|2007 Indianapolis Colts season|
|Head coach||Tony Dungy|
|General manager||Bill Polian|
|Home field||RCA Dome|
|Division place||1st AFC South|
|Playoff finish||Lost Divisional Playoffs (Chargers) 28–24|
|Pro Bowlers||QB Peyton Manning
RB Joseph Addai
WR Reggie Wayne
C Jeff Saturday
SS Bob Sanders
FS Antoine Bethea
The 2007 Indianapolis Colts season was the 55th season for the team in the National Football League and 24th in Indianapolis. The defending AFC and Super Bowl champions improved upon their 12–4 record from 2006 as well as won their fifth-straight AFC South Championship. They finished the season 13–3 and lost to the San Diego Chargers in the divisional round of the playoffs. The Colts remained under the supervision of Head Coach Tony Dungy and played all of their home games in the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Indiana. 2007 was the Colts' final season in the RCA Dome, as they began playing home games in Lucas Oil Stadium in 2008. In early January 2007 the Colts were the early co-favorites to win Super Bowl XLII, along with the San Diego Chargers.
The Colts started out by making the 32nd overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft due to their victory in Super Bowl XLI. They selected Anthony Gonzalez out of Ohio State. The 2007 NFL Draft was held on April 28 and April 29, 2007 in New York City.
|Draft order||Player name||Position||Height||Weight||College|
|1||32||Anthony Gonzalez||WR||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)||195 lb (89 kg)||Ohio State|
|2||42||Tony Ugoh||OT||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)||305 lb (139 kg)||Arkansas|
|3||95||Dante Hughes||CB||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)||188 lb (85 kg)||California|
|3||98||Quinn Pitcock||DT||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)||295 lb (134 kg)||Ohio State|
|4||131||Brannon Condren||S||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)||204 lb (93 kg)||Troy|
|4||136||Clint Session||LB||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)||235 lb (107 kg)||Pittsburgh|
|5||169||Roy Hall||WR||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)||240 lb (109 kg)||Ohio State|
|5||173||Michael Coe||CB||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)||190 lb (86 kg)||Alabama State|
|7||242||Keyunta Dawson||DE||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)||268 lb (115 kg)||Texas Tech|
|2||42||from San Francisco 49ers||Received San Francisco's second-round pick (42 overall) in 2007 for first fourth-round selection (126 overall) and first-round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft (29 overall).|
|2||64||to Tampa Bay Buccaneers||For Anthony McFarland.|
|6||206||to Tennessee Titans||For the 238 overall selection in the 2006 NFL Draft.|
The Colts signed 15 undrafted free agents on Monday, April 30, 2007:
|Indianapolis Colts 2007 final roster|
|Indianapolis Colts 2007 coaching staff|
Special Teams Coaches
Strength and Conditioning
The Indianapolis Colts' pre-season schedule was announced on April 11, 2007.
|Week||Date||Kickoff||Opponent||Results||Game Site||NFL Recaps|
|Final score||Team record|
|1||August 9, 2007||8:00 PM EDT||at Dallas Cowboys||23–10||0–1||Texas Stadium||Recap|
|2||August 20, 2007||8:00 PM EDT||Chicago Bears||27–24||0–2||RCA Dome||Recap|
|3||August 25, 2007||7:00 PM EDT||Detroit Lions||37–10||1–2||RCA Dome||Recap|
|4||August 31, 2007||7:30 PM EDT||at Cincinnati Bengals||14–6||1–3||Paul Brown Stadium||Recap|
The Indianapolis Colts' regular season schedule was announced on April 11, 2007.
