Breaking down Manning vs. Chargers

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

We've been spoiled by watching Peyton Manning perform well in the clutch so often. That shouldn't reduce the props he gets for his work during Sunday's win in San Diego.

Tobin Petitpas of ESPN Stats & Analysis broke down several elements of Manning's game.

Manning was inconsistent on first and second down, but he made that not matter much because he was so good on third and fourth down.

Third down was good, so was the third quarter.

In two drives, Manning led the Colts to 10 points, completing all nine passes he threw for 60 yards. Meanwhile, San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers fumbled the ball away at the Indianapolis 14-yard line.

Part of Manning's third-down success was thanks to receiver Anthony Gonzalez, who caught all four passes thrown to him on third down for 67 yards, four first downs and a touchdown. Outside of third down, he caught two of six balls thrown his way.

Manning spread the ball around very effectively, with 18 of his 32 passes going to running backs and tight ends.

Other quality tidbits:

  • Of Manning's incomplete passes, six were defended, five were underthrown, one was thrown away or spiked and none were overthrown or dropped.

  • Manning was better on passes of 10 yards or more (107.2 passer rating) than shorter throws (87.3).

  • Both of Manning's touchdowns were to the left. Yardage breakdown: 115 on 14 completions to the right, 84 on 11 completions to the left, 56 on seven completions to the middle.