INDIANAPOLIS -- Los Angeles Chargers safety Derwin James Jr. pumped his fist while bouncing in a Santa hat, as head coach Brandon Staley put his arm around owner Dean Spanos and presented him with a game ball.

"I've been hoping to give him a game ball since I got here," Staley hollered. "He's been patient. He's invested in this team. He's brought all of us together ... game ball, playoff appearance -- Dean Spanos."

Spanos, Staley and the Bolts had plenty to celebrate in the visitors locker room at Lucas Oil Field after dismantling the downtrodden Indianapolis Colts 20-3 on Monday night.


For the first time since 2018, the Chargers will return to the postseason, having clinched a playoff berth after improving to 9-6, with two games remaining in the regular season.

The Chargers entered Week 16 with a direct path to the postseason after jumping into the No. 6 seed with a Dec. 18 win over the visiting Tennessee Titans. However, L.A.'s postseason berth came earlier than perhaps expected after the New York Jets, New England Patriots and Las Vegas Raiders each fell in their weekend matchups.

It will be the first postseason appearance for Staley and Herbert, the third-year signal-caller who completed 24 of 31 passes for 235 yards with an interception Monday night.

The Chargers held Nick Foles to 17-of-29 passing for 143 yards with three interceptions while sacking the Indianapolis quarterback seven times. The Colts were 0-for-10 on third down.

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