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The Chargers simply have the Colts' number

Discussion in 'American Football' started by RaiderRay, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. RaiderRay

    RaiderRay RIP SD Chargers..Go Any SD Team, Go Raiders Staff Member Administrator Podcaster

    Jun 20, 2005

    SAN DIEGO -- Back in September, as Peyton Manning prepared for a trip to Minnesota, he reflected on a game that was played at the Metrodome 11 years ago and forever altered the course of two organizations -- the Colts and the Chargers.

    On December 21, 1997, Manning was still a senior at Tennessee. The Colts, with a 3-12 record, were finishing a miserable season at Minnesota. A loss and the Colts would pick first in the NFL draft. A win and they would pick second.

    By all rights, the Colts should have won the game. Their quarterback, Jim Harbaugh, was among the hottest passers in the NFL, as hard as that may be to believe given that he played on a 3-12 team. But Harbaugh left the game against the Vikings twice, first after a blow to the head and then after an injured shoulder. Backup quarterback Kelly Holcomb came in and ran 15 plays in Harbaugh's absence, 15 plays for which the Colts and their fans should be eternally grateful.

    In those 15 plays, Holcomb committed five turnovers, two fumbles and three interceptions. The Vikings scored 17 points off the turnovers to beat the Colts and hand them the No. 1 pick. Wisely, the Colts selected Manning. The Chargers traded up to the No. 2 spot in the draft and selected Ryan Leaf. If Holcomb had shown any ability to protect the ball, Manning could have been a Charger.

    "Holcomb made sure the Colts didn't win," Manning joked.

    Since then, the Chargers have been exacting measures of revenge. Three years ago, they spoiled the Colts undefeated season. Last year, they knocked the Colts out of the playoffs in the final game at the RCA Dome. And in the latest thriller between these teams Saturday night, the Chargers stunned the Colts in overtime at Qualcomm Stadium, 23-16 (Recap | Box Score), booting them from the playoffs once again.

    The Colts came into the game as a popular Super Bowl pick. They had won nine straight games and Manning was just voted MVP for the third time. But they left San Diego wondering if Coach Tony Dungy will be back for another year, and if things will ever be quite the same.

    Now that the Chargers have taken four of the last five meetings from the Colts, there is only one conclusion to reach: the Chargers have the Colts' number.

    Linebacker Shawne Merriman was out Saturday and the Chargers still pressured Manning with lesser pass rushers. Running back LaDainian Tomlinson missed the final three quarters with a groin injury and the Chargers still gashed the Colts with second- and third-string tailbacks. Tight end Antonio Gates was limited by a high ankle sprain and he still led the team with eight receptions for 87 yards.

    As usual, the final margin was slim -- a 5-foot-6 jitterbug of a running back who is so short that he believes defenses sometimes lose track of him. Taking over for Tomlinson, Darren Sproles rushed for 105 yards, including a 22-yard dash to the end zone on the first possession of overtime.

    Sproles has long been a Colts' killer, mainly because of his dazzling punt and kickoff returns. But he showed Saturday night that he can be an every-down back, a performance that will undoubtedly help him when he becomes an unrestricted free agent this off-season.

    The Chargers, only the second team ever to win a division title with an 8-8 record, no longer look like a .500 team, or anything close to it. They completely outplayed the Colts in the second half, but committed two crushing turnovers in the end zone -- one on a Sproles fumble and the other on an interception by quarterback Philip Rivers.

    In September, October and November, the Chargers would have been doomed by those two miscues. They were the kings of close losses, dropping seven games by a touchdown or less, dropping four games in the final 30 seconds, starting out 4-8.

    Their fortunes have finally turned.
  2. WonderSlug

    WonderSlug Well-Known Member

    Sep 1, 2005
    This is why I think Colts fans were rooting for Denver to beat us last week.

    Peyton Manning and the Colts absolutely own the Broncos and would have easily won in InvesCo Field yesterday.

    The last 5 times Peyton/Colts have played the Broncos:

    2007 - Colts 38, Broncos 20

    2006 - Colts 34, Broncos 31

    2004R - Broncos 33, Colts 14
    (NOTE: Peyton only played first quarter as Colts rested players for playoffs)

    2004P - Colts 49, Broncos 24

    2003P - Colts 41, Broncos 10

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

    Jul 11, 2006
    Damn Slug, if I were a Colt's fan, I would've been rooting for the Donks also. :bolt:
  4. cranberry

    cranberry BoltTalker

    Oct 3, 2006

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