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Scouting Report: Chargers at Colts

The San Diego Chargers aim to move above .500 when they visit Lucas Oil Stadium in Week 3 to face the Indianapolis Colts. Kickoff is set for Sunday at 1:25pm PT.

A Look Back At Last Week

The Chargers ran away with a 38-14 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on White Hot Sunday to capture their first win of the season.  Philip Rivers tied a personal best with four touchdown passes while also completing the 3,500th pass of his career. Travis Benjamin scored a pair of touchdowns, catching all six balls thrown his way for 115 yards. Meanwhile, Melvin Gordon found the end zone for the third time in two games and eclipsed the century mark for the first time in his career with 102 yards rushing.  On defense, Casey Hayward picked off two Blake Bortles passes while Melvin Ingram had two sacks and a forced fumble.

What to Watch For…

On Offense for the Chargers

How the Bolts replace Danny Woodhead’s production will be top of mind after losing the running back for the season with a knee injury.  The team signed Dexter McCluster earlier in the week, adding him to a running back stable that includes Melvin Gordon, Kenneth Farrow and Andre Williams. Meanwhile, Philip Rivers enters play with a 5-1 career record against Indianapolis. He’s completed 112 of 166 passes against the Colts for 1,295 yards, six touchdowns and a 92.8 passer rating.

On Offense for the Colts

Andrew Luck is back under center to start the season after missing much of the 2015 campaign.  One of the top quarterbacks in the game, the five-year veteran has completed 52 of 87 attempts for 582 yards, five touchdowns and just one interception through two games. His top weapons include wide receivers T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief and Phillip Dorsett. On the ground, the ageless Frank Gore is off to another fast start.  He’s carried the ball 27 times for 103 yards along with seven catches for 38 yards and a TD.

On Defense for the Chargers

San Diego’s secondary looks to keep rolling as they’ve recorded three interceptions (Casey Hayward 2, Jason Verrett) in the first two games. Meanwhile, Brandon Flowers leads the team with three tackles for loss. With Jahleel Addae out after fracturing his clavicle, the onus will be on Dexter McCoil and Adrian Phillips to step up at safety. In the front seven, Manti Te’o leads San Diego with 19 tackles while Melvin Ingram has two sacks.

On Defense for the Colts

Although decimated by injuries over the first two weeks, Indianapolis hopes to have a number of defenders back in the fold when they host the Bolts. The Colts secondary boasts a pair of former Chargers cornerbacks in Antonio Cromartie and Patrick Robinson.  Up front, Indy might get DE Henry Anderson on the field for the first time this season after his impressive rookie campaign was cut short last year with a knee injury.

Series History

The Chargers hold an 18-10 series lead over the Colts, and have won six of the last seven meetings.  The Bolts have won the last three in Indy since a 34-31 OT loss in 2004.   

By the Numbers

The Chargers rank 12th in total offense (372.5 yards per game), 25th in passing (220.0 ypg), third in rushing (152.5 ypg) and second in points (32.5). The Colts ranked 18th total offense (351.5 ypg), 14th in passing (269.0 ypg), 22nd in rushing (82.5 ypg) and ninth in points (27.5)

Defensively, the Bolts rank 23rd in total defense (400.5 ypg), 29th in passing (324.0 ypg), seventh in rushing (76.0 ypg) and 19th in points allowed (23.5).  Indianapolis rank 30th in total defense (424.0 ypg), 25th in passing (299.0 ypg), 29th in rushing (125.0 ypg) and 32nd in points allowed (36.5).

Milestones on the Horizon

Philip Rivers is four touchdown passes away from tying Johnny Unitas (290) for 10th all-time in NFL history. He is five shy of Warren Moon for ninth.

Antonio Gates is six touchdown catches shy of Tony Gonzalez (111) for most ever by a tight end and sixth for any player in NFL history.

What to Watch For

San Diego held the opposition to under 83 yards in each of their first two games.  If they do so against the Colts, it would mark the first time since 1992 they limited their first three opponents under that amount on the ground.

If the Chargers run for 150 yards against Indianapolis on Sunday, it would mark the first time they had three straight 150-yard rushing efforts since 2006.

With an interception on Sunday the Bolts will have a pick in three straight games to start a season for the first time since 2009.

