SDUT: DBs turn corner with interceptions

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Staff member
Jun 20, 2005
Chula Vista, CA

By Kevin Acee

December 19, 2005

INDIANAPOLIS – For a day, at least, they deserved to talk.

And after the Chargers beat the Indianapolis Colts 26-17 yesterday, Drayton Florence did talk. He mercilessly ascribed to one reporter every derisive comment – or his versions thereof – written this season about the Chargers' cornerbacks.

"What was it?" he said at one point. "Wasn't it, 'We can't cover a ball in Dick's Sporting Goods' or something?"

Until yesterday it did seem they could not catch a ball.

Interceptions by Florence and Quentin Jammer against the Colts were the first by the Chargers' starting cornerbacks this season.

"I felt like we did redeem ourselves," Jammer said.

Yesterday could be the culmination of a renaissance by Jammer. While he remains the favorite player of Chargers fans to blame, he has been increasingly effective over the past month-and-a-half.

"I think it's a case of as a young man begins to develop the skills and make the plays he begins to get confidence," head coach Marty Schottenheimer said.

Yes, the Chargers' pass rush hurried Peyton Manning much of the game. Yes, Manning still passed for 336 yards.

But, playing more man-to-man than they normally do, Florence and Jammer got their hands and bodies in position to break up and make plays many times against the NFL's fourth-ranked passing team.

Both of their interceptions came on balls that bounced off the hands of Colts receivers.

But in a season where both have had plenty of balls slip through their own hands, it was a welcome accomplishment.

Florence's interception did not end well. After grabbing the ball at the Colts' 35, he zigzagged to the 26, where the ball was dislodged from his grasp and recovered by Indianapolis center Jeff Saturday.

Jammer's interception was a game-clincher, coming with the Colts down by nine but driving with under two minutes remaining. Manning's pass ricocheted off tight end Dallas Clark and into the waiting hands of Jammer in the end zone.

"It's not easy to get those guys stopped," Jammer said. "They've got three great receivers and a quarterback who is on his way to being the best to ever play the game. It's tough, and we took the task on and did a good job."