Chargers vs. Colts final score, results: Los Angeles clinches playoff spot with dominant defensive display

The Chargers are teeming with offensive talent, but on Monday night, it was the Bolts’ defense that came up trumps.

Indianapolis couldn’t handle a frantic Los Angeles front seven and roaming ball hawks in the secondary. Ultimately, that defense that propelled Brandon Staley’s squad to a 20-3 victory that clinched a spot in the NFL playoffs.

MORE: Updated playoff picture through Week 16

Colts interim coach Jeff Saturday gave Nick Foles the start at quarterback on Monday. He was unable to contend with the likes of Khalil Mack, who nabbed his first sack in five weeks. When Foles was able to escape the pressure, he was greeted by a sea of limbs in the secondary.

MORE: Why Jeff Saturday turned to Nick Foles vs. Chargers

The veteran QB was picked off twice — once by Derwin James and once by Asante Samuel Jr. And although the Bolts’ offense wasn’t particularly prolific — Justin Herbert failed to throw a touchdown pass for the second week in a row — the field position Los Angeles routinely got and the amount of time Colts defenders were forced to stay on the field made this game something of a boat race.

MORE: LA’s Derwin James disqualified for violent hit in first half

Austin Ekeler added to his league-leading total with his 15th and 16th touchdowns of the season, both on the ground. The burly back carved through Indianapolis’ defense for 79 total yards (67 rushing, 12 receiving). Keenan Allen had 11 catches on 14 targets for 104 yards. Mike Williams added 76 receiving yards. 

MORE: Why is Justin Herbert called a ‘social media quarterback’?

LA is in the postseason for the first time since 2018. With Herbert, Allen, Williams, Mack, James and a potentially returning Joey Bosa, this squad will be looking to make waves come crunch time.

MORE: Watch Chargers vs. Colts live with fuboTV (free trial)

The Sporting News tracked live updates and highlights from the Los Angeles-Indianapolis “Monday Night Football” clash. Below are the results as they happened at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Chargers vs. Colts score

   1   2   3   4   F 
Chargers 0 10 3 7 20
Colts 0 3 0 0 3

Chargers vs. Colts live updates, highlights from ‘Monday Night Football’

(All times Eastern)

11:03 p.m.: Chargers clinch their playoff spot with a 20-3 win over the Colts.

10:46 p.m.: TURNOVER ON DOWNS! A familiar image dawns on Indianapolis fans once more. Foles’ attempt to hit Pittman falls harmlessly to the turf, handing the ball back to Los Angeles at midfield.

10:37 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN! Ekeler seemingly puts the game on ice, cutting inside to find the end zone from two yards out.

Indianapolis’ defense could only hold for so long.

Chargers 20, Colts 3

10:33 p.m.: Wiliams does it again, fielding a reception past the first down line. Just zapping the life out of this Indianapolis crowd at the moment.

10:30 p.m.: Williams finds acres of room in Indy’s zone coverage and plods forward for 26 yards. Have to imagine this Colts defense is tired after being on the field all this time.

10:27 p.m.: TURNOVER ON DOWNS! The Chargers front line stuffs Foles on the quarterback sneak. Have to ask questions from Saturday there, who opted to use Pittman as the battering ram to propel Foles rather than a tight end or blocker.

End of third quarter: Chargers 13, Colts 3

10:23 p.m.: Foles hits Pittman with a duck of a pass, one that puts Indianapolis right on the cusp of the first down marker with one down to go. Looks like the offense is coming back on the field. But that play won’t happen until after the quarter interval.

10:20 p.m.: FUMBLE! This Indianapolis front seven is making a helluva statement today! This time, it’s Buckner who gets to Herbert, dislodging the ball in the process. Kwity Paye gets to it first and the Colts are in business, taking the ball just inside the red zone.

Huge play by Indy’s defense.

10:16 p.m.: Bit of a nervy moment for the Bolts, who muff the ball on the punt return. Fortunately, the ball sputters toward the sidelines, with the referees ruling that a player standing out of bounds got in contact with it first, ruling the play dead.

Bit of a close call, though.

10:14 p.m.: Khalil Mack gets to Foles with ease, putting him on his back to break a five-game sackless streak.

Colts are 0-5 on third down. Not great.

10:07 p.m. FIELD GOAL! Dicker sinks another chippy to push Los Angeles’ lead to double digits.

10:04 p.m.: That Colts backline got to tightening up, holding the Bolts on third down. However, Brandon Staley and company shows some onions, taking the field again for fourth down and converting as Herbert hits Allen for an intermediate gain.

10:01 p.m.: INTERCEPTION! Indianapolis’ first drive of the second half ends in heartbreak, with Foles sending his third pass into Chargers’ arms. Poor poor showing by the veteran so far.

9:54 p.m.: Picking up right where he left off, Allen finds another island in the Colts’ defense. Solid showing by the longtime Charger so far.

End of second quarter: Chargers 10, Colts 3

9:37 p.m.: FIELD GOAL! Dicker the Kicker sinks a chip shot, sending Los Angeles to the locker room with a seven point advantage.