|Week||Date||Kickoff||Opponent||Results||Game Site||TV||NFL Recap|
|Final score||Team record|
|1||September 6, 2007||8:30 PM EDT||New Orleans Saints||41–10||1–0||RCA Dome||NBC||Recap|
|2||September 16, 2007||1:00 PM EDT||at Tennessee Titans||22–20||2–0||LP Field||CBS||Recap|
|3||September 23, 2007||1:00 PM EDT||at Houston Texans||30–24||3–0||Reliant Stadium||CBS||Recap|
|4||September 30, 2007||4:15 PM EDT||Denver Broncos||38–20||4–0||RCA Dome||CBS||Recap|
|5||October 7, 2007||4:05 PM EDT||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||33–14||5–0||RCA Dome||Fox||Recap|
|7||October 22, 2007||8:30 PM EDT||at Jacksonville Jaguars||29–7||6–0||Jacksonville Municipal Stadium||ESPN||Recap|
|8||October 28, 2007||1:00 PM EDT||at Carolina Panthers||31–7||7–0||Bank of America Stadium||CBS||Recap|
|9||November 4, 2007||4:15 PM EST||New England Patriots||20–24||7–1||RCA Dome||CBS||Recap|
|10||November 11, 2007||8:15 PM EST||at San Diego Chargers||21–23||7–2||Qualcomm Stadium||NBC||Recap|
|11||November 18, 2007||1:00 PM EST||Kansas City Chiefs||13–10||8–2||RCA Dome||CBS||Recap|
|12||November 22, 2007||8:15 PM EDT||at Atlanta Falcons||31–13||9–2||Georgia Dome||NFL||Recap|
|13||December 2, 2007||1:00 PM EST||Jacksonville Jaguars||28–25||10–2||RCA Dome||CBS||Recap|
|14||December 9, 2007||8:15 PM EST||at Baltimore Ravens||44–20||11–2||M&T Bank Stadium||NBC||Recap|
|15||December 16, 2007||4:05 PM EST||at Oakland Raiders||21–14||12–2||McAfee Coliseum||CBS||Recap|
|16||December 23, 2007||1:00 PM EST||Houston Texans||38–15||13–2||RCA Dome||CBS||Recap|
|17||December 30, 2007||8:15 PM EST||Tennessee Titans||10–16||13–3||RCA Dome||NBC||Recap|
|(2) Indianapolis Colts||13||3||0||.813||5–1||9–3||450||262||L1|
|(5) Jacksonville Jaguars||11||5||0||.688||2–4||8–4||411||304||L1|
|(6) Tennessee Titans||10||6||0||.625||4–2||7–5||301||297||W3|
With their championship title to defend, the Colts began the season in the annual Thursday night kickoff game against the visiting New Orleans Saints. In the first quarter, Indianapolis began their year with Super Bowl MVP QB Peyton Manning completing a 27-yard TD pass to WR Marvin Harrison for the only score of the period. In the second quarter, the Saints would get their only touchdown of the game with former Colts DB Jason David returning a fumble 55 yards, while kicker Olindo Mare would get a 34-yard field goal. Indianapolis ended the first half with kicker Adam Vinatieri kicking a 33-yard field goal. In the second half, the Colts took control for the rest of the game. During the third quarter, RB Joseph Addai got a 2-yard TD run, while Manning hooked up with WR Reggie Wayne on a 28-yard touchdown pass. In the fourth quarter, Indianapolis sealed the victory with Vinatieri getting a 33-yard field goal, Manning & Wayne hooking up with each other again on a 45-yard TD pass, and DB Matt Giordano returning an interception 83 yards for a touchdown.
With the win, the Colts began their season at 1–0.
Following their second-half blowout win over the Saints, the Colts flew to LP Field for an AFC South duel with the Tennessee Titans. In the first quarter, Indianapolis drew first blood with RB Joseph Addai getting an 8-yard TD run. The Titans would respond with kicker Rob Bironas getting a 30-yard field goal. In the second quarter, the Colts increased their lead with QB Peyton Manning completing a 22-yard TD pass to TE Dallas Clark. Tennessee would answer with Bironas getting a 36-yard field goal. Indianapolis closed out the half with kicker Adam Vinatieri getting a 22-yard field goal.
In the third quarter, Indianapolis kept pounding away as Vinatieri kicked a 39-yard field goal. The Titans replied with RB LenDale White getting a 3-yard TD run. Vinatieri helped the Colts respond with a 20-yard field goal. In the fourth quarter, Tennessee nearly pulled off a comeback, as QB Vince Young completed a 1-yard TD pass to WR Roydell Williams, however, Indianapolis held off the Titans long enough to pull out a win.
With the win, the Colts improved to 2–0.
