1 of 5 | Head coach Brandon Staley and the Los Angeles Chargers clinched a playoff berth with a win over the Indianapolis Colts on Monday in Indianapolis. File Photo by Mike Goulding/UPI | License Photo
Dec. 27 (UPI) -- Los Angeles Chargers defenders totaled seven sacks and logged three turnovers to fuel a victory over the Indianapolis Colts in the NFL's Week 16 finale. The win also clinched the Chargers' first playoff berth since 2018.
Defensive lineman Morgan Fox sacked Colts quarterback Nick Foles twice in the 20-3 win Monday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
"We would not be here today if it weren't for the toughness and makeup of our football team," Chargers coach Brandon Staley told reporters.
"I think for far too long people have talked about the talent of this football team and the organization, but that's ultimately not what gets you where you want to go."
Linebackers Drue Tranquill, Kenneth Murray Jr., Kyle Van Noy, Chris Rumph II and Khalil Mack also sacked Foles. The veteran quarterback completed 17 of 29 passes for 143 yards in his first start this season.
"This one was a tough one," Foles said. "The guys were fighting every single play and giving everything they had. We just fell short."
The Chargers held the Colts to just 173 total yards and 10 first downs. The Colts were 0 for 10 on third down conversions, averaged just 2.9 yards per play and trailed in time of possession by nearly eight minutes.
Chargers running back Austin Ekeler ran for a 1-yard score about six minutes into the second quarter for the first points of the game. That run ended a 13-play, 70-yard drive.
Colts kicker Chase McLaughlin made a 46-yard field goal about four minutes later. Fellow kicker Cameron Dicker made a 24-yard kick at the end of the second quarter to push the Chargers' lead back to seven points at halftime.
Chargers cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. intercepted Foles on the Colts' first drive of the second half. Dicker made a 21-yard kick about four minutes later for a 13-3 Chargers lead.
Ekeler found the end zone with another 1-yard run with 8:23 remaining for the final touchdown of the night.
The Chargers running back totaled 79 yards from scrimmage and two scores on 22 touches. Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen logged 11 catches for a game-high 104 yards.
Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert completed 24 of 31 passes for 235 yards and an interception. He also lost a fumble.
Cornerback Michael Davis and safety Derwin James Jr. joined Samuel with interceptions for the Chargers. James also was ejected for a second quarter hit on Colts wide receiver Ashton Dulin.
The Colts (4-10-1) will face the New York Giants (8-6-1) at 1 p.m. EST Sunday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The Chargers (9-6) will host the Los Angeles Rams (5-10) at 4:25 p.m. Sunday at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif.