The Indianapolis Colts fell to 4-2 after their matchup against the 3-3 San Diego Chargers ended in a 19-9 loss on Monday Night Football. The Colts struggled offensively out of the gate, as dropped passes and penalties doomed the team.
Defensively, Indianapolis did not allow any big plays; however, the Chargers were able to chip away against a battered defense and put just enough points on the board to come away victorious.
Indianapolis Colts - 9
San Diego Chargers - 19
Game Analysis for the Indianapolis Colts
Pass Offense: The passing game continued to struggle early in the second half. Andrew Luck had great ball placement, but drops by his intended targets hurt the offensive production. The game ended on a Luck interception, as he was trying to force the ball down the field with under two minutes left.
Run Offense: The Colts finally began to establish the run in the third quarter. Trent Richardson started to establish a rhythm, which led to the team’s first third-down conversion of the game. Unfortunately, Richardson was not able to keep up the pace as Indianapolis trailed for most of the game and was forced to rely on the pass.
Pass Defense: Deep coverage was stellar Monday night, as the Colts did not allow Philip Rivers to pass over the top of the secondary. However, short passes to wide receivers and running backs were successful against the defense. Indianapolis struggled with open-field tackling at times, especially after Jerrell Freeman was sidelined with a concussion.
Run Defense: San Diego was able to find some holes for its running backs over the second half. However, part of this was due to the Colts defensive front that was decimated by injuries. Indianapolis gave up a total of 147 yards on the ground for the game.
Special Teams: Adam Vinatieri was clutch once again in the second half, as he drilled a 51-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to get the Colts within seven points of the Chargers. Coverage and kick return units remained solid and did not commit any significant blunders.
Coaching: The coaching staff made apparent adjustments over the half. The offense began to run the ball effectively early in the third quarter. The defense held its ground and did not give up a second-half touchdown. However, even the best game plans do not come through if the execution is insufficient.
First-Half Analysis for the Indianapolis Colts
Pass Offense: Andrew Luck started strong with a 35-yard flea flicker to Reggie Wayne. Luck and the offense fizzled slightly after that. The second-year quarterback missed a potential big play to a wide open Darrius Heyward-Bey up the sideline in the second quarter. Luck did finally get a nice rhythm going late in the half until time expired.
Run Offense: Richardson is still struggling to get things going in Indianapolis. He only averaged 2.8 yards per carry over the first half of play. Rushing just four times over the first half is certainly not going to allow him to establish any kind of a rhythm.
Pass Defense: The Colts front seven came out of the gates firing on all cylinders, applying constant pressure on quarterback Philip Rivers and forcing two straight three-and-outs. Vontae Davis and Co. remained in tight coverage for the most part, with the only hiccup coming in the form of a 22-yard touchdown from Rivers to Keenan Allen.
Run Defense: The Chargers ran a very balanced offense throughout the first half. This enabled them to establish the run. However, the Colts defensive front remained stout for the most part against San Diego’s backfield committee and gave up an average of 3.8 yards per carry.
Special Teams: Special teams remained solid as a whole over the first half. The coverage units did not make any costly mistakes, but the return units were unspectacular. Pat McAfee had a great first half, averaging 46 yards per punt. Vinatieri was able to connect on a 30-yard field goal and another 50-yarder as time expired in the second quarter.
Coaching: On the offensive side of the ball, the Colts have not been able to get anything going. The lack of a running game is hurting the team on that side of the ball. Defensively, penalties have been costly and have allowed the Chargers to sustain drives. Halftime adjustments are certainly in order.