Following their fierce divisional road win over the Titans, the Colts flew to Reliant Stadium for an AFC South duel with the Houston Texans (who were the last team Indianapolis lost to en route to their Super Bowl championship). In the first quarter, the Colts trailed early as Houston WR Jerome Mathis returned a kickoff 84 yards for a touchdown. QB Peyton Manning completed a 2-yard TD pass to TE Dallas Clark. In the second quarter, the Texans would retake the lead with kicker Kris Brown getting a 33-yard. RB Joseph Addai helped Indianapolis get back ahead with an amazing 4-yard TD run.
In the third quarter, the Colts pulled away as kicker Adam Vinatieri got a 36-yard field goal, Addai got an 8-yard TD run, and Vinatieri kicked a 28-yard field goal. In the fourth quarter, Houston tried to catch up with RB Samkon Gado getting a 1-yard TD run, while Indianapolis got its final score of the game with a Vinatieri kicking a 35-yard field goal. The Texans would get close with QB Matt Schaub completing a 1-yard TD pass to RB Vonta Leach. The Colts held on to get the victory.
With the win, Indianapolis improved to 3–0.
Coming off their divisional road win over the Texans, the Colts went home for an intraconference duel with the Denver Broncos. In the first quarter, Indianapolis trailed early with Broncos kicker Jason Elam getting a 35-yard field goal, while QB Jay Cutler 7-yard TD pass to WR Brandon Marshall. In the second quarter, the Colts would respond with RB Joseph Addai getting a 14-yard field goal. Denver tried to increase its lead with Elam kicking a 22-yard field goal. Indianapolis would take the lead with QB Peyton Manning completing a 9-yard TD pass to TE Dallas Clark.
In the third quarter, the Colts began to dominate with Manning getting a 1-yard TD run. He would also hook up with Clark again on a 3-yard TD pass. The Broncos' only response was Cutler's 2-yard TD run. In the fourth quarter, Indianapolis managed to put the game away with Manning's 5-yard TD pass to WR Reggie Wayne, along with kicker Adam Vinatieri nailing a 22-yard field goal.
With the win, the Colts improved to 4–0.
Coming off their home win over the Broncos, the Colts stayed at home for an interconference game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Indianapolis would enter into this game without WR Marvin Harrison and RB Joseph Addai, due to injuries from their last game.
In the first quarter, the Colts got the first strike with QB Peyton Manning completing a 10-yard TD pass to TE Dallas Clark for the only score of the period. In the second quarter, Indianapolis increased its lead with rookie RB Kenton Keith getting a 1-yard TD run (with a blocked PAT). The Buccaneers would get their only score of the half with QB Jeff Garcia completing a 3-yard TD pass to TE Alex Smith.
In the third quarter, Keith got a 7-yard TD run for the only score of the period. In the fourth quarter, Tampa Bay got its last score of the game with Garcia and Smith combining on another 3-yard TD pass. Afterwards, Indianapolis sealed the win kicker Adam Vinatieri nailing a 35-yard field goal.
With the win, the Colts entered their bye week at 5–0.
Coming off their bye week, the Colts flew to Jacksonville Municipal Stadium for an AFC South duel on Monday Night Football with the Jacksonville Jaguars, with first place within the division on the line. In the first quarter, Indianapolis scored first with RB Kenton Keith getting a 3-yard TD run for the only score of the period. In the second quarter, the Colts increased its lead with QB Peyton Manning getting a 1-yard TD run, along with kicker Adam Vinatieri getting a 36-yard field goal.
In the third quarter, the Jaguars would get its only score of the game as RB Maurice Jones-Drew got a 1-yard TD run. Afterwards, Indianapolis responded with DE Dwight Freeney sacking QB Quinn Gray in the endzone for a safety. In the fourth quarter, the Colts wrapped up another win with Vinatieri nailing a 20-yard field goal and Manning completing a 35-yard TD pass to TE Dallas Clark.
With the win, not only did Indianapolis improve to 6–0, but they became the third team in NFL history ('29–'31 Packers & '99–'01 Rams) to begin three consecutive seasons at 6–0.
