Colts
Chargers
23 - 20 Final
  for this game

Vinatieri boots Colts past Chargers

Nov 24, 2008 - 6:11 AM By Tim Powers PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SAN DIEGO (Ticker) -- Adam Vinatieri and Peyton Manning atoned for the miscues they made during their last trip to San Diego.

Vinatieri kicked a game-winning 51-yard field goal as time expired, lifting the Indianapolis Colts to a 23-20 victory over the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.

Manning, who threw a franchise-record six interceptions in a 23-21 loss here last season, completed 32-of-44 passes for 255 yards with just one interception and now led 35 game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime.

The Colts (7-4) still had a chance to win the Week 10 meeting last season, but Vinatieri missed a 29-yard field goal late in the game.

"You can't really change last year's outcome," said Vinatieri, who nailed his 22nd career game-winning kick. "That kick will stay with me a long time, but at least there was a chance to get back out there tonight and get another shot at it. When your number is called, you've got to go out there and do it, so making that kick was pretty sweet."

Manning had no doubt Vinatieri would come through.

"You felt good about Adam making it," Manning said. "That's why he's the best kicker around and one of the best of all-time in my opinion."

Like Vinatieri, Manning was much sharper this time around here. The former Super Bowl MVP and two-time league MVP completed four consecutive passes to set up Vinatieri, who kicked the Colts to the fourth straight win.

"This was a great win tonight, coming in here and playing these guys here at their place and we knew it was going to go down to the fourth quarter," Manning said. "It was a lot of drama there at the end, and obviously it felt good that we had a chance to win at the end and did it."

In the process, Indianapolis snapped a three-game losing streak to the Chargers (4-7).

Vinatieri's game-winning kick came two plays after Indianapolis converted a 4th-and-inches when Manning hit Marvin Harrison on a play-action pass for 14 yards to the San Diego 34-yard line.

"We were right on it, coach (Tony) Dungy was right on it," Manning said. "It was the right call, we hit Marvin on a crossing route and got that play to get into range."

Philip Rivers threw a pair of touchdowns for the Chargers, who have lost four games in the final 24 seconds and failed to gain ground on the AFC West-leading Denver Broncos (6-5). Denver was stunned by Oakland earlier in the day.

Rivers said the outcome did not play a role in their effort.

"We didn't play hard (just) because (Denver lost)," Rivers said. "It was somewhat of an unexpected loss and obviously there's a long way to go, but we had to take care of business or it didn't matter. Now we're right back where we were coming in here."

The Chargers rallied from 10 points down in the fourth, and Nate Kaeding tied the game at 20-20 with a 47-yard field goal with 1:30 left.

It turned out to be too much time for Manning, who is rounding back into form following a pair of knee surgeries and a shaky start. As a result, Manning and the Colts now have the inside track on the first wild-card in the AFC.

Indianapolis is tied with Baltimore (7-4) and New England (7-4) - two teams it has already beaten this season.

"I like where we are," Dungy said. "We've improved every week. We just have to keep battling and keep going and get ready to go into December."

Manning, who was ultra efficient in converting 10-of-17 third downs, hit Dominic Rhodes for a 1-yard score on fourth-and goal to make it 17-10 with 3:51 left in the third. That scoring drive was set up by a fumble by Rivers that killed a San Diego drive at the Colts' 14-yard line.

"The turnover in the red zone hurt us," Chargers head coach Norv Turner said. "This was an opportunity for us to win a game. We knew it was going to be a hard-fought game facing a tough team that's been on a roll."

Vinatieri stretched the lead to 20-10 with 11:48 left in the fourth by booting his second field goal - a 38-yarder - but Rivers responded with a 1-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Hester to pull the Chargers to within 20-17 with 5:36 left.

Rivers finished 24-of-31 passes for 288 yards.

Vincent Jackson had TD catch for San Diego. All-Pro tailback LaDainian Tomlinson ran for 84 yards on 21 carries and Chris Chambers caught six passes for 61 yards for the Chargers, who have lost four their last five games.

"We're just not making plays in crunch time," Tomlinson said. "For some reason in crunch time, instead of stepping up to make the play, we get nervous. It's a little surprising, but who knows what the reason is."

Rivers is choosing to keep an upbeat attitude, though, especially since the Chargers still have an outside shot at winning the AFC West despite their lackluster play.

"It's tough, but we're back where we were," Rivers said. "We didn't lose any ground, we didn't gain any ground. There are just fewer games left, so it obviously makes it harder, but there isn't another 4-7 team in the league that still has a chance."






