Bolts Learn From Narrow Escape

Hey Chargers, you just knocked off the Super Bowl champion Colts -- how do you feel? Ugh! That was the team's response in the aftermath of Sunday night's 23-21 win over the Colts. But the manner in which the Chargers did it hardly had anyone doing cartwheels at Chargers Park.

The Chargers didn't so much win as they didn't lose. Adam Vinatieri missed on a 29-yarder with 1:31 to play to give the win to the Chargers.

They'll take it -- it's the NFL so no one ever apologizes for a victory. That said, the Chargers built a 23-0 lead based on their defense and special teams and barely won despite six Peyton Manning interceptions.

Philip Rivers directed one of the sorriest Chargers attacks in some time. He looked befuddled most of the night, threw two interceptions and lost a fumble in the end zone that was recovered by the Colts for a touchdown.

"You feel way, way worse having lost that game but that's as bad as I've felt after a win," Rivers said Monday. "Obviously you feel sick, individually, with some of the plays you made that could have cost you very easily."

Rivers completed but 13 of 24 passes for 104 yards. He needs to thank his lucky stars they were aligned just right.

"You're obviously thankful you won," Rivers said. "It would feel a lot worse in here right now without the win."

The Chargers did claim sole possession of first place in the AFC West with the triumph -- no matter its pedigree.

"The win doesn't count more if we would have done it prettier," Rivers said. "The bottom line is we have won four out of five and we're a game up."

But the feeling was still down around Chargers Park on Monday.

NOTES, QUOTES

--Just before Adam Vinatieri went wide right for the go-ahead points, a picture of Norv Turner was shown on the video board. That brought with it loud boos. Next was a picture of QB Philip Rivers -- the boos grew even louder before the picture was quickly switched to something else.

"Our fans pay money to come to the game and they have the right to voice their opinion," LaDainian Tomlinson said. "And they did."

--CB Antonio Cromartie became the 11th player in team history to intercept three passes in a game. He was the first to do it since Dwayne Harper picked off Oakland's Vince Evans three times. Cromartie now leads the NFL with six interceptions. Cromartie's big day in his first NFL start came at the expense of All-Pro QB Peyton Manning. "It means a lot," Cromartie said. "You're going against the best quarterback in the NFL."

--The Chargers got tired of being on the sports shows highlights all last week for all the wrong reasons -- allowing a record 296 rushing yards by Adrian Peterson. "We didn't appreciate that at all," OLB Shawne Merriman said. "We were on TV all week after handing out so many yards. We have too much pride as a defense to let that happen again." The Chargers allowed 75 yards on 26 rushes.

--OLB Shaun Phillips said despite the shaky game, the team is where it wants to be. "We are in first place right now and we control our own destiny," he said. "If we win our games, then we win our division and that's what we are looking forward to doing."

--The win over the Colts was the Chargers' first over a team with at least a .500 record this year.

--Darren Sproles had two touchdowns on returns -- one on a kickoff and one on a punt. No Charger had ever done that before. "I was pressing and trying too hard to get one," Sproles said. "They were telling me just to relax and run. We've always been so close."

PLAYER PERSONNEL NOTES

--DE Luis Castillo (ankle) will miss the next five weeks.

--S Eric Weddle (knee) is being listed as day-to-day.

--CB Quentin Jammer is expected to test his ailing hamstring later in the week after missing the Colts game.

--LG Kris Dielman was undergoing some tests for a shoulder injury.

--C Nick Hardwick (foot) doesn't appear to be close to returning. He was hoping to get back this week, but is having his injury looked at by other medical people.

--P Mike Scifres had five punts and three of them were downed inside the Indy 20. Seventeen of Scifres' last 22 punts have been downed inside the 20.

--ILB Matt Wilhelm was fired up that his first NFL interception came from a Peyton Manning pass. "It's exciting that I was one of the six," he said of Manning's franchise-high six interceptions.

--WR Malcom Floyd continues to fall out of the passing game mix as he was a healthy inactive once again.

--Rookie WR Legedu Naanee is gaining the confidence of the coaches as they called his number on fourth-down and third-down passes and he delivered first-down receptions on both occasions.


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