck will play arguably the franchise’s biggest game in history.

San Diego is laying 7.5 at Jacksonville, while the Colts are catching 5.5 at home from Manning and the visiting Broncos.

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