Noteworthy vs. the Colts

On Jan. 13, 2008, Rivers posted a postseason career-high passer rating (133.2) in a win over the Colts.

Antonio Gates had a team-high eight catches in the Chargers’ 2008 Wild Card overtime win against the Colts.

On November 1, 1992, the Chargers defense held Indianapolis to 99 total yards, the third-best defensive performance in franchise history.

Kellen Clemens passed for 247 yards and two touchdowns as part of a career-high 140.6 passer rating day in a 38-8 win at Indianapolis while with the Rams in 2013.  It included a career-long 81-yard touchdown pass to Tavon Austin.

As a rookie for Green Bay in 2012, Casey Hayward recorded his first NFL pick vs. the Colts.

Connections

General Manager Tom Telesco spent 15 seasons (1998-12) working in football operations for the Colts, serving as a college scout (1998-00), pro scout (2001-03), director of pro scouting (2004-05), director of player personnel (2006-11) and vice president of football operations (2012). His tenure in Indy was one of the most successful in Colts history as they played in two Super Bowls, including a victory over Chicago in Super Bowl XLI.

Defensive Coordinator John Pagano is the younger brother of Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano. John worked for the Colts from 1998-01 as a defensive assistant.

Chargers safety Dwight Lowery started all 16 games for Indianapolis in 2015, recording 83 tackles and a career-high four interceptions.

Tight end Sean McGrath spent time on the Colts’ practice squad in 2015.

Wide receiver Griff Whalen played in 33 games with the Colts from 2012-15.

Chargers Director of College Scouting Kevin Kelly spent three seasons (2009-11) as an area scout with the Colts.

Area Scout James MacPherson went to training camp with the Colts as a quarterback in 2003.

Colts cornerback Antonio Cromartie was San Diego’s first-round pick in 2006 and played for the Bolts through until 2009.

Cornerback Patrick Robinson played for the Chargers in 2015.

Running back Jordan Todman was a sixth-round pick by the Chargers in 2011. He spent time as a rookie on the team’s active roster and practice squad.

Quarterback Scott Tolzien spent time with the Bolts as a rookie in 2011.

Colts Offensive Coordinator Rob Chudzinski was the Chargers tight ends coach from 2005-06 and the team’s assistant head coach and tight ends coach from 2009-10.

Vice President of Football Operations Jimmy Raye II spent 17 years with the Chargers prior to joining the Colts. Raye served as San Diego’s director of player personnel from 2008-2012. Raye originally joined the Chargers in 1996 and spent four seasons (1996-99) as a scout and eight as the team’s director of college scouting (2000-07). He also played wide receiver at San Diego State from 1986-90.

Strength and Conditioning Coach Darren Krein was drafted by the Chargers in the fifth-round (150th overall) in 1994.

Quarterbacks Coach Brian Schottenheimer is the son of former Chargers Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer. Brian coached quarterbacks in San Diego from 2002-05.

Defensive Backs Coach Greg Williams was the Chargers assistant linebackers coach from 2009-12 and the Bolts assistant secondary coach from 2013-15.

Regional Scout Chad Henry is the son of former Chargers Offensive Line Coach Jack Henry.

Colts Wide Receivers Coach Lee Hull participated in the NFL’s Minority Internship Program with the Chargers from 2000-01.

Know Your Opponent

Broadcast Information

CBS (KFMB, Channel 8 in San Diego and KCBS-TV, Channel 9 in Los Angeles and Orange County) – Kevin Harlan (play-by-play) and Rich Gannon (analyst)

Rock 105.3 FM, XTRA Sports 1360 (San Diego) and AM 570 KLAC (Los Angeles & Orange County) – Josh Lewin (play-by-play) and Nick Hardwick (analyst)

Spanish Radio –XHFG 107.3 (San Diego)– Jorge Villanueva (play-by-play) and Tony Alvarez (analyst)

All Chargers radio broadcasts are now being streamed live on the team’s official website, www.chargers.com. XTRA Sports 1360 Broadcasts with Josh Lewin (play-by-play) and Nick Hardwick (analyst) will begin two hours before kickoff and continue for 90 minutes of postgame coverage.

Download the Chargers Official Mobile App for live game coverage, stats, and game day news.

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