Can Rivers Outgun Manning?

QB Philip Rivers (Donald Miralle/Getty)

The Chargers head to Indianapolis for Sunday's AFC divisional playoff game feeling good about their quarterback. But really, they always did.

Philip Rivers was a big reason the Chargers eliminated the Titans Sunday, as he threw for nearly 300 yards and a touchdown. He was particularly effective in the second half when the Chargers erased a 6-0 deficit on their way to a 17-6 win.

While Rivers' play got noticed by the national media, it produced nothing but a shrug from the Chargers.

"If I had doubts or if Philip had doubts or if any of his teammates had doubts, than that performance would be good for all of us," coach Norv Turner said.

"But I don't have any doubts about Philip, and our players don't have any doubts, and I know he doesn't have any doubts.

"He's had parts of games like that throughout the entire year. That wasn't a surprise to me."

Just like it's no surprise the pundits will say the Colts, with eight-time Pro Bowler Peyton Manning, have a decided advantage at quarterback. But that doesn't deter Rivers.

"If they didn't say they had an edge or quarterback," Rivers said, "I would think they must have been crazy with what he's done and the player he is."

PLAYER NOTES

--TE Antonio Gates looks doubtful for Sunday's game after dislocating his big toe in the win over the Titans. Gates, an All-Pro, was to undergo an MRI to get a better sense of how serious the injury is.

--FB Lorenzo Neal tested his mended broken leg in practice today. Neal, a Pro Bowler, has an outside chance of playing this weekend if he doesn't suffer a setback.

--LT Marcus McNeill is feeling upbeat about his game after not allowing a sack in the win over the Titans. In the teams' previous meeting this season, the Titans' Kyle Vanden Bosch had three sacks. He was shut out on Sunday by McNeill.

--TE Brandon Manumaleuna will see increased playing time with Gates being hobbled. While certainly not the pass-catcher that Gates is, Manumaleuna is a solid blocker. He would likely start on most other teams, if not playing behind Gates.

--CB Antonio Cromartie, who began the season as a nickel back before moving into the starting role and leading the NFL with 10 interceptions, received three votes for the NFL defensive player of the year award.

--RB Michael Turner likes the notion of going to Indy. LaDainian Tomlinson's backup had a career-long 83-yard touchdown run at the RCA Dome in 2005.

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