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    Colts 23, Chargers 20  FinalNov 28 4:33 AM


  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    INDIANAPOLIS 3 7 7 6 23
    SAN DIEGO 0 10 0 10 20 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: IND - FG, ADAM VINATIERI 23 YD, 13:18. Drive:
    12 plays, 62 yards in 5:40. Key
    plays: Manning 26-yard pass to
    Wayne on 3rd-and-1 to San Diego 32;
    Manning 5-yard pass to Clark on
    3rd-and-4 to S

    Nov 23 11:24 PM


  • NFL
    FG IND
    ADAM VINATIERI 51 YD
    INDIANAPOLIS 23
    SAN DIEGO 20 0:00 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Colts 23, Chargers 20  End of Reg.Nov 23 11:24 PM
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    Colts 20, Chargers 20  4th - 1:30Nov 23 11:12 PM


  • NFL
    FG SDG
    NATE KAEDING 47 YD
    INDIANAPOLIS 20
    SAN DIEGO 20 1:30 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Colts 20, Chargers 20  4th - 1:30Nov 23 11:10 PM
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    Colts 20, Chargers 20  4th - 1:30Nov 23 11:10 PM
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  • NFL
    TD SDG
    JACOB HESTER 1 YD PASS FROM PHILIP RIVERS
    (NATE KAEDING KICK)
    INDIANAPOLIS 20
    SAN DIEGO 17 5:36 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Colts 20, Chargers 17  4th - 5:36Nov 23 10:53 PM
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    Colts 20, Chargers 17  4th - 5:36Nov 23 10:53 PM


  • NFL
    FG IND
    ADAM VINATIERI 38 YD
    INDIANAPOLIS 20
    SAN DIEGO 10 11:48 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Colts 20, Chargers 10  4th - 11:48Nov 23 10:40 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    INDIANAPOLIS 3 7 7 17
    SAN DIEGO 0 10 0 10 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: IND - FG, ADAM VINATIERI 23 YD, 13:18. Drive:
    12 plays, 62 yards in 5:40. Key
    plays: Manning 26-yard pass to
    Wayne on 3rd-and-1 to San Diego 32;
    Manning 5-yard pass to Clark on
    3rd-and

    Nov 23 10:29 PM
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    Colts 17, Chargers 10  3rd - 2:17Nov 23 10:25 PM


  • NFL
    TD IND
    DOMINIC RHODES 1 YD PASS FROM PEYTON MANNING
    (ADAM VINATIERI KICK)
    INDIANAPOLIS 17
    SAN DIEGO 10 3:51 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Colts 17, Chargers 10  3rd - 3:51Nov 23 10:18 PM
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    Colts 17, Chargers 10  3rd - 3:51Nov 23 10:18 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    INDIANAPOLIS 3 7 10
    SAN DIEGO 0 10 10 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: IND - FG, ADAM VINATIERI 23 YD, 13:18. Drive:
    12 plays, 62 yards in 5:40. Key
    plays: Manning 26-yard pass to
    Wayne on 3rd-and-1 to San Diego 32;
    Manning 5-yard pass to Clark on
    3rd-and-4 t

    Nov 23 9:43 PM
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    Colts 10, Chargers 10  HalfNov 23 9:43 PM


  • NFL
    TD IND
    ANTHONY GONZALEZ 13 YD PASS FROM PEYTON MANNING
    (ADAM VINATIERI KICK)
    INDIANAPOLIS 10
    SAN DIEGO 10 0:38 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Colts 10, Chargers 10  2nd - 0:38Nov 23 9:38 PM


  • NFL
    TD SDG
    VINCENT JACKSON 39 YD PASS FROM PHILIP RIVERS
    (NATE KAEDING KICK)
    INDIANAPOLIS 3
    SAN DIEGO 10 4:56 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Colts 3, Chargers 10  2nd - 4:56Nov 23 9:23 PM


  • NFL
    FG SDG
    NATE KAEDING 35 YD
    INDIANAPOLIS 3
    SAN DIEGO 3 11:43 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Colts 3, Chargers 3  2nd - 11:43Nov 23 9:07 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    INDIANAPOLIS 3 3
    SAN DIEGO 0 0 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: IND - FG, ADAM VINATIERI 23 YD, 13:18. Drive:
    12 plays, 62 yards in 5:40. Key
    plays: Manning 26-yard pass to
    Wayne on 3rd-and-1 to San Diego 32;
    Manning 5-yard pass to Clark on
    3rd-and

    Nov 23 9:00 PM


  • NFL
    FG IND
    ADAM VINATIERI 23 YD
    INDIANAPOLIS 3
    SAN DIEGO 0 1:42 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Colts 3, Chargers 0  1st - 1:42Nov 23 8:57 PM
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