The San Diego Chargers took care of business at home against the Indianapolis Colts, and moved themselves into position to make a run for the playoffs. They did it by stopping the Colts on third down and converting their own third downs. The Colts had more yards per play but half as many first downs, as they only converted 20 percent of their third downs. By keeping Andrew Luck off the field, the Chargers’ defense gave their offense ample opportunity to score, and while the offense had to settle for field goals, they mostly did a solid job.
Phillip Rivers, the leader of that offense, was very competent once again. He did not put up huge yard totals, but did average over seven yards a throw and avoided any interceptions. Perhaps the star was Ryan Matthews, however, as he rushed for more than 100 yards on a respectable 4.6 yards a carry. Matthews and the offensive line did it with consistent running, not big plays. In fact, Matthews’ longest run was only for 15 yards.
This kind of combined effort to beat a playoff team shows that the Chargers do have the talent to make the playoffs. Before the season, many were doubtful that they could make a run, considering the division they were in, but as of now, they are just behind the Miami Dolphins for the last spot. It really comes down to whether or not Rivers can maintain his great play. He simply has not looked like himself for the last few years, and many began to believe the old Rivers was gone. This year, however, he seems back to his old status and is performing well. If the Chargers want any shot at the playoffs, he has to maintain his excellence, something that is not a given.
The Chargers will have a hard fight to make the playoffs, but just being in the hunt is above their expectations for the year and is impressive, considering they play in the AFC West.