Luck Dissapears Down the River
The eyes of the sporting world were all on Monday Night Football in San Diego as the Colts came to town to take on a Chargers team eager to bounce back from a defeat.
Within 5 seconds of the start the Chargers NT Cam Thomas gave away a cheap 5 yard penalty for a false start. The resulting play lead to a flea flicker by Andrew Luck who found WR Reggie Wayne for a 1st down on the Chargers 40 yard line. Two plays later and the visitors where on the 20 yard line. The defense held their line and the Colts where forced to kick for 3 points.
RB Ryan Matthews made a 1st down as the Chargers used the running game to move the football up the field. Rivers was unable to complete his pass to Antonio Gates on 3rd down. The Colts received the football back and failed to make anything of their drive. Eddie Royal made a fair catch to set up a Chargers 1st and 10. Rivers still could not find rookie Keenan Allen and Mike Scifres again entered the field of play to punt back to the Colts.
With under two minutes to go in the first and Rivers began to find his range.
Ryan Matthews continued to penetrate the Colts defence and Keenan Allen was holding on to the football from Rivers. With just over 12 minutes left in the second Rivers found Allen in the end zone with a peach of a pass on double coverage by FS Delino Howell and CB Vontae Davis. Trent Richardson responded with a strong run shortly after but once again the Chargers defense stood firm and tackled hard. As if Ryan Matthews had been told this was his last game of football he continued to run the football. Rivers continued to show his leadership and intelligence as the offense mounted on another drive. Eddie Royal was in the locker room with a toe injury but once again the commentator uttered the name "Ryan Matthews". You heard it, the Chargers were employing a solid running game which kept Andrew Luck and his offense on the side line. Keenan Allen could not get on the end of a Rivers pass inside the end zone, resulting in a Chargers 3 pointer.
Indianapolis finished the first half in the same fashion as they started it with 3 points. HT 6-10.
Danny Woodhead now came into the game. Keen Allen made his 7th catch of the evening as the offense continued to control the clock and the football. With just over 9 minutes left on the clock Nick Novak converted for 3 points. Corey Liuget made some nice tackles on defence to stop the Colts run as they looked to feed Trent Richardson. A Chargers drive that started on their own 10 yard line progressed through Keenan Allen and Danny Woodhead.
The Chargers were looking like a completely different team to that from week 5 and despite making more long drives they could not find the end zone. Nick Novak kicked for another two conversions and the visitors also converted for another 3 points. Rivers made the final play taking a knee to move them to 3-3.
The Colts can say that they did not make plays and dropped catches. Take nothing away from San Diego. 60 plays (30 runs and 30 passes) averaging 5 yards a play limited Andrew Luck's game time. Not many teams will prevent the promising young QB from touchdown passes this season. The defence played smart and worked well as a unit. King Dunlap looked solid in the pocket. Danny Woodhead did nothing to harm his reputation as he averaged 9.4 yards a carry. Ryan Matthews may have won a few more fans over with 22-102. Rookie Keenan Allen is fast becoming a Qualcomm favourite as he caught 9 for 107 and a touchdown.
Credit to Mike McCoy, Ken Whisenhunt and the rest of the coaching staff. This was a good solid performance against an inform Indianapolis Colts. The game will not go down as a classic but more importantly the record books will show it as a "W". The Chargers just need to find that extra ingredient of success now which is consistency. Next up, a trip to Jacksonville.