The San Diego Chargers limp into this weeks Monday Night Football game on ESPN (8:30 EST Kickoff) against one of the hottest teams in the NFL, the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts are coming off a statement win, beating the then undefeated Seattle Seahawks at home 34-28.
The AFC South leading Colts (4-1), look to continue their hot start to the season, their only slip up was a loss to the surprisingly competitive Miami Dolphins in week 2. The Colts first trip this season to California, was a dismantling of Colin Keapernick and the San Francisco 49er’s 27-7 at Candlestick.
The Chargers (2-3) are coming off a disappointing loss to their hated AFC West rival, the Oakland Raiders. The Chargers turned the ball over 5 times, including 3 Phillip Rivers’ interceptions. It was too little too late yet again for the Chargers, as Rivers last pick in the end zone with a minute to play sealed a 27-17 loss.
Quarterback Andrew Luck has to be licking his chops at this matchup against the inexperienced, and really just plain awful, secondary of the Chargers. San Diego’s defense has given up over 400 yards a game to opponents and just over 280 yards through the air. With weapons like Reggie Wayne and T.Y Hilton on the outside, it could be a long day for the Chargers secondary. They can also pound the ball on the ground with running backs Ahmad Bradshaw and Trent Richardson, acquired in a trade with the Cleveland Browns. With a balanced offensive attack, it’s going to be a tough test for the Chargers Defense.
Derek Cox has to step up against the Colts receivers (Patrick Smith/ Getty Images)
The inexperienced Charger cornerback Shareece Wright has been unable to keep receivers in front of him and has been burned on multiple occasions. The offseason signing of Derrick Cox, which was seen as a great acquisition, hasn’t platooned the secondary like the Chargers had originally thought. He has been unable to make a play on balls in the air and has repeatedly given up the big play.
The San Diego Chargers could be without running back Ryan Mathews after he suffered a concussion in the first half of the Raiders game last week. He has not been cleared to play yet but with the extra day off he could be good to go. If he cannot suit up, the Chargers will have Danny Woodhead and veteran Ronnie Brown handling the backfield duties. Woodhead is second on the team in receptions (31) and is second in the league in running back targets (36).
The key to the game will come down to the Chargers getting enough pressure on Andrew Luck. If he can get comfortable and sit back in the pocket, he will tear the defense apart. With Dwight Freeney gone, the Chargers will have to get creative with their pass rush and get some pressure off the edges to take some of the pressure away from a secondary that has more holes in it than an old pair of socks.
Prediction: Colts 27 Chargers 20