Colts lose wild one as Vinateri misses chip shot

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Peyton Manning was poised to atone for those franchise-record six interceptions.
He'd moved the Indianapolis Colts well within Adam Vinatieri's range with 1:31 left on a crazy, rainy night.

Snap, hold and ... miss!

Vinatieri, who'd won two Super Bowls for New England with last-second field goals, pushed a 29-yard attempt wide right and the San Diego Chargers escaped with a wild 23-21 win over the defending Super Bowl champions on Sunday night.

"I should make that kick every time," Vinatieri said. "There are no good excuses. I just missed it."

Watching Vinatieri line up for the kick, "I almost had a heart attack," said Darren Sproles, who electrified the crowd by returning the opening kickoff and a punt for his first two NFL touchdowns.

After nearly blowing all of a 23-7 fourth-quarter lead, the Chargers could exhale.
The Colts (7-2), who started the season 7-0 before losing 24-20 to New England a week ago, scored two touchdowns and a two-point conversion in 23 seconds early in the fourth quarter to pull to 23-21.

Manning threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to running back Kenton Keith on the first play of the fourth quarter and then a conversion pass to Bryan Fletcher to close to 23-15.

On third-and-10 from the 8-yard line, Philip Rivers went back to pass and the ball slipped out of his hand and into the end zone. After a wild scramble, Colts linebacker Gary Brackett picked up the ball for a TD with 14:28 to play. Joseph Addai was stuffed on the two-point conversion attempt, and the Colts trailed by two points.

"That's one of the most disappointing games we've had since I've been here," coach Tony Dungy said. "For us to give up two kick returns for scores ... We just gave away too many points. It wasn't a good performance."

Two weeks after breaking Johnny Unitas' franchise record of 287 touchdown passes, Manning passed the Hall of Famer again, but not in a way he'll want to remember. The previous franchise records for interceptions was five, done seven times, including four by Unitas. Manning had thrown just four interceptions coming into the game.

With two touchdown passes, Manning pushed his career total to 291 to pass Unitas and take sixth on the on the all-time list.

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