Chargers lose in final seconds, 21-17

The San Diego Chargers first team defense stopped the Indianapolis Colts and Peyton Manning twice to open the game. After a three and out to open the game for the Chargers offense, Jesse Chatman provided a spark with a 24 yard run to cross midfield on their second series. Drew Brees then hit Reche Caldwell to get inside the twenty on a 33 yard pass play. With a yard and a half to go inside the ten, the Bolts went for it on fourth down.

An Indianapolis timeout enhanced the suspense. Brees saw Antonio Gates slightly open in the end zone after a play action fake to Jesse Chatman. Brees threw the ball between two defenders to Gates who bobbled the ball on the way to the ground but secured it before it hit the turf for the touchdown. Tony Dungy, the Colts Head Coach, challenged the call but the play was upheld, 7-0 Chargers on a seven yard touchdown reception.

With the first team defense being subbed out, the luck was on the Colts side. Chris Sauter had his shoelaces being tied by Igor Olshansky but got the ball away on a flip to James Mungro who got a first down. Omari Hand provided pressure on Sauter but he eluded the rush and ran for a first down. A play later Hand was flagged for roughing the passer, tagging 15 yards on to put the ball at the Chargers 25. A completion gave the Colts the ball inside the ten, first and goal. After a Stephen Cooper sack backed the ball up to the 15, Sauter hit Dallas Clark who got down to the one yard line and on fourth down and goal Mungro just crossed the plane of the end zone to tie the game at 7-7.

Even though the Colts scored, it wasn't easy.

Joe Hamilton went 10-for-12 on the last drive for the Colts in the fourth quarter. With the ball on the San Diego 12 yard line, Hamilton tossed a ball that Shaun Phillips had in his hands and was turning upfield but it fell to the ground as an incompletion. One play later, Hamilton hit Bryan Fletcher for a touchdown to give the Colts a 21-17 victory.

Brees, still in the game late in the second quarter, began his last drive of the day at the 19 yard line. Brees hit Michael Turner and Caldwell in succession. Turner's gain was for 11 and Caldwell went tumbling down at the 50 with ball in hand. After an incompletion intended for Caldwell, Brees hit Josh Norman for 15 and another first down. One play later that Chargers had goal to go. Brees hit Kassim Osgood on a post route for 29 yards. It was the fourth pass that traversed 20 yards or more on the day from Brees. The Chargers would be unsuccessful in putting it in the end zone. Nate Kaeding then missed a 25 yard field goal, his first try as a Bolt

Brees was 11-for-14 for 156 yards and a touchdown.

Aaron Morehead picked a ball out of his own back pocket to make a basket catch on a ball that Drayton Florence had a beat on for an 80 yard touchdown reception to open the second half for the Colts.

The Chargers were able to take advantage of a missed field goal when Cleo Lemon opened up the drive and hit Micah Ross on a 25 yard pass play. Lemon followed that by hitting Josh Norman, who dropped an easy reception earlier in the game, to put the ball down inside the ten, first and goal. Doug Chapman followed a suffocating block from David Brandt to score the touchdown and tie the game up at 14-14.

Wes Welker had been waiting for his chance. After six returns netted an average of six yards, Welker bust one open, returning a punt 44 yards to set the ball up at the 16 yard line. The Chargers would have to settle for a field goal attempt from Kaeding. From 27 yards out, Kaeding nailed it to give the Bolts the lead, 17-14.


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