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Chargers Lose Heartbreaker Against the Colts

Mandatory Photo Credit: San Diego Sports Domination.

For the third time, in as many games, the Chargers had a lead in the fourth quarter, and for the second time already, they blew it. The Chargers melted down again in heartbreaking fashion, losing 26-22 to the Indianapolis Colts in a game, that left fans in San Diego with a familiar sickening feeling in their stomachs.

The Colts got off to a hot start gaining a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, but the Chargers fought back sustaining a long drive one drive and intercepting Luck on another, but could not put the ball in the end zone, settling for two field goals. The Colts then answered back with another field goal to increase the lead to 13-6, but Philip Rivers came back down the field to the Colts 17-yard line before Rivers was stripped on a sack by Erik Walden, Indianapolis recovered. Chris Hairston gave up the sack, and was only in the game because usual starter King Dunlap was a late scratch, due to an undisclosed sickness.

The Chargers gained the momentum back late in the half on a game changing strip sack of Andrew Luck, which was picked up by Chargers defensive tackle Caraun Reid and he took it all the way for a 61-yard scoop and score, tying the game at thirteen.

The two teams each scored a touchdown on their opening drives of the second half but the Colts led 20-19, because of a Josh Lambo missed extra point. The Chargers came back with a long drive getting all the way down to the 4-yard line of Indy, before stalling out and settling for a field goal which gave them a two point lead with 7:34 left in the game.

Although the Chargers lead was only two points, they had several chances to put the Colts away, the first being a 3rd-and-3 with 2:40 left to play, the Chargers were aggressive and chose a passing play, but Travis Benjamin could not corral a bad Rivers pass which should have gained at least 10 yards and kept the clock moving. Instead they punted, leaving Indy down 20-22 with 2:29 remaining and two timeouts.

After giving the ball back, the Chargers defense quickly forced a fourth down on the first series, but the desperate Colts converted the attempt to a relatively wide open T.Y. Hilton, for a first down. Hilton absolutely torched San Diego’s defense and he wasn’t done. Only two plays later Luck found T.Y. again, splitting Jason Verrett and Dexter McCoil then showing his world-class speed absolutely putting safety Adrian Phillips on skates, zig zagging down the field for a 63-yard touchdown.

The Colts failed on their two-point conversion attempt, so Philip Rivers and company were left with 1:17 to go, down 26-22, with two timeouts, and one chance to make things right. The Chargers needed a big play, and on 2nd-and-11 they looked to have it when rookie tight end Hunter Henry caught a pass over the middle taking it 18 yards up field, before Colts safety Clayton Geathers punched the ball out of his hands. The Colts recovered the fumble, and as quickly as it started the Chargers hope for a comeback win, were shut down.

The game ended strangely after the Chargers forced one last punt by the Colts, using all 11 of its defenders to try to block the punt, but the Chargers were given one untimed down from the 18-yard line, because Indianapolis touched the ball first on the punt. On the play Rivers through a short pass to Travis Benjamin who took it about 20 yards, before fumbling as he attempted to lateral the ball.

Manti Te’o, San Diego’s play caller and inside linebacker, went down in the first quarter and had to be helped to the locker room. He did not return and we now know that he has a torn achilles and will miss the remainder of the season. Jatavis Brown who stripped Andrew Luck in this game, will now have to slide into Te’o’s starting spot next to Denzel Perryman, giving them a more athletic but much less experienced group.

This is one of many issues that needs to be addressed as the Chargers struggled again on defense when they were needed, and the youth is showing in all of the wrong ways. They also were unable to run the ball effectively, even though Melvin Gordon notched his fourth touchdown in three games, he found no rhythm carrying the ball 16 times for only 35 yards. This killed them when they went into their four-minute offense, to drain clock and run the game out.

The Chargers will have to regroup as they are slated to play the high-octane offense of the New Orleans Saints at 1:25 PM Pacific Time next Sunday at the Q.

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About Daniel Wade (31 Articles)
My name is Daniel Wade and I am a writer for San Diego Sports Domination, covering the Chargers and co-host of The Chargers Domination Podcast. I hope to use my years of playing football, and years of being a loyal fan to the San Diego Chargers to bring a unique perspective and give in-depth analysis on San Diego's favorite sports team. I am also currently attending school for Journalism and would like to use this platform to help jumpstart my career of covering sports.

2 Comments on Chargers Lose Heartbreaker Against the Colts

  1. I now watch Chargers football as pure entertainment. I never expect them to win anymore…I EXPECT them to lose. It’s has become a pattern for them…a losing mentality, almost like they are afraid of winning. Heartbreaking losses…YES, get use to them. I been a Charger fan all my life and every year they BREAK my heart. Not no more…sad that I feel this way but it is what it is. Changes definitely need to be made, coaches and players and OWNERSHIP! All WINNERS HAVE GREAT OWNERS.

  2. Preach man! You are definitely saying what many people are feeling right now. This team will never be considered a great team, or even a good team if they continue to blow these leads. They have held their own in every game, but close doesn’t count for anything in this league, and neither do moral victories.

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