Week 12 of the 2010 season saw the San Diego Chargers visiting the Colts for a SNF showdown to remember. After winning three straight games to get back to .500 after a rough 2-5 start, the Chargers went to Indianapolis to once again torture Peyton Manning in a 36-14 beatdown.
This game had some interesting bits and happenings, for example:
- Peyton Manning throwing an interception in each quarter (4 total)
- 24 rushing yards on 13 carries, or a 1.8 yard per rush average for the entire Colts offense
- Biggest home loss in the Manning era for the Colts
Oh yeah, and this...
Two of Peyton Manning's interceptions were returned for touchdowns by Kevin Burnett and Eric Weddle. The other two went to Stephen Cooper and Antoine Cason. Manning finished with a passer rating of 59.8. Ouch. This was a game won purely on defense. Two defensive touchdowns and just 3 of 12 third downs converted against the Charger defense, along with over a dozen hits and hurries on Manning, even though just one sack.
I say it was won purely on defense because the Chargers did not convert a single third down on offense. Not. One. Out of eight. Rarely do teams fail like that and win. First and second down worked until the team got into field goal range, where Nate Kaeding went 5 for 5. One of his field goals was a 20 yarder from the two yard line after Javarris James fumbled the ball at the Indianapolis 35 yard line.
Unfortunately for the Chargers, that was Manning's last year as the Colts' starting quarterback. This year it's Andrew Luck, and he's on fire, as is the Colts defense. This game won't be as easy as the last one, and Jon Gruden might have an eye pop out talking so much about these two teams come Monday night. In complete contrast to the last matchup, the Chargers defense is worse than ever. So, unlike three years ago, the offense will have to step up big time. It won't be easy, as John Pagano's brother Chuck has done a better job of managing his defense. Of course, Chuck has two good cover corners in Darius Butler and Vontae Davis, as well as a very good front line in Cory Redding and *gasp*, Aubrayo Franklin. Oh, and let's not forget about the guy who'll sack Philip Rivers two or three times, Robert Mathis. PFF has the Colts ranked as the 7th best defense. Compare that the the Chargers being ranked as the 3rd worst. Yup.
Every one of these articles I make my prediction for this year's version and the Chargers have done the opposite of what I predicted. Let's hope that trend continues.