Everything was set up for the Chargers to stumble upon themselves again. With an opportunity to earn a playoff spot against the comeback Colts Monday night, Los Angeles narrowly managed a touchdown lead deep into the week 16 primetime finale. Star Safety’s Darwin James was sent off early for an illegal hit. And then quarterback Justin Herbert fumbled the ball to give Indianapolis momentum going into the final quarter. no matter. Because Nick Foles’ debut as the Colts’ newest fill-in QB didn’t go as well as it could have. Brandon Staley’s AFC West contender had a feast up front and finally got enough of Herbert’s production to leave Lucas Oil Stadium with a 20-3 victory and, more importantly, the postseason The coveted ticket to
Falling to 4-10-1 after a five-game losing streak under interim coach Jeff Saturday, the Colts kept things closer for a while, but ultimately rivaled LA, who didn’t trail in the contest. did not.
Here are some additional takeaways from Monday night’s Chargers win.
Why the Chargers won
They have someone who can throw the ball. Third-string QB hero behind his O-line shoddy from the first snap On a night Indy could have ruined his LA playoff chances if he didn’t play ball, the Chargers earned a ‘W’ for their signal caller. Justin Herbert hit enough downfield. Austin Ekeler, who wasn’t consistently on the ground, was important again, and it was Herbert’s laser that saved the day, feeding Keenan Allen (11 catches, 104 yards). Then LA kept knocking on the door. Brandon Staley’s defense couldn’t be more important, even after losing star safety Darwin James to a first-half ejection, with a steady pursuit of Nick Foles and playing opportunistic ball in the secondary. Six different players scored sacks by the end of the night, while the corner duo of Asante Samuel Jr. and Michael Davis got their way.
Why the Colts Lost
The offensive line was rocky again, allowing seven sacks and nine QB hits. Unfortunately, nothing ruined them like Nick Foles. His big play His mentality was a welcome idea for the Colts under-center revolving door, but its timing and decision-making were shaky all night. When he wasn’t swallowed by the LA front, Foles too often unknowingly flung it at targets outside the gate, giving the Chargers three (and almost more) picks. rice field. Matt Ryan or Sam Ehringer may not have been as good, but they shouldn’t have been as bad. It’s also a shame, because it was an otherwise stubborn night wasted for the .
The Colts stayed within 10 and hanging out until the game deep, despite having too many turnovers with the ball in hand. Given a shot to get even closer, and perhaps to make up for a sloppy offensive night, they lined up for it at 4 and 1 from the Chargers’ 12-yard line to start the final quarter. However, Nick Foles’ QB sneak fell short, Drue Tranquill packed the play, and he handed the ball back to Herbert and Co.
It would have been even cooler if Keenan Allen stayed inbounds, but this laser from Herbert on a trick play helped LA extend their lead to 10-3 before halftime. It was also confirmed that Chargers QB has one of the best cannons in the game.
The Chargers (9-6) will return home on New Year’s Day to host the Rams (5-10). The Rams blew up the Broncos on Christmas, forcing Denver to fire coach Nathaniel Hackett. Meanwhile, the Colts (4-10-1) will be on their way to a cross-conference matchup with the Giants (8-6-1), who lost to the Vikings on Saturday, but will be one of the finalists in the NFC. Trying to secure one. Wildcard spot.