SAN DIEGO (AP) — Dropped passes, penalties and too much Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers did in Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts.
Rivers threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to rookie Keenan Allen and Nick Novak kicked four field goals to give the Chargers a 19-9 victory against the Colts on Monday night.
Rivers methodically moved the Chargers (3-3) on three scoring drives of at least 74 yards as he rebounded from a three-interception performance in a dismal loss at Oakland.
That, and a lot of dropped passes by Colts receivers, kept Indianapolis (4-2) from taking a two-game lead over Tennessee in the AFC South.
A week earlier, Luck helped rally the Colts to a 34-28 victory against Seattle.
"Drops always haunt you, bad throws always haunt you," Luck said. "I got bailed out a couple times. False starts haunt, penalties haunt you. So many things haunt you."
Luck didn't have much of a chance against the Bolts because of two long drives in the second quarter that helped contribute to the Chargers dominating the time of possession 38 minutes, 31 seconds to 21:29.
And then there were all the drops.
Trailing 10-3 in the closing minutes of the first half, Luck then completed four straight passes to move the Colts into Chargers territory before wide-open tight end Coby Fleener dropped a pass at the 25. Luck scrambled for 6 yards and threw an incompletion before Adam Vinatieri kicked a 50-yard field goal as time expired.
On the Colts' only other possession of the second quarter, Darrius Heyward-Bey dropped what likely would have been a long touchdown pass down the right sideline.
"Honestly, I wish I knew," Fleener said. "It's something that we will take very seriously and address as best we can. It's very frustrating."
On his drop, "I saw the end zone right behind me. I got excited and left the ball behind me. Now I know that's the difference in the game," Fleener said. "Overall, I am disappointed in myself and overall it was a very frustrating game."