The league’s leading pass rush pressured Manning all night causing 4 interceptions while the Colts rushed for just 24 yards on 13 carries. The Chargers returned two turnovers for touchdowns, turned the short field off a TO into a FG twice more and the 5th ended the game.
The Colts D gave up 22 points against a high caliber offense despite defending shortened fields nearly every drive, but the Colts offense was just too ineffective. Peyton missed the read on the first pick 6 and threw some poor passes, Reggie Wayne struggled to catch the ball and the offensive line was absolutely overwhelmed run blocking and pass protecting. The intense pressure combined with some very handsy defense being allowed by the refs totally shut down the Colts offense.
The Colts margin of error is just too slim right now to overcome Manning mistakes, OL ineptitude against an elite pass rush and pre-2004 style officiating of pass D. The Colts NFL record streak of 12+ win seasons is officially over, but their playoff hopes are still very much alive, especially if they can finally get healthier.