- Mike Wells, ESPN Staff Writer
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What it means: The Colts hurt themselves, and you can't point the finger at quarterback Andrew Luck, either. It’s hard to keep drives going when the receivers aren’t catching passes. Receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey got it started when he dropped what should have been a touchdown pass down the right sideline. T.Y. Hilton then dropped a pass. It really became contagious after that. Tight end Coby Fleener had two drops, including one that he could have possibly scored on. You know things were going bad when Reggie Wayne, who caught his 1,000th pass, even dropped a pass that would have given the Colts a first down. That was only the offensive side of the ball. The defense had a difficult time getting Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers off the field. The Chargers had the ball for 38 minutes, 31 seconds and rushed for 147 yards.
Stock watch: The Colts suffered a major blow when linebacker Jerrell Freeman, the team’s leading tackler, left the game in the second half with a concussion. Freeman’s absence was notable because the Chargers wisely picked on Freeman’s replacement, Mario Harvey, time and time again. Freeman will have to pass the NFL’s concussion protocol test in order to be on the field against the Denver Broncos this weekend.
Silent rushing attack: The Colts entered the game as the league’s fourth-best rushing team. They didn’t look like it at Qualcomm Stadium, though. Indianapolis ran for only 74 yards, well below their season average of 142 yards a game. It’s not like the Colts were facing one of the top run defenses in the league, either. The Chargers entered the game giving up 117.2 yards a game on the ground.
What’s next: The biggest game of the NFL season will be at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis when Peyton Manning, a fixture in the Colts organization for 14 seasons, returns for the first time with the undefeated Denver Broncos (6-0).