NFL Nation: 2013 Week 6 IND at SDG Rapid Reaction
October, 14, 2013
By Eric D. Williams | ESPN.com
SAN DIEGO -- A few thoughts on the San Diego Chargers' 19-9 win over the Indianapolis Colts.
What it means: The Chargers' roller coaster of a season continues, as San Diego rebounds from a disappointing loss to the AFC West rival Oakland Raiders last week to defeat one of the best teams in the NFL in the Colts, controlling the tempo for most of the game. At 3-3 overall, the Chargers jumped back into the AFC playoff hunt.
Ground McCoy: Known for his pass-first approach, San Diego coach Mike McCoy let the ground game lead the way for the Chargers offensively. After rushing for just 32 yards against Oakland last week, the Chargers ground out 147 rushing yards. Ryan Mathews led the charge with his first 100-yard rushing game of the season, totaling 102 yards on 22 carries. San Diego's ability to sustain a running game led to a 38:31 to 21:29 advantage in time of possession.
Stock watch: Playing with two frontline players out in linebackers Donald Butler (groin) and Jarret Johnson (hamstring), San Diego's much-maligned defense played well, holding Indianapolis to 2-for-10 on third downs and just 267 total yards. The Colts averaged 27.8 points a contest heading into Monday's contest, but the Chargers held them to just nine. Cornerback Derek Cox capped the night with the Chargers' first interception since the team's first defensive play of the season by defensive tackle Cam Thomas.
Keenan Allen time: Watch out Antonio Gates, because San Diego rookie receiver Keenan Allen is developing into Philip Rivers' favorite target right before our eyes. He was targeted a team-high 12 times, finishing with a career-high nine catches for 107 yards, including a 22-yard reception for a score.
What's next: The Chargers hit the road, travelling to Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars on Sunday for a 1 p.m. ET kickoff time.
October, 14, 2013
By Mike Wells | ESPN.com
SAN DIEGO -- A few thoughts on the Indianapolis Colts' 19-9 loss to the San Diego Chargers.
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).