San Diego vs Indianapolis

Posted: Sunday, January 13, 2008 by Travis Cody in

Indy looks sharp on the opening drive. There was a slight mix up on what looked like a draw play. That ended up forcing a 4th down, which the Colts picked up easily.

Then it's business as usual as Peyton Manning stands calmly in the pocket waiting for Dallas Clark to uncover for the TD. Manning goes 6 for 6 on the drive.

After a couple of runs that go nowhere, the Chargers complete two passes for big chunks of yardage and are threatening.

But just as I finished typing that, Philip Rivers threw an interception on the sideline. The Chargers challenge the play. The question is going to be possession because on replay it looks like the defender is juggling the ball as he backs out of bounds.

Replay confirms that the defender had possession and maintained control, so it's a pick for Indy.

Manning hasn't missed yet and I'm sure he's loving having a healthy offense. But there's a blip that happens when you haven't played in two months. Marvin Harrison got his first reception and it went for a first down, but he fumbled on contact and San Diego recovered.

It's tough to simulate the speed and contact of a real game in practice. Harrison has only fumbled 9 times in his 12 year career. That's 9 fumbles in 1,042 receptions.

Rivers started to lose his cool after getting a delay of game penalty, but he held it together enough to complete a pass for the first down. And now San Diego is just outside the red zone.

The Chargers are having trouble getting plays off before the play clock runs down. They've had one delay penalty on this drive, and two other snaps just as the clock was hitting zero. Now they've had to call their last time out of the half because the clock was running down.

LaDainian Tomlinson fumbled but the Chargers got the ball back. The Chargers overcome a bit of ineptitude - two false starts, a fumble, and taking the play clock all the way down to zero - to get the ball in the end zone and tie the game.

The Colts answer with a big screen pass to Joseph Addai. He almost ran like he was looking for someone to come hit him, but there was no one there.

Manning goes back to Harrison, and this time Marvin hangs on. The Colts aren't getting too much in the run game right now, but the short passes are so successful that they are just as good as runs.

Ooops. Manning nearly threw a pick...from the way he threw it, I don't think Manning saw the SD defender. And that little miscue helps stall the drive, forcing a 46 yard field goal and the Colts lead 10-7.

The Chargers start this series with Tomlinson on the sidelines riding a stationary bike. I guess he got dinged on the play where he fumbled.

San Diego is really playing well. Other than the interception on the first drive, the Colts haven't been able to stop them. Rivers is playing as well as Manning.

That was a good blitz, forcing Rivers to throw the ball away as none of his receivers adjusted their patterns. The Colts nearly pick off the next pass to force 4th down. Indy got a break on the illegal contact on the play because Rivers was out of the pocket when he threw.

The Chargers doink the field goal try off the upright.

Bob Sanders made a mistake by taunting on that missed field goal, so the Colts start the 2 minute drive a little farther back. Manning quickly gets Indy down to the Chargers 35 before he has to use the first time out.

Oh no! Manning's pass gets tipped and picked off. Antonio Cromartie ran the pick back for a TD, but luckily for the Colts there was a holding penalty during the return that negates the touchdown run. And that's the way the half ends.

As well as the Colts have played, San Diego has taken advantage of a couple of turnovers to stay in the game.

San Diego tries a reverse on the kick off to start the second half, but it goes nowhere. And Tomlinson is out of the game at the moment. Reports are that he has a bruised knee.

Rivers continues to play well. Indy is not getting any pressure on him, and he's finding a rhythm. In the run game, even without Tomlinson, the Colts are getting blown off the ball by the San Diego offensive line. As sharp as Indy was early, the Chargers now seem to be in control.

Rivers throws a great pass for the go ahead TD.

The Colts get good field position on the kick off return, and now it's time for the offense to get control.

Just as the pronouncers said that Indy had totally abandoned the run, Addai gets off a couple of good runs for positive yards and first downs that get the Colts into the red zone. This is just the kind of drive Indy needed to manage the momentum San Diego grabbed a the end of the first half and beginning of the second.

I don't believe it! Another tipped ball falls into the hands of a San Diego defender. That's just ridiculous. That pick is on Kenton Keith, the running back who flat missed the catch.

Fortunately the Indy defense forces a punt. Unfortunately Bob Sanders was injured during the series...possibly a shoulder. Plus Addai also went out with some head injury when the Colts previously had the ball. Hopefully both injuries are just nicks and not serious.

The Colts are driving again. Manning catches SD in a defensive substitution and snaps the ball to get the offsides penalty. Reggie Wayne takes a short pass and makes a great move to get by the defender...and an even better move to get the ball across the endzone for a TD, but the ref says he was out of bounds. Replay seems to show that he got the ball over the goal line before any part of his body hit out of bounds. Replay confirms the TD and Indy gets the lead back at 17-14.

Sanders has returned to the field, which is good news for the Colts. San Diego begins its drive with 12 in the huddle, which is a penalty. And Tomlinson remains on the sideline, which is more bad news for the Chargers.

