ANDERSON, Ind. — CHARGERS 19, COLTS 9
Player of the Game
Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers
The former Cal star fell in the draft after questions arose about his speed and character. But on Monday night he looked like the first-round talent he was intially projected to be. Allen caught nine passes for 107 yards and the game's only touchdown. His performance was key to San Diego moving the chains and winning the time of possession with 38:31.
Dropped passes by Darrius Heyward-Bey and Coby Fleener took away big gains, and the offense failed to score a touchdown for the first time this year. A woeful third-down performance greatly contributed to the problem, with Indianapolis converting just two of 10 attempts. The lack of sustained drives kept a tired defense on the field and eliminated all sense of rhythm.
The Colts had no answer for the Chargers' up-tempo, no-huddle attack and simply could not get off the field. San Diego was 7-for-14 on third down and racked up 24 first downs overall. Turnovers have been the key to beating the Chargers this year, and Indianapolis got none. Philip Rivers was sacked just twice and completed 22 of 33 passes for 237 yards and one score. Running back Ryan Mathews added 102 rushing yards on 22 carries to help keep the chains moving.
Special teams: D
Pat McAfee's final punt traveled just 35 yards, setting San Diego up at their own 48-yard line for a five-play drive that ended with a game-clinching 50-yard field goal. An illegal block by safety Larry Asante on a punt return pushed the offense back to the 18-yard line to start the possession on which it had its last, best chance to tie the game. The lone bright spot was kicker Adam Vinatieri, who connected on all three of his field-goal tries. On a night when nearly nothing went right, there was plenty of blame to go around.