Even without LaDainian Tomlinson and Philip Rivers, the Chargers made sure the Indianapolis Colts won't repeat as Super Bowl champions.
Now San Diego must make sure it doesn't repeat its last performance at New England.
That will be especially difficult without an injured L.T., who departed in the first half with a bruised left knee, and starting quarterback Rivers, who went out in the third quarter with a damaged right knee in the Chargers' stunning 28-24 victory Sunday.
With Billy Volek at quarterback and Michael Turner as the main runner, San Diego went 78 yards on eight plays, with Volek sneaking in from the 1 with 4:50 remaining for the lead. The Chargers' big-play defense then held on downs at its 7, and stopped Indy again in the final moments to preserve their eighth straight win.
To make it nine in a row and advance to their second Super Bowl - the other was a loss to San Francisco after the 1994 season - the Chargers will need all the resourcefulness they showed at Indianapolis. Being undermanned against undefeated New England hardly is an enticing prospect.
Still, with All-Pro cornerback Antonio Cromartie getting an interception and fumble recovery, and linebackers Shawne Merriman and Shaun Phillips plaguing Peyton Manning, the Chargers showed they have the ability to throw off any offense. Maybe even the most prolific attack in NFL history.
The Chargers didn't come close against the Patriots in Week 2, falling 38-14. That was the beginning of a slide to 5-5 for San Diego, but the Chargers (13-5) are rolling now.