PASSING OFFENSE: B
QB Peyton Manning completed 25 of 42 passes for 310 yards and one touchdown against San Diego, completing passes to six different receivers. TE Dallas Clark had seven catches for 32 yards, WR Anthony Gonzalez six receptions for 97 yards and WR Reggie Wayne four catches for 129 yards.
Outside of a 72-yard touchdown pass to Wayne, the Colts had problems completing passes in key situations. Indianapolis only gave up one sack, but it came at the worst time of the game, on third down near the Colts' goal line in the fourth quarter.
RUSHING OFFENSE: D
The Colts' running game struggles continued against San Diego. Indianapolis failed to establish any kind of consistent running attack in the game, picking up 64 yards on 22 carries. RB Joseph Addai had 44 yards on 16 carries. RB Dominic Rhodes added 12 yards on four carries. The Colts averaged a paltry 2.9 yards on the ground. Can't win big games with those types of numbers.
PASS DEFENSE: B-minus
Indianapolis didn't do a terrible job in pass coverage, sacking San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers four times and intercepting him once. The Colts also had six quarterback pressures in the game. But in key situations, Rivers was able to step up in the pocket and complete passes to TE Antonio Gates and RB Darren Sproles for big first downs.
RUSH DEFENSE: C-minus
Sproles did most of the damage in the running game for San Diego, picking up 105 yards in 22 carries and scoring a pair of touchdowns, including the game-winning 22-yard scamper in overtime. Even with LaDainian Tomlinson sidelined with a groin injury for most of the game, the Chargers still had 167 yards on the ground and averaged 5.1 yards per carry.
SPECIAL TEAMS: C
Again, the Colts didn't do a good enough job in containing Sproles as a kickoff and punt returner. The diminutive multi-purpose running back had four kickoff returns for a 25.5-yard average and three punt returns for a 24-yard average. His punt returns allowed San Diego to have short fields on three scoring drives. Well, that and the fact the Chargers P Mike Scifres earned player of the game honors by keeping Indianapolis pinned down in its own territory with his six coffin-corner kicks.
Colts P Hunter Smith, meanwhile, had a net average of 31.5 yards and one touchback. He was forced to kick out of his own end zone twice. PK Adam Vinatieri was successful on his only field-goal attempt, hitting from 43-yards out.
As good a job as Tony Dungy and his coaching staff did during the season, guiding the Colts from a 3-4 start to a 12-4 finish and a spot in the playoffs, another early-round postseason exit has both fans and observers scratching their heads. The lack of a consistent running game hurt, as did inconsistent run defense. And Indianapolis committed too many mental mistakes down the stretch in the San Diego game, especially in overtime. That has to be corrected, as does the inconsistent kickoff and punt coverage.