The crowd noise has really picked up. San Diego is having trouble again getting the play off, resulting in a flinch on the offensive line while the play clock runs out. But then Rivers completes a big pass for a first down and keeps the drive going.

Dammit! SD gets a screen pass and takes it to the endzone to regain the lead at 21-17. Rivers limped off the field with the bad knee, and he's heading into the locker room now.

I detest San Diego, but I do give them props for playing so well. The problem? If they happen to win today it sets up a worst case scenario for me in the AFC Championship game because I can't stand either New England or the Chargers.

The refs just threw a flag for pass interference, but I can't agree with the call based on the replay. I can guess that it might have been for cutting off the receiver's route with an armbar. But then there's a personal foul against the Colts for a blow to the head, and that sucks because Indy just got a big first down completion downfield

And now San Diego is called for defensive holding, so now it's first and 10 for Indy again! Geez!

San Diego had great downfield coverage and the Colts aren't able to take advantage of the penalties. The Colts nearly down the punt inside the 1 yard line, but it's a touchback.

Rivers is still in the locker room, so Billy Volek starts the drive for SD. Tomlinson is also still on the sidelines. The Chargers keep the ball on the ground for a couple of very short gains.

Rivers is back on the sideline now, but Volek stays in the game and throws an incomplete pass on 3rd down. The Chargers punt and the Colts get a good return.

Woooooooooooooooooo!!! I was just getting ready to type that Manning was really starting to struggle. But then he throws a pass to a wide open Anthony Gonzales who tip toes along the sideline, keeps his balance, and runs to the endzone for the go ahead TD. The Chargers challenge that he stepped out of bounds, but the replays seem to show that he barely kept his feet in bounds. The refs agree and now the score is 24-21.

Rivers is still out of the game and so is Tomlinson. Volek is no slouch as a back up. He started games in Tennessee and backed up Steve McNair for several years.

The Colts get called for a major facemask penalty to bail out the Chargers on a 3rd down. San Diego is dominating Indy's defense on this drive.

Whoa! That was a fumble at the goal line, but his knee was down and SD scores on a QB keeper by Volek. Now it's 28-24 SD.

Did I mention how much I despise San Diego?

Manning has thrown for nearly 340 yards today, but he's got those two tipped balls for interceptions. Now he completes 3 more quick throws for 3 straight first downs. But then he misses two deep balls in a row to bring up 4th down on the drive.

With 3 minutes to play, the Colts decide to go for it on 4th and 5. The defense hasn't been able to stop SD all game, so this is the right decision. Manning completes the pass to Clark. Looks like they would have gotten the 1st down anyway as there was a major facemask penalty against SD. They'll tack on half the distance to the goal, and the Colts will have 1st and goal inside the 10.

After two incompletions, the Colts have 4th and goal from the 6 yard line. It's no good and the Chargers take over on downs with 2 minutes to play.


Indy stops the 1st down play for no gain. The 2nd down play goes for about 6 yards and theColts call time out. Indy stops the 3rd down play short of the line to gain and calls time out again.

Peyton will get another chance with about a minute and a half and one time out.

SD gets a great punt, and Indy will begin from its own 32 yard line. The Colts need a touchdown.

Reggie Wayne is unable to hang on after the big hit on 3rd down, and now it's 4th and the game. On 4th down, the reliable Clark drops what would have been a 1st down catch. On replay you can see the SD defender grab Clark, but he still should have caught the ball.

And the Super Bowl champs are out, making next week's AFC Championship game one of the worst I could possible have imagined. I detest both teams...this is very disappointing.

San Diego wins and I am now 4-3 with my playoff picks.


  1. Bond says:

    Amazed at what occurred in this game...the Indy D was playing like they wanted to go on vacation early after being pretty dominant all year...

    Penalties will kill ya every time...

    Totally disgusted ... NE will stomp this SD team next week...

    and that is something I totally hate to think about...

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  1. This immediately jumped out at me (considering it was the first sentence and all) "Indy looks sharp on the opening drive."

    Are we now in golf season?
    Does golf have a season?
    How do you drive in football anyway?
    OH! You're doing NASCAR today.

    Sorry. My bad.

  1. the teach says:

    So I'm real sorry for Peyton... I'm watching the Giants now...tied up 14/14. Could we pull it out? Could the Giants be playing San Diego next week? You think "NO way" I know.

  1. Sanni says:

    I definitely need to book a flight and come over instead of watching on TV late night =)

  1. Travis says:

    V: I'm really disappointed. It turns out the Freeney injury was way worse than the Harrison injury.

    Mimi: That's funny. The "drive" would be when one team has the ball and makes a bunch of plays in a row. I like your comments on my sports posts!

    Teach: I didn't know how to read this Giants team at all. But based on the way they played today, I'll give them a chance in Green Bay next week.

    Sanni: I'm just glad there are only 3 games left.

  1. Those 2 long bombs with all that time on the clock that forced 4th down just boggled me.

    And I am bummed. I can't stand the Patriots. Loathe them in fact. I had my hopes pinned on Indy.