5 takeaways from Colts’ win over Chiefs
Even though the Indianapolis Colts won’t know their playoff
seeding until after next week’s games, they’re probably hoping that
the Chiefs are their first opponent.
After all, they had their way with Kansas City on Sunday.
Andrew Luck threw for 241 yards in an efficient performance,
Donald Brown had touchdowns running and receiving, and the Colts
shut out the Chiefs after an opening touchdown in a 23-7 win that
could end up being a preview of an AFC wild-card game in just two
If Indianapolis ends up as the No. 4 seed in the playoffs and
with the Chiefs assured of the fifth seed, the two teams would meet
again at Lucas Oil Stadium. Kansas City’s chances of winning the
AFC West were dashed earlier Sunday when Denver beat Houston.
”It’s a possibility,” Luck said of a rematch. ”We have
another game or two until that happens, but if it is (Kansas City),
we’ll take a hard look at what just happened.”
It’s sure to be a pleasing film session.
Alex Smith threw for 153 yards, but he fumbled once and was
picked off twice. Knile Davis also fumbled the ball away, and the
Chiefs were hit with several key penalties that scuttled any chance
of mounting a second-half comeback in the frigid weather at
It was the fifth time the Colts (10-5) beat the Chiefs (11-4) in
their last six meetings.
”We’ll see them again,” Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson
said. ”They’ve got the upper hand on us right now because in their
minds they think they can beat us. If we go down there, it will be
a different story. But we’ve got to fight our way back.”
Jamaal Charles ran for 106 yards and the game’s opening score,
but Kansas City failed to keep him involved in the offense, and
that allowed the Colts to seize control.
Adam Vinatieri started the Indianapolis comeback with the first
of his three field goals, Brown caught a 31-yard screen pass for a
touchdown, and then added a 51-yard run later in the game,
tight-rope walking down the sideline the last 10 yards for the
By the time Smith threw his second interception to Jerrell
Freeman, and then fumbled the ball away in the fourth quarter, the
game had already been decided.
”The way we opened up, marching down the way we did, it felt
like things were going to be the way they’ve been,” Smith said.
”We really didn’t get into a rhythm after that, didn’t execute in
any area, and then the turnovers. The turnovers hurt you.”
As the Colts prepare for their regular-season finale against
Jacksonville, and Kansas City gets ready to wrap up in San Diego,
here are five things to remember:
TURNOVER TROUBLE: The Chiefs came into the game plus-21 in
turnover differential, by far the best in the league. But it was
Indianapolis that took advantage of Kansas City’s miscues by
scoring both of its touchdowns within two plays of a turnover. ”To
be able to come on the road, in this environment, and win a game
like this is very positive for us all,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano
SHORT AND SWEET: Luck rarely threw deep down field, but it
didn’t matter. He gutted the Kansas City defense on crossing
routes, screen passes and check downs. ”They were flying around,”
Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers said. ”We were just watching
them fly around.”
ARROWHEAD MELTDOWN: The Chiefs will be headed on the road in the
playoffs, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. They lost their
final three regular-season games at Arrowhead Stadium, which has
long had one of the NFL’s best homefield advantages.
STOPPING CHARLES: Charles was held in check after the opening
drive, and that was by design. The Colts saw him score five TDs
last week against Oakland and weren’t about to let that happen to
them. ”It was `Where’s Waldo’ all week for us,” Colts safety
Antoine Bethea said. ”We knew he was their go-to guy, and if we
could take him out of the game, it would be tough for their
BIG `MO: Indianapolis has won three of its last four game and,
in the words of defensive end Bjoern Werner, ”we now have momentum
going into the playoffs.” The Chiefs head to San Diego next week
without any hope of improving its playoff seeding, which means
coach Andy Reid could be giving his starters a week off to rest.
”I haven’t even gotten that far,” Reid said. ”I’m not going to
say anything now on that, but yeah, I’ll evaluate what we do as we
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