As reporters crowded around the defensive lineman, a teammate shouted "SACK" before rushing to the locker room showers. And Reyes, who notched a pivotal quarterback takedown in the fourth quarter, briefly stopped answering his first post-game question and grinned from ear to ear.
The overall defensive effort without
"That's the thing about this game," Reyes said after recollecting himself. "It's the next man up mentality. That's what we did all week. Everyone stepped up."
In fact, Reyes and the Chargers played the role of interrupters for the better part of 60 minutes on Monday. Andrew Luck was harassed all night, forced to shuffle his feet and throw to his hot receivers instead of downfield. As a direct result, the Colts -- who came into tonight's game moving the chains on exactly one-half of their third down snaps, went 2-for-10 and couldn't sustain drives.
A hard-hitting defense exerted its toll on the Colts offense. Early in the game,
The Colts were forced into one of their eight punts. It's no surprise that Luck exited tonight's contest as a frustrated quarterback.
"We stunk on third down today and a lot of credit to their defense," Luck said. "They had great pressures, a good job covering guys. If we can't convert third down and drives continually stall like that…it's not points for us."
It started, as defensive coordinator John Pagano designed, with stopping the Colts' power running attack. Sometimes that meant wrangling the mobile Luck on scrambles before he could move the chains, as linebacker
On certain plays, like one in the third quarter where
"It all started with stopping the run tonight," said Keiser. "We had some success getting to their backs and slowing their running game and we earned the right to rush the passer."
And rush the passer they did. Head coach Mike McCoy said Luck was never able to set his feet and step up in the pocket. The defensive line trio of Reyes,
"The defense played lights-out the entire game," said McCoy. "Give the defensive line a little credit for getting after the quarterback a little bit."
No sack was timelier than Reyes'. He burst through the Colts line on second down and pulled a hurried Luck to the turf. They settled for yet another field goal instead of getting in the end zone.
"Coach Pagano was doing a great job calling pressures," said Reyes. "We knew if we got Luck off the spot, it would do good things for us. It just worked out for us on that play."
They ended their night with an exclamation point. Down two scores, Luck had no choice but to pass deep to Wayne. But with pass rushers closing in, he threw too fast and too high -- and Cox came down with a game-sealing interception.
“That might be the first time, at least professionally, I got the game sealing interception with the clock winding down,” he said. “It just feels great to win and gives me a morale boost into next week.”