Colts still seeking solutions after 30-14 loss to Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs' Travis Kelce (87) tries to make a catch against Indianapolis Colts' Clayton Geathers (26) and Patrick Robinson (25) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016, in Indianapolis. The pass was ruled incomplete. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano looked as if he was ready to seethe Sunday night.
He refused the temptation. A few more games like this and perhaps Pagano will lose his cool.
For now, he must focus on finding solutions to the Colts' myriad of ailments.
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''Instead of going in there and throwing a tantrum and all that stuff, that isn't going to fix what needs to get fixed, it's obvious,'' Pagano said after the 30-14 loss to Kansas City.
''We will go back in (Monday) like we always do and take a good hard look at ourselves because the same things keep popping up.''
The problems have been constant throughout the first half of the season.
After two weeks of better starts, the Colts reverted to their old form and fell into an early 10-point deficit – a big enough deficit that Andrew Luck and the sluggish offense couldn't dig them out of it.
The Colts' defense couldn't get off the field. Indy (3-5) had five more penalties, pushing their total to 63.
The Chiefs – even with a backup quarterback and only one healthy running back – easily overpowered the beleaguered Colts.
And if Indy doesn't fix this soon, any shot of making the playoffs could soon fade, too.
''I feel like I let the team down,'' Luck said after throwing two TD passes, one interception and losing a fumble. ''Turnovers are bad. Simple things that you can't do in the NFL and expect to win games.''
The Chiefs' big concern coming out of their third consecutive win is that they aren't sure who will play quarterback or running back next week against Jacksonville.
Alex Smith left twice with head injuries, the second diagnosed as a concussion. In between the departures, he still managed to throw a TD pass.
Backup Nick Foles played well in relief, throwing two TD passes and leading the Chiefs on four scoring drives.
Spencer Ware, who started in place of the injured Jamaal Charles didn't play in the second half after also being diagnosed with a concussion.
But at least they have some momentum.
''Yeah, you never expect that. Especially with a guy like Alex who's so tough and he's been very durable throughout his career,'' Foles said. ''He's a warrior. For him, he's going to continue to fight.''
Here are some other things we learned from Sunday's game:
NOT-SO SPECIAL: The Colts could argue they have the two best kickers in the league – Adam Vinatieri and punter Pat McAfee. Unfortunately, the coverage teams aren't so special. Chiefs punt returner Tyreek Hill ran around the Colts' coverage three different times, averaging 19.0 yards on those returns. Indy, meanwhile, fumbled two punts – one of which was erased by a penalty.
TRAVIS IS TROUBLE: Travis Kelce keeps getting better and better, and he was spectacular in the first half Sunday. He caught six passes for 96 yards and a touchdown and finished with season highs of seven receptions for 101 yards. Whoever the quarterback is next week, they need to keep throwing Kelce's way.
LOSING GROUND: Just when it appeared Indy's offensive line was starting to make progress, it took a step back against the Chiefs by allowing six sacks and more hits on Luck. That wasn't the only problem. Indy rushed 21 times for 105 yards, 60 of which came on Luck's scrambles. The Colts have gone 28 consecutive home games without a 100-yard rusher.
DOMINANT DEFENSE: Kansas City has played two of the top eight scoring offenses in back-to-back weeks and shut down both. Last week, they beat New Orleans 27-21 at home. This week, they rolled on the road. And with Jacksonville, Carolina and Tampa Bay coming up over the next three weeks, the Chiefs' dominance could continue.
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