The Indianapolis Colts were dealt their second loss of the season Monday Night. Andrew Luck’s Monday Night Football debut didn’t go as planned, with the San Diego Chargers winning 19-9.
The Chargers dominated the pace of the game, holding possession for 38:31 The defense was unable to stop the Chargers rushing attack and struggled to land a hit on Philip Rivers despite getting pressure.
Injuries didn’t help and players rotated in and out with stingers or cramps. Jarrell Freeman left the game before the second half to get stitches on his chin, but was diagnosed with a concussion and did not return. His replacements, Mario Harvey and Kelvin Sheppard, failed to fill in adequately.
The defense gave up 74 yards rushing and allowed Rivers to pass for another 193 yards. They failed on third down, allowing the Chargers to convert 7-of-14 attempts.
Drops was the name of the game for the Indy wide receivers. Coby Fleener dropped a big pass at the end of the first half, one that likely would have gone for a touchdown. TY Hilton had a drop on third down, but would likely have been tackled short of the markers. Even Reggie Wayne had a drop on a quick slant that would have converted a third down, a play Wayne normally makes in his sleep.
Wayne did manage to haul is his 1,000th career reception tonight. The catch puts him in an elite group with only eight other members, including former Colt Marvin Harrison.
Luck tried his best to keep his team competitive, despite the poor offensive play calling. He completed 18-of-30 attempts for 202 yards. He also had 19 yards rushing on 4 carries. Luck’s final pass of the game was high to Wayne, and tipped, resulting in an interception.
The Colts were horrible on third, converting just 2-of-10 attempts.
Trent Richardson had another decent second half. Overall, he rushed for 40 yards off 10 carries. He also had an impressive run and catch that broke a number of tackles to gain a first down. A late drop on a screen pass to Richardson killed the Colts second to last drive.
Donald Brown continued to be underused, gaining 15 yards off 3 carries.
The Colts seemed unprepared to play and some of Chuck Pagano’s calls in the game were highly questionable. Pagano chose to punt from inside the Chargers 45-yard line, netting 31 yards. He punted again on 4th-and-2 with 3:32 left to play. That led to a field goal that sealed victory for the Chargers.
The loss drops the Colts to 4-2 on the season, with a one game lead in the AFC South.
It was a disappointing loss for a Colts team that had been rolling the past three weeks. Indy has another tough game this coming week with Peyton Manning coming back home with the Broncos.
Don’t forget to follow us on twitter, @InkOnIndy.