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Chargers' desperation holds off Colts in upset

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Dec 18, 2005.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    Source: Associated Press

    <img src="http://bolttalk.com/images/foley04.jpg" alt="Steve Foley " />

    By Michael Marot

    INDIANAPOLIS – The San Diego Chargers used the perfect ploy to ruin the perfect season.

    Desperate to keep their fading playoff hopes alive, the Chargers did two things Sunday the Colts' first 13 opponents could not: They pressured Peyton Manning constantly and kept their composure on offense.

    With a hefty dose of LaDainian Tomlinson up the middle, an efficient effort from Drew Brees and a swarming defense, San Diego finally ended the Indianapolis Colts' undefeated quest with a 26-17 victory.

    But it wasn't the usual suspects – Tomlinson, Brees or Antonio Gates – who ended the longest unbeaten streak in the NFL since 1998.

    After dominating the first 40 minutes, the Chargers (9-5) inexplicably allowed the Colts back into the game during a six-minute lapse in the third quarter. It was a span that nearly ended San Diego's history-making day.

    Manning was sacked four times, threw two interceptions and drew a key intentional grounding penalty that knocked the Colts out of a potentially game-winning field goal with 3:10 left. The Colts, the league's highest-scoring offense, couldn't crack 100 yards until midway through the third quarter.

    San Diego also stuck with its gameplan. It methodically moved down the field, controlling the clock, the tempo and the Colts' hopes to join the 1972 Miami Dolphins as the only teams to go 14-0.

    And even when things seemed to fall apart, with two turnovers that the Colts turned into touchdowns and a 17-16 lead with 40 seconds left in the third quarter, San Diego maintained its composure.

    Brees completed a 54-yard pass to Keenan McCardell on third-and-9 from the Chargers 9 to set up Nate Kaeding's 48-yard field goal that gave them a 19-17 lead, and they eventually sealed the game with Michael Turner's 83-yard touchdown run with 2:09 left.
     

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