Coming off their Monday Night road win over the Jaguars, the Colts traveled to Bank of America Stadium for a Week 8 interconference duel with the Carolina Panthers. In the first quarter, Indianapolis trailed early as the Panthers capped off an 11-minute and 1 second opening drive with RB DeShaun Foster getting a 3-yard TD run. The Colts would respond with kicker Adam Vinatieri nailing a 20-yard field goal. In the second quarter, Indianapolis took the lead with RB Joseph Addai getting a 2-yard TD run for the only score of the period.
In the third quarter, QB Peyton Manning completed a 4-yard TD pass to Addai and a 59-yard TD pass to WR Reggie Wayne. With those TD passes, Manning surpassed Johnny Unitas for the most touchdown passes in franchise history with 288. In the fourth quarter, Indianapolis wrapped up the victory with Addai getting a 12-yard TD run.
With the win, the Colts improved to 7–0, heading into their undefeated battle with the 8–0 New England Patriots. Also with their win, Indianapolis tied an NFL record for consecutive 7–0 starts with three-straight seasons.
The unbeaten Colts played the undefeated Patriots in Week 9 in a heavily hyped game, dubbed "Super Bowl XLI½" by Chris Berman. Colt kicker and former Patriot Adam Vinateri gave the Colts an early lead with a 21-yard field goal. However, Randy Moss would help give the Patriots their first lead of the game on a four-yard touchdown reception, his twelfth of the season, tying a Patriots record. After Vinateri kicked another field goal to make it a 7–6 game, the Colts would regain the lead just before the half when Joseph Addai caught a "dump-off" pass by Peyton Manning and took it 73 yards into the endzone, giving the Colts a 13–7 lead.
Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski provided all the third quarter scoring off a 34-yard field goal to cut the Colts lead to 13–10. In the 4th quarter, Manning ran in a play from the Patriot one-yard line to give the Colts a 20–10 lead. However, the Patriots came right back and, with the aid of a 33-yard reception from Donte' Stallworth, the Pats got their first touchdown of the half off a 4-yard catch by Wes Welker. Forcing a punt by the Colts, Kevin Faulk then gave the Patriots a 24–20 lead off a 13-yard reception to give the Patriots their first lead of the half. The Patriots then stopped a drive by the Colts when Peyton Manning was hit by Jarvis Green and fumbled the ball into the hands of Rosevelt Colvin with just under three minutes to go. On third and ten with no timeouts left for the Colts, the Patriots ended any hope for Indianapolis when Welker made a big 12-yard catch to give the Patriots a first down. The Patriots were able to kneel the ball after that to finish off the Colts and the Colts fell to 7–1, losing their first game of the season.
The game was costly in other ways, as some seven starters were knocked out, including Dallas Clark.
at Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego
The San Diego Chargers got out to a fast start from Darren Sproles' 89-yard opening kickoff return for a touchdown. After a later field goal, Sproles would follow up with a 45-yard punt return for a touchdown in the first quarter. He became only the second player in NFL history, and first since 1958, to return a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns in the opening quarter. San Diego failed on the subsequent two-point conversion to lead 16–0. With 8:47 left in the second quarter, LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for a four-yard touchdown to give the Chargers a 23–0 advantage. Peyton Manning would lead the Colts down the field and capped the drive with an 8-yard TD pass to receiver Reggie Wayne. Later, in the fourth quarter, Manning threw a 7-yard score to running back Kenton Keith. Twenty-five seconds later, linebacker Gary Brackett recovered a fumble in the endzone for a touchdown. The Colts attempted a rush for the two-point conversion to tie the game 23–23, but were held short. With a 23–21 lead, the Colts got the ball back with only a few minutes left in the game. They marched down the field into San Diego territory. On fourth down with 1:31 remaining, Adam Vinatieri was put in for a 29-yard field goal try. Vinatieri, despite being known for his clutch kicks and having over a 95% success rate in field goals under 30 yards, missed wide to the right. Vinatieri missed an earlier 42 yard try at the end of the half, going 0–2 in the game. It was the first time since 2001 Vinatieri was 0–2 kicking field goals. The Colts would get the ball back, but Manning would seal a Chargers win by throwing an interception with no time remaining. Manning struggled in the game, throwing a career-high 6 interceptions. The mark is also a Colts franchise record. Chargers cornerback Antonio Cromartie had three interceptions in the game, becoming one of only 11 Chargers to have three picks in a single game. The Colts were heavily injured on both sides of the ball. Receivers Marvin Harrison and Anthony Gonzalez, left tackle Tony Ugoh, and tight end Dallas Clark missed the game. In perhaps the biggest blow to the Colts, Dwight Freeney injured his left foot and was carted off the field. Three days later, it was confirmed that Freeney had suffered a season-ending Lisfranc fracture. By the end of the game, a total of nine Colts on their 53-man roster either did not play due to injury or were injured in the game. The Colts dropped to 7–2, remaining in first place in the AFC South division. Meanwhile, the Chargers moved to 5–4 and clear first in the AFC West.
