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Through the first nine weeks of the season, Andy Reid’s Kansas City Chiefs were undefeated and seeded above even the Broncos. Coming into Saturday’s game, however, the Colts seemed to have the advantage at home after winning four of their last five games while the Chiefs lost their last two and five of their last seven.
After leading the league in defense through the first half of the season, the Chiefs ended the season ranked 25th in passing defense and 22nd in rushing defense. They also went 0-5 against playoff teams, the loss to Indy and two losses to both the Chargers and Broncos. On the other side, the Colts allowed just 20 combined points over their last three games and defeated teams like the Seahawks, Broncos, and 49ers en route to their 11-5 record.
On the first drive, however, the Chiefs rolled through the Colts defense, marching 82 yards on an eight-minute, 14-play drive that was capped off by a six-yard Alex Smith pass to Dwayne Bowe. The drive was bittersweet, however, as Jamaal Charles landed on his head during the drive and was taken back to the locker room to be tested for a concussion. He never returned.
The holes in the Chiefs secondary quickly became apparent, though, as Andrew Luck completed 7-of-7 passes for 74 yards that was capped off by a 10-yard score to T.Y. Hilton who reined in four catches on the drive. It took the Colts just over three minutes to knot the game at 7-7.
On the next drive, the Chiefs were missing Charles badly but Smith fired a bullet to Dwayne Bowe that the veteran ran for 63 yards. The Colts defense held up on the goal line, however, stuffing Knile Davis twice and holding KC to a field goal.
After getting burned by Luck on the first drive, the Chiefs front seven was all over him, forcing a three-and-out. A mere two plays later, Smith fired another huge pass, this time to Donnie Avery, who scorched past the secondary for an easy 79-yard touchdown reception to put the Chiefs up 17-7.
As soon as the Colts got the ball back, Trent Richardson coughed up the ball which was quickly recovered by Justin Houston as the Chiefs regained possession at the Colts’ 17-yard line. It didn’t take long before Smith tossed a shovel pass to seldom used fullback Anthony Sherman to put Kansas City up 24-7.
Indy looked better on their next possession as they marched 61 yards on 12 plays but were stopped by the Chiefs front once again and settled for an Adam Vinatieri field goal to get back to within two scores.
Jamaal Charles or not, the Chiefs offense came to play. Or, the Colts defense didn’t. Alex Smith marched the O down 81 yards on a 15-play, seven-minute drive that was capped off by a Knile Davis touchdown run set up by a 15-yard facemask penalty by the Colts’ Vontae Davis.
On the very next drive, Andrew Luck completed a big 22-yard pass to T.Y. Hilton only to be picked off by Brandon Flowers one play later.
Despite playing without their star player for more than 25 minutes, the Chiefs took a dominant 31-10 lead into halftime.
Things didn’t get better coming out of the intermission as Luck was picked off by Husain Abdullah on the very first play. With the ball on the Colts’ 18-yard line, it took the Chiefs just over one minute to score as Alex Smith connected with Knile Davis in the endzone to go up 38-10.
The Colts finally showed some life on their next drive as Luck tossed a huge 46-yard pass to Da’Rick Rogers that set up a 10-yard Donald Brown touchdown run.
On the Chiefs’ next drive, Robert Mathis sacked Alex Smith to force a fumble that was recovered by Kelvin Sheppard at the 41-yard line. Luck completed a 16-yard pass to T.Y. Hilton and a 19-yard pass to LaVon Brazil to set up a three-yard touchdown toss to Donald Brown to put the Colts back to within two scores.
The Colts forced a punt on the next drive. On the very first play of the Colts’ drive, Andrew Luck hit T.Y. Hilton on the hands but the wideout bobbled it towards Abdullah for the defensive back’s second interception of the game.
The Colts were able to hold the Chiefs to a field goal to hold it to a 41-24 game. On the next drive, Luck completed a 25-yard pass to Donald Brown and a 30-yard pass to LaVon Brazil en route to an 80-yard touchdown drive that ended with a 12-yard completion to Coby Fleener to get the Colts back within 10.
The Colts defense were able to force a punt on their next drive. That allowed Luck to orchestrate an impressive 90-yard drive. The Colts ran with Donald Brown from the two but Brown fumbled the ball. Andrew Luck was able to pick up the fumble and dive over the line for the score to make it a three-point game.
Things went from bad to worse for the Chiefs as running back Knile Davis went down on the next drive with a leg injury which left Kansas City with just Cyrus Gray as their lone healthy running back. The Chiefs were still able to drive the ball 58 yards but were held to a field goal as Ryan Succop put them up 44-38.
That didn’t last long as Andrew Luck quickly completed a 64-yard pass to T.Y. Hilton for a touchdown to give the Colts their first lead of the day.
On the next drive, Alex Smith quickly responded with a 25-yard pass to Dwayne Bowe but Bowe was unable to bring in a fourth down pass inbounds to hand the Colts an incredibly unlikely 45-44 victory.
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