Chargers 20-3 Colts: Los Angeles FINALLY makes the playoffs again, with victory over Jeff Saturday’s team clinching its first postseason place since 2018
The Los Angeles Chargers have finally ended their playoff drought with a 20-3 victory against the Indianapolis Colts on Monday clinching a wildcard berth.
Austin Ekeler scored on two 1-yard runs, intercepting Indianapolis quarterback Nick Foles three times to beat the overmatched Colts.
Justin Herbert threw for 235 yards and Cameron Dicker made two short field goals for the Chargers (9-6), who won their third straight after getting the help they needed this weekend from Las Vegas, Miami, New England and the New York Jets.
When all four lost, the Chargers just needed a win to reach the postseason for the first time with Herbert and just the second time since 2014.
The Los Angeles Chargers finally ended their playoff drought by beating the Colts on Monday
The Chargers are preparing for their first playoff place since 2018 after their 20-3 victory
Austin Ekeler of the Chargers scored on two 1-yard runs to lead his team to a victory
And unlike last season, when Los Angeles lost in overtime to rival Las Vegas in the final game to miss the playoffs, it finished the job this time by earning its first Monday night road victory in more than a decade.
Indianapolis (4-10-1) lost its fifth straight under interim coach Jeff Saturday, though this was a more ho-hum defeat than the previous two, when it gave up 33 fourth-quarter points to Dallas and blew a 33-0 halftime lead at Minnesota.
Foles, making his first start for the Colts, squandered two first-quarter scoring chances by throwing picks.
Herbert also struggled early until Ekeler scored the first points of the game with his short TD run midway through the second quarter.
The Colts took advantage of two personal foul calls that led to the ejection of Pro Bowl safety Derwin James to drive for their only score of the game, a 46-yard field goal by Chase McLaughlin.
The three-time Pro Bowler drew a facemask penalty when Michael Pittman Jr.’s helmet came off following a 7-yard catch. Then, two plays later, James was called for hitting a defenseless receiver with the crown of his helmet.
Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert struggled at first but soon clicked into gear for his team
Colts head coach Jeff Saturday looks on after tasting defeat once again with Indianapolis
Chargers’ Derwin James (No 3) was ejected on Monday but his team still got the win it needed
The second play sent Colts receiver Ashton Dulin to the locker room to be evaluated for a head injury. Chargers coach Brandon Staley said after the game that James was in concussion protocol after his own challenge.
James was escorted off the field after the two penalties allowed Indy to drive for 46-yard field goal to make it 7-3.
James also had the second of the Chargers’ two first-half interceptions. He had missed the previous two games with a quadriceps injury.