1:00 PM ET, January 13, 2008
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- After handing New England a huge gift, the San Diego Chargers believe it's time to give the unbeaten Patriots something else: a challenge.And, oh yeah, a loss.By stunning Peyton Manning and the defending champion Colts 28-24 on Sunday, undermanned San Diego removed New England's biggest road block to the Super Bowl. Not that the Chargers are intimidated by facing the 17-0 Patriots in the AFC title game next weekend.Despite having LaDainian Tomlinson and Philip Rivers on the sideline, the Chargers won their eighth straight game. Of course, that's not even half of what New England has achieved.
Over the last 30 years, four quarterbacks threw five or more interceptions in a regular-season game, then met that team in the playoffs. Peyton Manning suffered the same fate Sunday as the three previous members of that club.
|Peyton Manning||2007||Chargers||Loss, 28-24||2|
|Jay Schroeder||1986||Giants||Loss, 17-0||1|
|Dan Fouts||1980||Raiders||Loss, 34-27||2|
|Ken Stabler||1977||Broncos||Loss, 20-17||1|
|* Source: Elias|
While Patriots fans may be excited at the prospect of playing the Chargers instead of the Colts in the AFC Championship Game, they may want to think twice. Over the last part of the season, San Diego has arguably been a better team, especially on defense.
|Opp rush YPG||84.8||108.4|
Norv Turner was livid at the call on Weddle, berating the officials after what appeared a simple legal push by Weddle, who also had the other San Diego interception. ... During Wayne's 9-yard sideline reception on which he dived to the pylon, he was initially ruled out-of-bounds. He was given the touchdown after the Colts challenged. ... Rivers also found Chris Chambers with a 30-yard TD pass to open the second half.
Norv Turner's game plan was to rely on running backs LaDainian Tomlinson and Michael Turner to set up QB Philip Rivers and the Chargers' play-action attack. However, with the injuries to LT and Rivers, the San Diego offensive line dominated the trenches, and punter Mike Scifres was flawless in the hidden yardage that resulted in the outcome of this game. Defensively, the Colts' game plan relied on their four-man rush while dropping seven on the back end. Thanks to great protection and a lack of pressure schemes by Indy defensive coordinator Ron Meeks, Rivers and backup Billy Volek were able to make a lot of plays in the passing game. On top of that, the Chargers overcame a lot of adversity and key injuries and found a way to win a tough, physical game on the road in Indianapolis.
-- Keith Kidd, Scouts Inc.
Team Stat Comparison
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
|Yards per play||7.8||6.8|
Yards per pass
Yards per rush
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||2-2||1-3|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||0||0|
|TD||9:20||Dallas Clark, 25 yd pass from Peyton Manning (Adam Vinatieri kick is good)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 76 yds, 5:47
|TD||8:44||Vincent Jackson, 14 yd pass from Philip Rivers (Nate Kaeding kick is good)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 78 yds, 7:16
|FG||5:14||Adam Vinatieri 46 yd Field Goal|
Drive info: 8 plays, 44 yds, 3:28
|TD||11:39||Chris Chambers, 30 yd pass from Philip Rivers (Nate Kaeding kick is good)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 83 yds, 3:27
|TD||3:19||Reggie Wayne, 9 yd pass from Peyton Manning (Adam Vinatieri kick is good)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 50 yds, 3:02
|TD||0:10||Darren Sproles, 56 yd pass from Philip Rivers (Nate Kaeding kick is good)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 74 yds, 2:53
|TD||10:16||Anthony Gonzalez, 55 yd pass from Peyton Manning (Adam Vinatieri kick is good)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 56 yds, 0:43
|TD||4:54||Billy Volek, 1 yd run (Nate Kaeding kick is good)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 78 yds, 5:17