Latest Loss Has Colts on the Brink

DB Kelvin Hayden (AP/Darron Cummings)

The Indianapolis Colts certainly have their work cut out for themselves heading into this week's home game with the Dallas Cowboys. Indianapolis is coming off its worst performance of the 2010 season after a 22-point home-field loss to the San Diego Chargers (36-14).

It's the worst home loss for the Colts since Denver posted a 31-17 decision in 2003. And it was the worst home loss since quarterback Peyton Manning was the team's No. 1 draft pick in 1998.

Indianapolis' offense was its own worst enemy against the Chargers, coughing up the football five times.

Four of those turnovers came on interceptions thrown by Manning. San Diego returned two of the misfired passes for touchdowns in the first half.

"I think all those (turnovers) are correctable. I think those are things we just have to go back and work on and see what our problems were," coach Jim Caldwell said afterward.

"I think most of those were technique issues more so than anything else. I do believe we can get those straightened out."

Indianapolis has now lost three of its last four games and have a 6-5 won-loss mark heading into the Cowboys game.

If there was a bright spot, and there weren't very many, it's that Indianapolis remains in a first-place tie with Jacksonville in the AFC South.

The Jaguars lost 24-20 on the road against the New York Giants earlier in the day.

Had the Colts been able to pull out a win over San Diego, they would have had a pretty good grasp on first place in the division.

As it stands now, Indianapolis is going to have get something going over the final games of the season. Three of the four teams in the AFC South lost last Sunday, so a divisional crown is still within reach.

"Unfortunately, we didn't take advantage of an opportunity that we had in terms of getting a win (against the Chargers)," Caldwell said.

"So we are still in the same position that we were before the game in terms of our division race. We have to keep our heads up and keep fighting. We still have a lot of football left to play."

TRENDING: After throwing only two interceptions through his first seven games of the 2010 season, Peyton Manning has recorded nine interceptions over the last four games. It's the first time since his rookie year that he has thrown three or more interceptions in consecutive games. And it's the first time since 2001 that Manning has had two interceptions returned for touchdowns in a game.

To make matters worse, it's the first time that he has had four or more interceptions in a game since 2007 when he had six passes picked off by the Chargers in San Diego.

LINEUP WATCH: Defensive tackle Antonio Johnson saw extensive playing time against the Chargers.

Johnson was a starter for the last couple of seasons but the emergence of second-year defensive tackle Fili Moala and knee surgery has kept him on the sidelines during the early and middle stages of the 2010 season.

Johnson had two total tackles in the game and was credited with half a sack of San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers.

PLAYER NOTES

  • QB Peyton Manning completed 31-of-48 passes for 285 yards, two touchdowns and had four passes intercepted. Manning played part of the game after suffering a stinger in his right arm. But the Colts' signal-caller did not use the injury as an excuse for his four interceptions.

  • TE Jacob Tamme hauled in seven passes for 64 yards and a touchdown.

  • WR Blair White had four receptions and one touchdown catch. White now has four TD receptions this season.

  • WR Reggie Wayne caught five passes for 42 yards. Wayne was shaken up late in the fourth quarter and had to be helped off the field. There was no word on his status after the game.


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