San Diego, Calif. — The San Diego Chargers didn’t allow Andrew Luck the opportunity for another fourth-quarter comeback.
Their offense played keep away.
Nick Novak’s fourth field goal of the game, a 50-yarder with 1:55 remaining, helped seal the outcome in the Chargers’ 19-9 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
Of San Diego’s five scoring drives, four had double-digit plays, including a 17 and 15-play trek.
Third-round rookie Keenan Allen had a career-high nine receptions for 107 yards and a touchdown for the Chargers (3-3), who controlled the time of possession battle, 38:31-21:29.
Philip Rivers was 22-of-33 for 237 yards and a touchdown in the triumph.
San Diego, which came in with the NFL’s 21st (91.2 YPG) ranked rush attack, totaled 147 yards on the ground. Ryan Mathews had 102 yards on 22 carries.
Luck completed 18-of-30 passes for 202 yards with an interception for Indianapolis (4-2), which welcomes Peyton Manning back to town Sunday night as the Colts host the Denver Broncos.
Reggie Wayne became the ninth NFL receiver to tally 1,000 career receptions in defeat. He caught five passes for 88 yards.
The Chargers completed an elongated 15-play, 74-yard sequence that took 9:13 off the clock with a Novak 34-yard field goal that gave them a 16-6 advantage with 9:43 left.
Wayne hauled in passes of 23 and 21 yards before Adam Vinatieri booted a 51- yard field goal later to cap the drive and pull the Colts within a score midway through the fourth.
Luck, who has nine career comebacks in 21 starts coming in, couldn’t crack the double-digit mark.
The Colts regained possession with 4:27 to go, but Luck’s 3rd-and-6 pass to Coby Fleener was two yards shy of a first down. Indianapolis head coach Chuck Pagano elected to punt the ball instead of going for the 4th-and-2 at its own 17-yard line with less than four minutes left.
Mathews moved the chains once for San Diego with a 15-yard run, but Indy’s Delano Howell spun Antonio Gates down a yard shy of a first down on a 3rd-and-2. Novak drilled the ensuing 50-yard kick.
Luck was intercepted by Derek Cox four plays later.
Earlier, Vinatieri’s 30-yard field goal on the Colts’ initial touch of the contest was the only scoring in the opening frame.
Allen made a diving catch in the end zone on a post pattern between a pair of Indy defenders for a 22-yard score to get the Chargers on the board early in the second.
Following a Colts punt, San Diego drained 7:58 off the clock with its 17-play, 79-yard drive before Novak nailed a 31-yard field goal with 1:41 left before the half.
Luck, though, ran the two-minute drill to perfection and Vinatieri split the uprights from 50 yards out on the final play of the half to get the Colts within 10-6 heading into the break.
Novak’s 33-yard field goal concluded San Diego’s opening march of the third quarter to make it 13-6.
San Diego ran 24 more plays than the Colts (72-48) … The Chargers were 7- of-14 on third down, while the Colts were just 2-of-10 in those situations … Trent Richardson had 40 yards rushing on 10 carries for Indy.