Facing second year quarterback Brodie Croyle, the Colts struggled in the game's first quarter, as Adam Vinatieri continued a slump of missed field goal tries with a miss from 49 yards out. The Chiefs also struggled on field goal tries with two misses in the first half before finally connecting for a 3–0 lead. The Colts tied the game late in the first half on a 27-yarder from Vinatieri, then pounced to a 10–3 third quarter lead. The Chiefs tied the game at 10–10 when the Colts orchestrated a time-consuming fourth quarter drive before the winning field goal by Vinatieri in the game's final seconds.
The win put the Colts at 8–2 and still in command of the AFC South.
Coming off of their home win against Kansas City, from just 4 days previous, the Colts traveled to Atlanta for a Thanksgiving game against Falcons. Colts rookie wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez returned to the lineup from an injury and he proved to be very beneficial for the Colts, he finished with 105 yards on 6 catches. The Falcons jumped out to an early 10–0 lead with a Morten Andersen field goal and touchdown pass to Roddy White. However, the Colts would respond with a touchdown pass of their own to Reggie Wayne cutting the Atlanta lead to only three early in the second quarter. They would then take the lead on a touchdown pass to tight end Dallas Clark. They would add another touchdown before the half and took a 21–13 lead into halftime. In the second half the Colts would cruise to victory by adding a Joseph Addai rushing touchdown and Adam Vinatieri field goal to make the final score 31–13.
With the victory the Colts moved to 9–2 and still in command of the AFC South. The Colts had 11 days off until next week's big divisional showdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars with 1st place in the division on the line. The Colts are 13–1 in their history against the Falcons.
Coming off their Thanksgiving road win over the Falcons, the Colts went home for a Week 13 AFC South rematch with the Jacksonville Jaguars. In the first quarter, Indianapolis scored first with QB Peyton Manning completing a 5-yard TD pass to TE Dallas Clark, along with a 48-yard TD pass to WR Reggie Wayne. In the second quarter, the Jaguars got on the board with RB Maurice Jones-Drew getting a 2-yard TD run. Afterwards, the Colts replied with Manning and Clark hooking up with each other again on a 14-yard TD pass.
In the third quarter, Jacksonville tried to come back as QB David Garrard completed a 2-yard TD pass to TE Mercedes Lewis for the only score of the period. In the fourth quarter, the Jaguars drew closer as kicker Josh Scobee nailed a 47-yard field goal. However, the Colts responded with Manning completing a 1-yard TD pass to RB Luke Lawton. Afterwards, Jacksonville tried to come back as Garrard completed a 17-yard TD pass to WR Dennis Northcutt (along with getting the 2-point conversion run). Indianapolis' defense managed to seal the deal.
With their season-sweep over the Jaguars, the Colts improved to 10–2.
During the game, the Colts gave Garrard his first interception of the year, courtesy of Safety Antoine Bethea.
Coming off their season-sweep over the Jaguars, the Colts flew to M&T Bank Stadium for a Week 14 Sunday Night duel with the Baltimore Ravens, in the rematch of last year's AFC Divisional duel. In the first quarter, Indianapolis got onto the scoreboard first with QB Peyton Manning completing a 34-yard TD pass to WR Reggie Wayne, while RB Joseph Addai got a 1-yard TD run. Afterwards, Manning and Addai hooked up with each other on a 19-yard TD pass, while rookie CB Michael Coe blocked a punt, causing it go through the back of Baltimore's end zone for a safety. In the second quarter, Addai made an 11-yard TD run. The Ravens immediately responded as WR Yamon Figurs returned a kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown, yet Indianapolis continued its run with Manning completing a 57-yard TD pass to rookie WR Anthony Gonzalez.
