AFC South: 2014 Chiefs-Colts Rapid Reaction
January, 4, 2014
By Mike Wells | ESPN.com
INDIANAPOLIS -- A few quick thoughts on the Indianapolis Colts' 45-44 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.
What it means: The Colts made history. They went from looking like they were on their way to starting their vacation immediately after the game to pulling off the second-largest comeback in playoff history. The Colts were down 38-10 when quarterback Andrew Luck worked his magic and receiver T.Y. Hilton was on the receiving end of most of those passes. Luck shook off three interceptions to go 29-of-45 for 443 yards and four touchdowns. The Colts completed the 28-point comeback when Luck hit Hilton down the middle of the field for a 64-yard touchdown with less than five minutes remaining. Buffalo's 32-point, come-from-behind victory over the Houston Oilers in the 1992 playoffs is the largest.
Hilton plays big: Luck deserves a lot of credit for bringing the Colts back -- and for why they fell behind -- but he got plenty of help from Hilton, his go-to receiver since Reggie Wayne was lost for the season with a torn ACL. Hilton finished with 13 catches for a franchise-playoff record 224 yards, including the game-winning 64-yard touchdown that put the Colts up 45-44.
Toler leaves the game: Colts cornerback Greg Toler’s day went from bad to worse when he left the game with a groin injury in the first half. Toler’s bad game started when he missed tackling Chiefs receiver Dwayne Bowe twice on a 63-yard reception during Kansas City's second offensive series. Then former Colt Donnie Avery blew by Toler for a 79-yard touchdown on the third play of the second quarter. Toler left the game later in the quarter with the groin injury. Toler missed seven games during the regular season with a groin injury.
What’s next: The Colts will travel to Denver or New England next weekend, depending on the outcome of the Cincinnati-San Diego game Sunday.
January, 4, 2014
By Adam Teicher | ESPN.com
INDIANAPOLIS -- A few thoughts on the Kansas City Chiefs' 45-44 loss to the Indianapolis Colts:
What it means: The 2013 Chiefs are among history's most infamous playoff teams. The Chiefs led 38-10 early in Saturday's third quarter before an epic collapse. The blown lead of 28 points is the second-biggest in NFL playoff history, behind the 32-point margin coughed up by the Houston Oilers against the Buffalo Bills in 1993. The Chiefs lost their eighth consecutive playoff game in a streak dating back 20 years.
Stock watch: Quarterback Alex Smith set a franchise record for touchdown passes with four. The touchdowns went to four different receivers. Joe Montana held the old record of three, in Kansas City's most recent playoff victory, in January 1994 against the Oilers. But Smith lost a fumble in the third quarter with the Chiefs ahead 38-17, and it led to an Indianapolis touchdown. Wide receiver Donnie Avery left the game late in the first half with a concussion and caught only one pass, a 79-yard touchdown in the second quarter that gave the Chiefs a 17-7 lead, their first double-digit advantage of the game. They never led by fewer than 10 points until the fourth quarter. Outside linebacker Justin Houston had a sack and a fumble recovery in his first game since suffering a dislocated elbow Nov. 24 against San Diego. Nickel safety Husain Abdullah had two interceptions. After missing the potential game-winning field goal attempt in the final seconds of Sunday's game in San Diego, Ryan Succop made all three of his tries.
Concussion for Charles: The Chiefs lost running back Jamaal Charles on their first possession with a concussion; they still scored a franchise record for points in a playoff game without him. His backup, rookie Knile Davis, scored on a 4-yard run in the second quarter and a 10-yard catch in the third quarter. Davis left the game with a knee injury in the fourth quarter, leaving Cyrus Gray and Dexter McCluster to finish the game at running back. The Chiefs also lost starting cornerback Brandon Flowers to a concussion. Houston injured his leg late in the game and did not return.
What's next: The Chiefs lost five of their final seven regular-season games before collapsing against the Colts.