This week’s Monday Night Football game features the Indianapolis Colts (4-1) traveling down to San Diego to take on the Chargers (2-3). The Colts, led by Andrew Luck, are coming off a big 34-28 win against the Seattle Seahawks. The Chargers lost to the Oakland Raiders in their last outing despite a strong performance by Philip Rivers, who becoming the first quarterback in league history to throw for 400 yards in three straight weeks.
Sand Diego’s aerial attack — they’re fifth in the NFL in passing yards per game — will be up against an Indianapolis defense ranked sixth in the league in stopping the pass. Rivers loves to spread the ball around; five different San Diego players — Antonio Gates, Keenan Allen, Danny Woodhead, Eddie Royal, and Vincent Brown — have over 200 receiving yards this year. The Colts have picked off seven interceptions in 2013, good enough for third-best in the NFL. Their linebacking corps is anchored by Robert Mathis, who leads the NFL in sacks with 9.5 through only five games. Mathis will have to contend with a San Diego offensive line that, despite dealing with multiple injuries, is one of the best in the league in protecting the quarterback.
When the Colts are on offense, they’ll be putting their fourth-ranked rushing attack — led by the recently acquired Trent Richardson — up against a Sand Diego defense giving up 117.2 rushing yards per game. The Chargers secondary, anchored by safety Eric Weddle, will have their hands full dealing with Andrew Luck, who has increased his completion percentage from 54.1% as a rookie to 62.2% this season. Luck’s favorite targets are Reggie Wayne and T.Y Hilton. The two receivers have combined to account for just under half of all the Colts’ catches and almost 60% of the team’s receiving yards.
There will also be some family bragging rights on the line in the game. San Diego defensive coordinator John Pagano is the younger brother of Indianapolis head coach Chuck Pagano.
ESPN’s coverage is slated to begin at 5:30 p.m. PT, and kickoff is schedule for 5:40. Enjoy!