In the third quarter, the Colts put the game away with Manning finding Gonzalez again on a 40-yard TD pass for the only score of the period. In the fourth quarter, Baltimore tried a feeble comeback as QB Kyle Boller completed a 4-yard TD pass to WR Devard Darling, while QB Troy Smith got a 6-yard TD run.
With the win, not only did Indianapolis improve to 11–2, but they also clinched their 6th-straight playoff berth.
Peyton Manning even had a record night. He became the 5th player in NFL history to throw 300 career TD passes. At game's end, he ended up with 302 touchdown passes, surpassing John Elway for 4th place on the All-Time TD passes list.
Coming off their Sunday night road win over the Ravens, the Colts flew to McAfee Coliseum for a Week 15 intraconference duel with the Oakland Raiders. In the first quarter, Indianapolis jumped out to an early 10–0 lead with kicker Adam Vinatieri managing to get a 22-yard field goal, while CB T.J. Rushing returned a punt 90 yards for a touchdown. In the second quarter, the Raiders got on the board with QB Josh McCown completing a 3-yard TD pass to WR Ronald Curry for the only score of the period.
In the third quarter, the Colts went back to work as Vinatieri nailed a 19-yard field goal for the only score of the period. In the fourth quarter, Oakland took the lead with RB Justin Fargas getting a 2-yard TD run. Afterwards, Indianapolis sealed the win as QB Peyton Manning completed a 20-yard TD pass to rookie WR Anthony Gonzalez.
With the win, not only did the Colts improve to 12–2, but they also clinched their 5th-straight AFC South title and became the first team in NFL history to win 12 or more games in 5 consecutive seasons. Also the Colts secured the No. 2 seed for the NFL playoffs in January.
The Colts offense produced a season high 458 yards and tied for second-most first downs in a game in franchise history with 33 with their 38–15 win over Houston. Also the Colts defense forced 3 turnovers on the day, all on interceptions by Bob Sanders, Matt Giordano, and Melvin Bullitt. The Texans jumped out early to a 7 nothing lead when Sage Rosenfels connected with Kevin Walter from 17 yards out. The Colts however would respond with 38 unanswered points including two touchdowns to Dallas Clark. The second TD to Clark gave Manning 30 on the season, the fourth time in his career he has had a 30+ TD season. in addition to Manning's achievement Clark set single-season franchise records for receptions with 57 and touchdown receptions with 11 by a Colts tight end, set by Baltimore Colt Hall-of-Famer John Mackey.
Not only did Indianapolis improve to 13–2 with the win but they have now won 10 straight home games against division opponents. The Colts will face the Tennessee Titans in the week 17 season finale on NBC Sunday Night Football.
With nothing left to play for the Colts played host to the Tennessee Titans in the regular season finale. This was the last regular season game for the Colts in the RCA Dome. The Titans needed a win to qualify for the playoffs. The Colts starters only played 3 series and produced 3 points before the back ups came in. The Titans would strike first when Chris Brown would go in for 8 yard touchdown run. Adam Vinatieri then hit a 37-yard field goal early in the second quarter. That would be the last score of the half as the Titans led 7–3 at the break. With 9:09 left in the third quarter backup quarterback Jim Sorgi throw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Craphonso Thorpe to give the Colts a 10–7 lead. Rob Bironas would then nail 3 consecutive field goals and the Titans defense would shut the Colts out to give Tennessee a 16–10 victory. With the win the Titans made the playoffs and knocked Cleveland out of contention.
With the loss, the Colts closed out the regular season at 13–3, breaking their 6-game winning streak and their 10-game winning streak over division rivals.
|Week||Date||Kickoff||Opponent (seed)||Result||Record||Game site||TV||NFL Recap|
|Wild Card||First-round Bye|
|Divisional||January 13, 2008||1:00||San Diego Chargers||24–28||0–1||RCA Dome||CBS||Recap|
Despite the loss of starting quarterback Philip Rivers and running back LaDanian Tomlinson (the NFL's leading rusher during the season), San Diego still managed to defeat the defending Super Bowl champion Colts, forcing them to turn the ball over on downs twice in San Diego territory in the final minutes of the game.
