RB Ryan Mathews (USA TODAY Sports)
The game was billed as Andrew Luck's debut on Monday Night Football. Instead, it turned into San Diego's most balanced win of the season. Ryan Mathews ran for 102 yards and the defense kept the Colts out of the end zone as the Chargers scored a 19-9 win.
The game figured to be a shootout orchestrated by gunslingers Andrew Luck and Philip Rivers. Instead, it was a grind-it-out contest that saw the Chargers earn more than a 17-minute edge in time of possession.
Ryan Mathews ran 22 times for 102 yards, cracking the 100-yard barrier for the first time since 2011. Keenan Allen also topped the century mark, doing so for the second straight week by catching nine balls for 107 yards and the game's only TD.
San Diego's offense often bogged down in the red zone -- the most disappointing aspect of the game for the Chargers -- but Nick Novak ensured points went on the board by connecting on all four of his field goal attempts, including a 50-yarder with just under two minutes remaining to put the game away for the home team.
The real story of the game was John Pagano's defense, which was playing without Donald Butler and Jarret Johnson. They were replaced in the starting lineup by Andrew Gachkar, a 2011 seventh-round pick, and Tourek Williams, a rookie sixth-round pick, respectively. Gachkar and Williams were both making their first career starts and combined for five tackles.
The Colts converted just 20 percent of their third-down tries (two of 10) and totaled only 267 total yards. Kendall Reyes picked up his second sack of the season and Derek Cox intercepted his first pass as a Charger, corralling a deflected ball on the Colts' final drive to seal the win.
The Chargers will face Cox's former team on Sunday in Jacksonville. If San Diego defeats the winless Jaguars, Mike McCoy's team will move above 0.500 for the first team and break its season long lose-one, win-one trend.
--Danny Woodhead caught five passes for 47 yards and ran nine times for 36 yards. He has caught at least five passes in five consecutive games.
--Ladarius Green made his presence felt, catching one pass for 25 yards and making a pair of tackles on special teams.
--Johnny Patrick was used to rush the passer as the Chargers found creative ways to create pressure. Patrick put a pair of hits on Luck.
--Eddie Royal, Johnnie Troutman and John Phillips suffered in-game injuries, although all were able to return to action.
--It is possible the Colts overlooked the Chargers, with Indianapolis preparing for the return of Peyton Manning in Week 7. The Chargers had Manning's number when he was with the Colts, but that may have had more to do with the horseshoe than the quarterback. Manning is 2-0 against San Diego since moving to the AFC West, while the Chargers won their first game against the post-Manning Colts.
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Michael Lombardo is a long-time contributor to the Scout.com network. His analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports. He has followed the Chargers for more than 16 years and covered the team since 2003. You can see more of his updates by following him on twitter.