Chiefs vs Colts recap: A Legendary Comeback
The Chiefs were the first team to score with an easy touchdown on a slant to Dwayne Bowe in on 3rd and goal. Then Andrew Luck responds with a 7/7 drive, in which he hit T.Y. Hilton with an absolute beautiful dime in the end zone. Needless to say the first quarter was highly entertaining. The opening quarter was also nerve racking for the Chiefs’ fans as they saw their beloved running back Jamaal Charles go down to injury. He would not return to the game.
Much to the chagrin of the Colts, the Chiefs opened up the second quarter with a deep pass down the seam to Donnie Avery to put Kansas City up 17-7. It was the second big play the Colts had allowed. The first huge play was a quick pass to Dwayne Bowe which he took 63 yards. Colts Safety LaRon Landry took a bad angle and missed the tackle.
The second quarter would get worse for Indianapolis after the Avery touchdown. Trent Richardson, who was acquired by giving up a first round draft pick, fumbled on his first carry. Alex Smith then quickly turned it into points, finding the fullback Anthony Sherman on an improvised shovel pass. The Colts were in trouble at this point and their rowdy crowd was wildly simmered down. Indianapolis trailed 24-7
The world seemed to be caving around the Colts. It was 3rd and 7, the Colts could not afford to go three and out. Luck stepped up. Literally, he stepped up in the pocket and completed a clutch pass in the middle of the field. Then on a fourth and inches the Colts lined up in the shotgun. I was surprised, thinking they would run it on fourth and inches and why would you do this in the shotgun. It was a thing of beauty however when Andrew Luck kept the ball on a zone read where the Chiefs crashed the edge not even considering Luck may keep it. The momentum had swiftly swung. You could feel it. The Colts looked like they would start rolling. They only rolled so far however and were held to an important but in some ways deflating field goal.
The next drive was the first half in a nutshell. The Chiefs marched down the field, converting on four third downs and scoring a touchdown. The Chiefs led 31-10 in an absolute shocking moment the favored Colts were getting killed and they were being too hospitable to their guests. The Colts shot themselves in the foot every chance they got. They allowed the Chiefs to dominate them. The secondary was getting torched, the defensive line got torched and they could not get off the field on third downs. The offense was not mistake free in the first two quarters either. Trent Richardson’s fumble cost them seven, when they finally got some momentum they had to settle for an unsatisfying field goal and Andrew Luck threw an interception in the final minute of the first half.
In a game that was once 7-7 after the Colts offense opened with a flawless drive and Kansas City lost its best player to a concussion, the Chiefs were ahead 21 points. Chuck Pagano, his staff and his team had a mountain to climb after the half. I would hate to be a fly in the wall of the Colts locker room because I can’t believe the conversation was pleasant. There could not have been a lot of good things to say. The defense was missing tackles left and right and the offense wasted a lot of opportunities. There was one thing was certain; a team led by Chuck Pagano would not quit.
The Kansas City jubilation was increased as the second half started with an Andrew Luck interception. Luck tried to force the ball to a receiver running an out route and Chiefs’ safety Husain Abdullah jumped the route for the easy telegraphed interception. Alex Smith with another improvising play found Knile Davis for a touchdown that stretched the score to 38-10. The Chiefs were rolling at every level. The offense was scoring touchdowns. Knile Davis was producing in replacement of Jamaal Charles and Alex Smith’s play was just about flawless. The defense had provided three turnovers including two Andrew Luck interceptions.
The Colts answered quickly with a huge 46 yard pass to Da’Rick Rogers. If you recall, CSF was very keen on the talents of Rogers who was an undrafted free agent due to off the field problems. The Colts scored a touchdown on the next play.
That is when disaster struck for Kansas City. Alex Smith fumbled after being sacked by Robert Mathis, it was the Colts ball and it was a brand new game. There was some question if the Colts defender had gained possession but there was not enough evidence to overturn the call on the field. After a few Andrew Luck bullets to Colts receivers and a touchdown scoring swing pass to Donald Brown the score was 38-24. What looked like a clear blowout was now a two score lead and the Colts fans returned to an uproar. The Colts had no quit in them and the pressure was on the Chiefs. Kansas City had played a marvelous game to this point but the Colts comeback was creeping in the back of their minds.
That uproar was short lived. After a huge three and out and gaining more momentum than an avalanche Andrew Luck three his third interception of the ball game. The Colts defense was on point and they forced a Ryan Succop field goal. Before the attempt the Colts called what seemed to be an odd timeout. Down 14, it would seem that their timeouts would be more valuable than precious gold. The reason the timeout was called was that there was 12 Colts players on the field and the penalty would have given the Chiefs to continue their drive. The interception was as costly as it was frustrating for Indianapolis. The mountain got taller for the Colts to climb giving up the field goal and they had to waste a timeout.
Once again the Colts showed they would not go away quietly with a 6 play 80 yard touchdown drive that made it a 10 point deficit. A third quarter that started with an Andrew Luck interception was dominated by the Colts; you just cannot script crazy moments like this. The Colts came into the fourth quarter down only 10 after trailing 38-10. This was NFL entertainment on its highest form.
Andrew Luck came out firing like the professional field general he is. He completed pass after pass and the Colts were picking up big chunks of yards with almost every play. Luck went through his progressions with superb footwork and saw the whole field as his canvas. He painted one amazing drive and the drives last play was the Mona Lisa. Knocking on the door of the end zone Donald Brown fumbled, the ball popped up into the air and into the hands of Andrew Luck. Luck dove with the ball extended to get the ball in the end zone. Amazingly the score was 41-38.
The Kansas City Chiefs responded to the pressure applied by their opponent with a few critical first downs. This drive had a heavy cost to the Chiefs as they burned two timeouts. The Chiefs had made it into field goal range. LaRon Landry was injured as he made a huge tackle to set up a 3rd and 11 with 5:45 left in the game. The Chiefs drive stalled with a Ryan Succop field goal that put Kansas City up by 6 points. That was a win for the Colts defense; all they needed was a touchdown and an extra point to take the lead. Andrew Luck was now red hot and it felt like the field goal felt like it was simply not enough.
The drama of this game cannot be overstated. The game was an intense roller coaster. How many times does a team have a 28 point lead evaporate into a nail biting fourth quarter? Well that is exactly what happened in this once in a lifetime moment. Andrew Luck gave the Colts their first lead of the game finding T.Y. Hilton for a 64 yard touchdown strike. Then after an intentional grounding penalty on Alex Smith the Chiefs faced a 4th and 11. The Chiefs burnt their last timeout facing the do or die down. This is mind boggling because they just had the two minute warning. The Colts comeback was completed when Dwayne Bowe caught the ball and landed out of bounds.
In possibly the greatest comeback in NFL history the Indianapolis Colts treated their home crowd to a spectacular playoff win. Andrew Luck finished 29 of 45 with 4 touchdowns, 3 interceptions and 443 yards. Luck made some horrible decisions and had three turnovers but he would not see his team lose today. He led the miraculous comeback in the biggest highlight of his young career. The Colts reminded us of one of the great lessons football teaches. Anything is possible, anything can happen and you do your best with every opportunity until the battle is over. This was a thrilling example of how amazing football can be.