Saturday Jan 3, 2009
Darren Sproles ran for 22 yards on the winning drive 6:20 into overtime as the Chargers beat the Colts 23-17 Saturday night. The loss ended Indy's nine game win streak and pushed the Chargers win streak to five. It also comes a day after Peyton Manning was named NFL MVP for this season, the third MVP of his career.
"It's disappointing to lose a playoff game," Manning said. "We certainly had some chances to win, but give them credit. We had chances to put the game away, but we just didn't do it."
The Chargers took advantage of two holding penalties that were called against the Colts in OT. This was the fourth time the teams met in two seasons and the sixth time in five years. The Chargers have won four of the six.
"A lot of people coming into this game said we were the worst playoff team ever to get in," Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "... I think we rallied around that."
Kurt Warner (19-of-32, 13-for-17 in the second half, for 271 yards, 1 INT)got the best of Altanta rookie QB Matt Ryan (26-of-40 passes for 199 yards and 2 TDs) on this day. Ryan was intercepted twice, was tackled in the end zone for a safety and fumbled one ball. Warner threw a 42-yard pass for a touchdown to Larry Fitzgerald to open up the game. The Falcons recorded a season low 60 rushing yards. That didn't help their chances of moving on either.
"They controlled the line of scrimmage," Falcons coach Mike Smith said of the Cardinals' defense.
Better luck next year for Atlanta.