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    Colts take care of Chargers

    Associated Press


    SAN DIEGO - The Chargers' Drew Brees was sharp for a half, and the Colts' Peyton Manning wasn't at all bad for his six plays.

    Then Joe Hamilton, the fifth quarterback to come into the game, finally decided things.

    Hamilton threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Bryan Fletcher with 11 seconds remaining Saturday night to lift Indianapolis to a 21-17 victory over San Diego in their preseason opener.

    Hamilton took the Colts on a 70-yard drive to the winning score after San Diego rookie kicker Nate Kaeding put the Chargers ahead with a 27-yard field goal with 3:18 left.

    Hamilton, a free agent who played for Orlando in Arena Football this past season, was signed by the Colts on June 9. He completed 13-of-22 for 132 yards and the winning touchdown in his debut for the Colts.

    Brees played the first half and was 11-of-14 for 156 yards, including a 6-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Gates in the first quarter. The throw was a wobbly floater, but Gates skidded to a stop in the end zone, reached back and barely grabbed the ball just above the grass.

    Brees guided the Chargers on another long march late in the half, but Kaeding's 25-yard field goal try sailed wide left to leave the game tied at 7.

    Manning played only the first two series, each consisting of three downs and a punt.

    The league's co-MVP last year, Manning was 3-of-4 for 18 yards during his brief stint, with the only incompletion a drop by Dallas Clark on a quick pass over the middle.

    Manning was booed loudly as he trotted onto the field during pregame introductions. His younger brother Eli, taken by the Chargers as the first pick in the draft, did not want to play for San Diego. He immediately was traded to the Giants for Philip Rivers in the deal that also gave San Diego a pick in the third round.

    Rivers, a quarterback who was the fourth pick in the draft, also has been a no-show in San Diego with no contract agreement.

    Kaeding, acquired by the Chargers with that third-round pick, made up for an earlier miss with his field goal that gave San Diego a brief lead.

    After Indianapolis' David Kimball missed a 52-yard field goal try late in the third quarter, the Chargers needed just three plays to pull into a 14-14 tie.

    Cleo Lemon, a member of the Chargers' practice squad last season, completed a 24-yarder to Joshua Norman to set up Doug Chapman's 6-yard scoring burst up the middle 34 seconds into the fourth quarter.

    Cory Sauter hooked up with Aaron Moorehead for an 80-yard touchdown on Indianapolis' first play of the second half as the Colts took a 14-7 lead. Moorehead had to reach behind his back to make the reception.

    San Diego's LaDainian Tomlinson, who earlier in the day became the NFL's highest-paid running back, was held out of the game. Tomlinson signed an eight-year contract worth nearly $60 million, including $21 million in guarantees.

    His deal tops that given Washington's Clinton Portis, who signed an eight-year contract for $50.5 million.

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    Re: Colts take care of Chargers

    Cory Sauter hooked up with Aaron Moorehead for an 80-yard touchdown on Indianapolis' first play of the second half as the Colts took a 14-7 lead. Moorehead had to reach behind his back to make the reception.

    I seriously doubt there will be a more spectacular catch all year than that one.

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