The Colts started out the game strong, driving 76 yards and scoring with Peyton Manning's 25-yard touchdown pass to tight end Dallas Clark. Then defensive back Kelvin Hayden intercepted a pass from Rivers on the Colts 24-yard line and the Colts moved the ball to the San Diego 40-yard line. However, Indianapolis receiver Marvin Harrison, playing in his first game back from an injury in nearly 3 months, fumbled the ball while being tackled by Antonio Cromartie, and defensive back Marlon McCree recovered it. Following the turnover, San Diego drove 78 yards and tied the game with Rivers' 14-yard touchdown pass to Vincent Jackson. Manning responded by completing 3 passes for 42 yards on a 44-yard drive that ended with an Adam Vinatieri field goal to give the Colts a 10–7 lead. Both teams blew scoring opportunities on their next drives. First the Chargers drove to the Indianapolis 31-yard line, only to have Nate Kaeding miss a 48-yard field goal. Then the Colts advanced to the Chargers 35-yard line, but on their last play of the half, Manning's pass was intercepted by Cromartie. Cromartie's 89-yard touchdown return was called back by a holding penalty, but he managed to prevent the Colts from scoring and it remained 10–7 at halftime.
The Chargers took the second half kickoff and quickly took the lead with a 30-yard touchdown catch from Chris Chambers. Once again the Colts drove into Chargers territory, moving the ball all the way to the San Diego 4-yard line. But on third down and 3, Manning's pass was intercepted by Eric Weddle. However, the Chargers could only move the ball to their own 6-yard line and T. J. Rushing returned their punt 12-yards to midfield. This time the Colts drove 50 yards and scored with Manning's 9-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Wayne. Wayne was initially ruled out of bounds at the 7, but a Colts challenge showed he remained in bounds on the way to the touchdown, and the Colts took the lead, 17–14. On the Chargers ensuing drive, Rivers threw a 22-yard completion to Chambers and followed it up with a 56-yard pass to running back Darren Sproles, a special teams returner who was brought in on offense as an extra receiver.
With 10:50 left in the fourth quarter, Indianapolis retook the lead with Manning's 55-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Gonzalez, who caught the ball along the left sideline and narrowly managed to keep his feet in bounds en route to a score, which was upheld after a Chargers challenge. But San Diego, now led by second-string quarterback Billy Volek, drove 78 yards in 8 plays and scored with Volek's 1-yard touchdown run, giving them a 28–24 lead with 4:50 left in regulation. Manning led the Colts down the field, moving the ball 70 yards and converting a 4th down and 5 with a 16-yard completion to Clark. But he threw three consecutive incompletions from the Chargers 7-yard line, turning the ball over on downs. Indianapolis' defense managed to force a punt, but the Colts turned the ball over on downs again with 53 seconds left and San Diego ran out the rest of the clock.
It was the Colts' third consecutive loss to the Chargers and Peyton Manning's seventh loss in fourteen postseason games. The Colts also fell to 0–4 in playoff games played in years where they had a first-round bye.
The Colts had six players elected to the 2008 Pro Bowl. Three of them were selected as starters, WR Reggie Wayne, C Jeff Saturday, and S Bob Sanders. Three other Colts were named to the reserve team; QB Peyton Manning, RB Joseph Addai, and S Antoine Bethea. This was Peyton Manning's eighth straight Pro Bowl trip and Joseph Addai's first. On January 25, 2008 Steelers safety Troy Polamalu decided to skip the Pro Bowl and Colts safety Antoine Bethea was selected to replace Polamalu. The 2008 Pro Bowl was played February 10, 2008 in Honolulu, Hawaii at Aloha Stadium.
All three of the Colts that were selected to start the Pro Bowl were either selected as first or second team All-Pro. Both Jeff Saturday and Bob Sanders were named to the first team while Reggie Wayne was named to the second team.
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