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Sun., Jul. 19, 2015 7:30 AM PDT
Chargers - Colts In-Game Report
Qualcomm Stadium has had a fair share of ear-shattering moments tonight. Then, there was the deafening noise that came after Nick Novak's game-icing 50-yard field goal.
The Bolts swarmed Novak as he knocked his fourth -- and most important -- kick home. Cornerback Derek Cox added a late interception, and the Chargers' beat the Colts 19-9.
The game was still in the balance when Philip Rivers and the offense started the quarter. They converted once on third down but Rivers was sacked on the next. Nick Novak nailed his third field goal when the drive went stale.
Andrew Luck and the Colts responded with a field goal drive of their own. But when the unit regained possession, they backed themselves into the shadow of their own end zone with an unnecessary roughness penalty. The defense rose up to match the intensity of the Qualcomm Stadium crowd and forced a punt.
That's when Rivers and the offense took over. Ryan Mathews kicked off their game-icing drive with a 15-yard scamper to the right and bowled Colts safety Antoine Bethea over. The Colts were forced to burn a timeouts when Mathews grinded for eight more yards.
Antonio Gates' diving attempt on third down was just short, and after a series of timeouts and reviews, Novak boomed home the clutch kick.
The Chargers will move to 3-3 on the season. Stay tuned to Chargers.com for the latest analysis and news.
Another possession to open the second half, another score for the Bolts.
The Chargers have put points on the board to start the third quarter in five of their six games this season. Nick Novak's second field goal continued the trend tonight, and after 45 minutes of play, the Bolts lead the Colts 13-6.
Vincent Brown highlighted the drive with a tough catch over the middle. He outworked Colts cornerback Greg Toler, and with Toler draped over his shoulder, he landed with the ball and secured the catch.
But the offense stalled in the red zone. Novak kicked a field goal to widen the lead to a touchdown after a pass to Allen in the back of the end zone fluttered incomplete.
The Bolts defense surrendered its first third down conversions of the night with two Trent Richardson runs. But Andrew Gachkar corralled Richardson on a minimal gain to force another third down, and Andrew Luck misfired on the next play to force a punt.
Danny Woodhead kept the ensuing drive alive with a huge second down run. Backed up after an illegal shift penalty, Woodhead bounced off a would-be tackler on 2nd-and-11 to gain ten yards. Le'Ron McClain picked up the first down on a run up the gut.
That's where the fourth quarter begins. The Bolts have the ball at their own 36 and are looking to get in the end zone again.
Apparently, Keenan Allen plays his best under the lights.
The rookie receiver introduced himself to a national audience with a touchdown and a six-catch, 115-yard performance last weekend in Oakland. And he's quickly becoming the star of tonight's Monday night game with two big catches on a Chargers scoring drive.
He capped that drive with a 22-yard touchdown catch. Nick Novak and Adam Vinatieri traded field goals to end the half, and the Bolts lead the Colts 10-6 after 30 minutes.
Allen fought through two defenders in the end zone to come up with the ball. But Philip Rivers couldn't have placed the ball any better. He led his receiver to the middle of the end zone and away from any defenders, and a touchdown was the result.
Qualcomm Stadium erupted when Allen emerged with the ball in hand. The touchdown capped a 12-play drive for the Bolts -- tied for the longest scoring march of 2013 at the time.
That record only stood for a few Colts plays. Rivers led a 17-play drive when the Chargers regained possession that spanned just under eight minutes. Novak kicked his first field goal of the game, and the Chargers opened their lead to a touchdown.
Andrew Luck drove the Colts into Vinatieri's range and the kicker's 50-yard kick was good. The Chargers will start the second half with the ball and will try to open up their lead to two scores.
Stay tuned to Chargers.com for the latest.
It's going to be tough going over the middle against the Bolts defense tonight.
A hard hit from Eric Weddle froze Colts tight end Coby Fleener before the first down sticks. And several more sound tackles limited the damage of the Colts' first drive to a field goal -- the only score of the first quarter.
Weddle isn't the only Chargers defender laying the lumber. Derek Cox pulled Reggie Wayne down immediately after a three-yard reception, and reserve linebacker Andrew Gachkar wrangled Andrew Luck down on a scramble (not an easy feat considering the Colts' quarterback is six-foot-four and almost 240 pounds).
The Colts started off their scoring drive with a flea-flicker that went four yards backwards on a pitch from Trent Richardson before Andrew Luck threw 35 yards downfield to Reggie Wayne. But that drive stalled when Gachkar tackled Luck short on second down and Luck misfired on third down. Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri kicked a 30-yard field goal.
The Bolts offense is on the field to start the second and looking to cut into the Colts' 3-0 lead.
The San Diego Chargers (2-3) and the AFC South-leading Indianapolis Colts (4-1) square off in the final game of Week 6 in a match that promises to be a hard-nosed Monday Night bout. The game kicks off at 5:40PM at Qualcomm Stadium.
Philip Rivers could spoil the Colts’ defensive gameplan if he continues to play the way he has in primetime this season. The ten-year veteran has thrown six touchdowns in two night games thus far and will look to continue that trend tonight. Another strong performance from the Bolts' offensive line will help that effort. Despite injuries, the unit has surrendered only eight sacks all year. the second fewest in the NFL. With time to throw, Rivers has found a stable of players including last week's breakout receivers, Keenan Allen and Vincent Brown. Rivers also looks the way of Danny Woodhead; the first-year Bolt has caught 31 passes while being a key component in the team's three-headed running back rotation.
Second-year passer Andrew Luck has taken his game to the next level in his second year at the helm of the Colts' offense. He's working under Pep Hamilton, his former offensive coordinator at Stanford, and completing over 62 percent of his throws to receivers like veteran Reggie Wayne and second-year pro T.Y. Hilton. He also has the luxury of turning around and handing to Trent Richardson. The Colts are averaging 4.7 yards per carry since they acquired the former Crimson Tide star last month.
Stay tuned to Chargers.com for the latest news and analysis from Bolts-Colts.