The Chargers enter halftime tied 13-13 with the Indianapolis Colts. Here are four key takeaways and highlights:
1. Control the Clock– Indianapolis beat the Chargers at their own game, controlling the clock 10:44 to 19:16. The Colts held a 9:32 to 5:28 edge in the first quarter to race out to a 10-0 lead.
2. Turnovers are Key - The Bolts' defense came up big with a pair of key takeaways. Casey Hayward had his third pick of the season to set up three points for the offense. Then, when it looked like Indianapolis would extend their lead going into halftime, Jatavis Brown ripped the ball out of Andrew Luck's hands and Caraun Reid returned it 61 yards for the touchdown to tie the score.
3. Too Many Penalties - The Chargers committed too many unforced penalties on defense that ended up costing them. Melvin Ingram jumped offsides before a third down snap to give the Colts a new set of downs that led to a field goal. On the next drive, after the Chargers held Indy to a field goal, the conversion was taken off the board and a 15-yard penalty was assessed on Corey Liuget for leverage. Instead of 6-0, Indy jumped out to a 10-0 lead. Later, after it looked like the Chargers got off the field on third down at midfield, Jason Verrett was flagged for defensive holding.
4. Mental Miscues on Offense– Mental mistakes on offense stalled the Bolts on each of their drives. On the first one, Tyrell Williams dropped a surefire third down conversion on a crossing route and the Chargers had to punt. Early in the second quarter, Philip Rivers threw low and short of a wide open Melvin Gordon, who couldn't make the catch as San Diego settled for three. Then, when faced with first-and-goal from the six, a holding penalty by D.J. Fluker backed up San Diego and then Rivers overthrew a wide open Dexter McCluster. The Chargers again had to settle for a field goal. Finally, with a chance to put points on the board before halftime deep in Colts territory, Rivers couldn't connect with Melvin Gordon on a second down screen pass. One play later, he was sacked and lost the ball as Indy recovered.
ILB Manti Te'o (Achilles) will not return.