Colts vs. Chargers: Bolts’ defense seals 19-9 win on MNF

SAN DIEGO — Derek Cox intercepted Andrew Luck to seal the game as the San Diego Chargers pulled off a win they had to have on a national stage when they defeated the Indianapolis Colts, 19-9, on Monday night at Qualcomm Stadium. 

“It was a great win for us,” said wide receiver Keenan Allen. “Everyone doubted us coming into this game. We came in and imposed our will on these guys. We got our confidence back.” 

Allen has reason to be confident as the rookie finished with nine receptions on 107 yards and one touchdown to lead all receivers. Philip Rivers wasn’t spectacular, but efficient and took care of the ball, finishing with one touchdown on 22-of-33 completions and no interceptions. 

San Diego improves to 3-3 on the season and will now face the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 7 on the road before a bye in Week 8. 

Below is the quarter-by-quarter recap of how things unfolded from our live game thread: 

The Chargers dressed up in their Monday best in “Power Blue” ready to take on the Indianapolis Colts on the NFL’s greatest stage on Monday Night Football. The game has major implications for both teams, though for the Chargers it could be considered a must-win for a variety of reasons. 

First, the AFC West has quickly become one of the toughest divisions in football. Both the Denver Broncos and surprising Kansas City Chiefs are undefeated, and the Bolts have to begin to beat division opponents in order to keep their playoff hopes alive. Before they can do that, however, AFC opponents like the Colts will be critical matchups.

The San Diego faithful and the Q are ready to rock: 

 Check back often throughout the evening for notes, tweets, updates and more from Sports Out West’s live coverage of Monday Night Football. 

1st Quarter — Colts 3, Chargers 0

On the second play from scrimmage, Andrew Luck hit Reggie Wayne for a 35-yard strike to head straight into Chargers territory against Derek Cox on this play. Michael Gehlken of the UT-San Diego had an interesting observation:

The drive ended with the Bolts holding Indianapolis to a field goal to put the Colts up 3-0 at the 11:30 mark.  

The next several series looked like a chess match through the end of the first quarter, with Andrew Luck looking like the better of the two quarterbacks through one frame. The Bolts look like they’re getting into a rhythm, and could strike early in the second. 

One thing that stands out is the energy at the Q. It seems as if the Chargers fans are going for their own team noise record, and it’d be interesting to see what the good folks over at the Guinness Book of World Records would say their chances are. 

Halftime — Chargers 10, Colts 6

As expected, the Bolts scored the first touchdown of the evening when Philip Rivers connected with Keenan Allen on a 22-yard pass  after a successful drive that took 6:12 to complete. 

The drive was literally one of the best of the season for the Bolts: 

San Diego continued to dominate on both sides of the ball. through the second quarter, exposing the Colts’ defense and dominating the time of possession. Rivers took the reigns and is outplaying Luck, who may be feeling some jitters on the biggest stage of his young career. The Bolts weren’t able to finish off their final drive of the half and had to settle for a field goal to go up 10-3.

The Cotls’ receivers dropped several key passes during a last-dich effort to finish the half with a scoring drive, and if it weren’t for two muffs by Coby Fleener, the score could be tied. Instead, Adam Vinatieri nailed a 50-yard field goal as time expired to make the score 13-6. 

Third Quarter — Chargers 13, Colts 6

The Keenan Allen show continues as Rivers continues to find the rookie for what’s becoming his breakout performance of 2013. He caught two more passes on the Bolts’ 11-play, 65-yard drive that ended with another field goal to make the score 13-6. 

Though there was no additional score, the Bolts again won the time of possession for the quarter (9:51 vs. 5:09) and were 2-of-3 on third down. 

4th Quarter

The Bolts scored at the 9:43 mark with Nick Novak‘s third field goal of the night. The Chargers went 74 yards in 15 plays for 9:13 to make the score 16-6.

The Colts answered with a field goal of their own behind Vinatieri’s leg on a 51-yard boot. The Chargers played the clock and whittled it down to the two-minute warning. The game’s final score came on Novak’s 50-yard field goal with 1:22 left in the game.

Cox’s interception in the final minute sealed the win. 

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Michael C. Jones is the managing editor and founder of Sports Out West and a Southern California-based sports journalist. His credits include Yahoo Sports and Bleacher Report, among others.


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