The San Diego Chargers traveled to Lucas Oil Stadium to take on the Indianapolis Colts in the third game of the season. After coming off a convincing win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Chargers looked to prove that they are contenders in the division.
After falling behind early 3-0, the Chargers offensive unit came out and struggled. Melvin Gordon couldn’t find any room to run, and Philip Rivers couldn’t find any open receivers. On the Colts second possession, Andrew Luck and the Colts offense put together a great drive, and also received some help from the Chargers special teams.
After failing to convert a third down deep in Chargers territory, the Colts elected to kick a field goal. However, a penalty called against the Chargers during the attempt provided the Colts with a new set of downs. With this new set of downs, Colts running back Frank Gore made quick work, rushing for a short touchdown, giving the Colts a 10-0 lead.
The Chargers offensive production during the first half could be summed up by one play. On third-and-1 with only minutes left to play in the first half, Rivers under threw a wide open Gordon. Instead of converting, the Chargers had to settle for a field goal, setting the score at 10-3.
While the offense struggled throughout the first half, the Chargers defensive unit had some big plays to even the score, and keep the Chargers in the game. With 59 seconds left in the second quarter, Luck was sacked in the backfield and fumbled the ball. Defensive lineman Caraun Reid scooped up the loose ball and ran it back 61 yards for a defensive touchdown. Reid’s defensive touchdown, and Josh Lambo’s extra point tied the game at 13 going into the half.
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The Chargers looked to get it started in the second half, scoring a touchdown right out of the gate, but missed the extra point to go up 19-13. However, the celebration was short lived as the Colts answered right back with a touchdown of their own, bringing the score to 20-19.
After uneventful drives by each team, Rivers completed a deep pass to Travis Benjamin to bring the Chargers within striking distance, but settled for another field goal to capture the lead 22-20.
But in true Chargers fashion, a meltdown ensued. With 1:22 left in the game, Luck connected with T.Y. Hilton who split two defenders for a 67-yard catch and run, putting the Colts on top 26-22. The Colts elected to go for it two, but the attempt failed.
McCoy: "It's not just the last drive, it's not just one series." #SDvsIND
— San Diego Chargers (@Chargers) September 26, 2016
With 1:17 left in the game, the Chargers had a chance to orchestrate a game-winning drive. However, that dream quickly evaporated when rookie tight end Hunter Henry fumbled the ball after catching a pass from Rivers, and the Colts recovered.
Chargers now 3-11 in games decided by one score since the start of last season. That's gotta be on McCoy.
— Ben Higgins (@BenHigginsSD) September 25, 2016
This was another tough loss for the organization and fans to swallow. The team falls to 1-2 on the season, and are in fourth place in the AFC West. The Chargers will look to rebound from this loss next week, when they take on the New Orleans Saints at home.