Chargers 10, Colts 3

9:35 p.m.: Indianapolis’ defense firms up, with DeForest Buckner wrapping his mitts around Ekeler to send him to the canvas on third down. Looks like the Bolts will settle for the field goal to end the half.

9:30 p.m.: A little dazzle dazzle from the Chargers coaching staff. Herbert sends the ball to Joshua Kelley before fielding it back on the flea flicker. He then fires a laser into Allen’s stride. The veteran’s toe just grazes the sideline, or he’d be gone for the touchdown. Nevertheless, it’s a huge gain on third down that puts L.A. in prime position to add to its lead.

9:25 p.m.: Allen beginning to make a bigger presence in the pass game. The wily veteran moves the chains after finding some space in Indianapolis’ zone.

He’s got six grabs for 52 yards so far.

9:20 p.m.: FIELD GOAL! The Colts’ first foray into Los Angeles territory sputtered a bit at the end. But they get themselves on the board courtesy of a Chase McLaughlin 46-yard field goal. Will be interesting to see if they can take advantage of James’ absence in the coming few drives.

9:16 p.m.: Huge collision between James and Ashton Dulin after the Indy wideout catches a ball in the flat. Both look worst for the wear after the hit, which appeared to be helmet to helmet. James gets a 15-yard penalty called on his for unnecessary roughness and will be ejected from the game. Looks like he has no complaints about the referees’ decision.

9:12 p.m.: Some solid stuff from Foles and company early in the drive. The veteran hits Michael Pittman to regain some of the yardage lost through the penalty. Zack Moss then moves the chains with a nice carry through the tackles.

9:10 p.m.: Indy already finding itself in precarious position to start its latest possession. After a subpar punt return and a penalty, the Colts will start their drive at the five yard line. Not ideal for a team struggling to create points.

9:05 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN! It’s the Chargers who strike first, courtesy of a slick Austin Ekeler scamper from two yards away. That’s Ekeler’s 15th total touchdown of the season, the highest total in the NFL so far.

Chargers 7, Colts 0

9:04 p.m.: Herbert stumbles through the line for a first down on third and one, putting Los Angeles right on the brink of the end zone.

9:03 p.m.: The Herbert-Williams connection proves effective once more, with the lanky wideout trawling through the defense to get another first down.

The Bolts are surging towards the red zone.

9:02 p.m.: Herbert looks to be getting into a bit of a rhythm in the second. He book ends an 11-yard loss on a sack with a trio of dots to Allen, Joshua Palmer and Mike Williams, moving the chains in the process.

End of first quarter: Chargers 0, Colts 0

8:58 p.m.: Herbert slings a decent pass to Allen to wrap up the quarter. Not too much offense early, but plenty of game left.

8:53 p.m.: Chargers defense steps up the tempo, sending Foles to the canvas on back to back plays before forcing an Indianapolis punt.

8:51 p.m.: After a lengthy replay review, the completion is overturned. Looks like the Bolts will have to boot it away.

8:46 p.m.: Herbert makes a nice throw to Keenan Allen, who reels it in beyond the first down marker to keep the chains moving on fourth down. However, it looks like the ball may have been displaced as Allen went to the turf.

Looks like Indianapolis is challenging the call.

8:42 p.m: INTERCEPTION! Picks galore going on so far! Derwin James with a sensational grab on the sideline to give the Bolts the ball right back.

Three straight drives, three straight interceptions for the game’s gunslingers.

8:35 p.m.: INTERCEPTION! The Colts get it back in blood! Ball tips off Keenan Allen’s fingertips and right into the grateful arms of Rodney Thomas.

8:30 p.m.INTERCEPTION! The quarterbacking foibles continue for the Colts, as Nick Foles sees his pass picked by Chargers safety JT Woods.

Chargers vs. Colts time

  • Date: Monday, Dec. 26
  • Start time: 8:15 p.m. ET

As has been the case for almost all of the 2022 NFL season, Monday’s game will kick off at 8:15 p.m. ET in Week 16. The game will be played at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

What channel is ‘Monday Night Football’ on tonight?

  • TV networks: ESPN (U.S.) | TSN3, RDS2 (Canada)
  • Live stream: ESPN App | | ESPN+ | fuboTV | DAZN (Canada)

ESPN will broadcast “Monday Night Football” as per usual. Joe Buck (play-by-play), Troy Aikman (color commentator) and Lisa Salters (sideline reporter) will be on the call from Indianapolis.

There won’t be a “Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli” alternate broadcast in Week 16. Fans will have to wait until Super Wild Card Weekend to watch the Manning brothers dish on all things football.

Viewers do have other ways to watch the action.

Those with cable can find the game free on or the ESPN App. Additionally, those with an ESPN+ subscription can watch the game on the streaming service.Cord-cutters can watch the game via fuboTV, which offers a free trial.

In Canada, fans can watch the game on TSN3 and RDS2, or with DAZN, which carries every NFL game.

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