SAN DIEGO – “You’re only as good as your last kick,” said Nick Novak, the Chargers kicker.
And his last kick was a good one.
In the fourth quarter, faced with a decision to try and convert a fourth down and short, or a chance to put the game further out of reach, head coach Mike McCoy opted to send Novak out on the field to attempt a 50-yard field goal.
In a matter of seconds, the kick was away, flying in between the goal posts with some room to spare. It was the fourth field goal on the night for Novak in the Chargers’ 19-9 win over the Indianapolis Colts on Monday Night Football.
“It’s an opportunity to go up 10 or, what are you going to do? You go for it, you don’t get it, you give them a situation to tie the game,” McCoy said. “I have all the confidence in the world, the way he’s been kicking the ball.”
The win, he said, was an outstanding team effort. “We finished the game the right way.”
Learning the lessons from last week’s loss to the Oakland Raiders, McCoy and the offensive coaching staff said it was “big” to establish a running game against the Colts.
“I think everyone took it to heart how we ran the football last week, which was poor, to say the least. I think we averaged 1.7 (yards) in the rush last week, and that’s unacceptable.
“The coaches answered the challenge and we put it out there that we have to run the football better.”
The team ended up rushing for a season-high 147 yards.
Rookie receiver Keenan Allen continued to build on the trust of quarterback Philip Rivers.
“You earn that (trust) as a receiver, and you develop that as a quarterback over time,” Rivers said. “(Allen) came in right away and started to build that, and the best way you build it is making plays through games.”
Allen, in back-to-back games tallied up 100-plus-receiving yards. He’s the first Chargers rookie to do so since Don Norton in 1960.
The win brings the Chargers to 3-3 in the AFC West, with a short turnaround time, traveling to Jacksonville to face the Jaguars Sunday.