Chargers ruin perfection with 26-17 win

The Chargers came into Indianapolis needing a win and there were some tense moments where it appeared the Chargers would give the win away but a big run late by Michael Turner sealed the victory and ended the Colts run at perfection.

The Chargers could do no wrong in the first half, dominating both sides of the ball. They took a 13-0 lead into the half and had a 16-0 lead at one point, but were outclassed in the third quarter as the Colts scored 17 straight points in the quarter to take a 17-16 lead. The Bolts kicked a field goal to reclaim the lead and on the most important drive of the game, LaDainian Tomlinson was on the sidelines with his helmet off, nursing a leg injury.

So, with just over two minutes to go, Michael Turner, in the game for Tomlinson, took the ball, raced left and went 84 yards for a touchdown to put the Bolts up 26-17 and seal the win.

Quentin Jammer intercepted a tipped pass in the end zone, ensuring the score would remain unchanged.

The Chargers got on the board first, marking the first time since game six of the season that the Colts had trailed a game. Drew Brees hit Keenan McCardell for a 29-yard touchdown to cap a 42-yard drive that began in Indianapolis territory. Brees was 4-of-5 on the drive, accounting for all the yards with his receivers.

A 49-yard bomb from Brees to Eric Parker, the longest pass of the year for Brees, setup the next score just minutes later. While successive holding calls set the team back twenty, Nate Kaeding connected from 36 yards to put the Chargers up 10-0.

On fourth and goal from the one, the Colts faked to James and Shawne Merriman collected the sack when Peyton Manning found no receiver in the end zone. It stalled a drive that had amassed 84 yards.

The Chargers came back and drove the ball 91 yards before settling for 20-yard field goal from Kaeding.

Kaeding hit his third field goal of the game in the third quarter, a 48-yard strike to put the Bolts up 16-0. The kick matched his season-long.

Six minutes later, the Chargers were trailing by one.

Mike Vanderjagt put the Colts on the board with a 33-yard field goal at the 6:41 mark of the third quarter.

Two minutes later, Brees was picked off by Gary Brackett who returned it to the San Diego 26. Manning found Marvin Harrison on the next play down at the one and Edgerrin James ran it in to make it 16-10.

Just over two minutes after that play, Dwight Freeney beat a double-team and sacked Brees, forcing a fumble. Montea Reagor recovered the ball at the Chargers four-yard line. Three plays later, Manning hit Dallas Clark for a one-yard score and the Colts took a 17-16 lead.

Brees hit McCardell for a 54-yard completion – a new long for the season - and it setup Kaeding fourth field goal of the game from a season-long 49 yards out, reclaiming the lead for San Diego.

On the ensuing kickoff, Matt Wilhelm knocked the ball loose from Dhominic Rhodes and Terrence Kiel recovered the rock at the Indianapolis 30. Two plays later, Brees was picked off in the end zone after overthrowing Reche Caldwell.


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