Sunday's game between the Chargers and Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium felt like it should have been a blowout for the home team. San Diego was plagued by penalties, turnovers, bad throws from a great quarterback ... pretty much anything a team can do wrong they did wrong.
It was all too much to overcome in a 26-22 road loss.
In the first half the Bolts only touchdown came when rookie linebacker Jatavis Brown, who was playing because Defensive Captain Manti Te'o injured his Achilles' tendon and is likely out for the year, helped on a sack of Colts quarterback Andrew Luck. The ball popped out, defensive lineman Caraun Reid picked it up and ran 61 yards for a score to tie the game 13-13.
It was the second turnover of the half. Defensive back Casey Hayward also had an interception, his third pick in two games, that set up the Chargers on the Indy 6-yard-line. San Diego, however, could only kick a field goal. The Bolts only mustered 113 yards of offense in the opening 30 minutes.
The second half started a little better. The Bolts took the opening drive 80 yards in 12 plays and got their first offensive touchdown when Melvin Gordon plowed on for a 1-yard score. But former Chargers cornerback Antonio Cromartie got a piece of the point-after try so the Bolts were only up 19-13.
Luck led the Colts right back with help from the Chargers defense. Five different times in the game the Bolts were called for a penalty on either 3rd or 4th down that gave Indianapolis a 1st down. This time safety Adrian Phillips was called for a pass interference penalty that set the Colts up on the one yard line. Frank Gore scored to put Indy back on top 20-19.
In the 4th quarter the Chargers got back inside the 10 but again had to settle for three points to go up 22-20. The teams traded punts and the Colts had a shot at a game-winning drive. At the two-minute warning they faced a 4th and 7 from their own 20 yard line and, with two time outs, decided to go for it. Luck hit T.Y.Hilton for an 8-yard gain to keep the drive alive. Luck then hit Hilton again, Jason Verrett missed on the pass defense, Dexter McCoil didn't wrap up, and Hilton went 63 yards for the game-winning score.
San Diego's hopes of a comeback were lost when rookie tight end Hunter Henry fumbled on the open field, the final mistake in a game chalk full of them.
The Chargers fall to 1-2 and return home to face Drew Brees and the Saints next Sunday at Qualcomm Stadium.