Wow!!! What a game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Kansas City Chiefs.
If you didn’t watch the AFC Wild Card game, the Chiefs had a 38-10 lead with 13:39 left in the third quarter. The Colts had four turnovers including three interceptions from QB Andrew Luck. Yet the Colts somehow managed to win the game 45-44.
It started with injuries to the Chiefs. It seemed like with every snap another Chiefs player was being carted off the field. Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers and wide receiver Donnie Avery both left the game with concussion while running back Knile Davis went down with a knee injury in the fourth quarter. During this chaos, the Colts scored five touchdowns. Two of them belonged to running back Donald Brown. Early in the fourth quarter, Brown had a rare fumble. Incredibly, Luck managed to recover the errant ball and dove into the end zone for a touchdown. You could call a stroke of good luck.
Luck gave the Colts the lead with 4:45 in the fourth quarter on a 64-touchdown pass to wide receiver T.Y. Hilton. K.C. got the ball back, but QB Alex Smith got called for intentional grounding. The Chiefs went for it on 4th down and 11. Smith connected with wide receiver Dwayne Bowes, but Bowes was just out of bounds. The Colts got the ball back and ran out the clock. The Chiefs haven’t won a playoff game since Joe Montana was their QB.
It was a disappointing end for a Kansas City Chiefs club that was the talk of the NFL for most of the season. After going 2-14 in 2012, the Chiefs began this season 9-0 under new head coach Andy Reid. But the Chiefs lost five of their final seven games including a 23-7 loss at home to the Colts in Week 16. The Chiefs did tonight what they did this season: they peaked too soon.
As for the Colts, they will play either the New England Patriots or the Denver Broncos next weekend depending on the outcome of the other AFC Wild Card game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the San Diego Chargers tomorrow afternoon.
As I write this, I am watching the NFC Wild Card game between the New Orleans Saints and the Philadelphia Eagles. While the Colts and Chiefs scored nearly 90 points and combined for more than 1,000 total yards; Shayne Graham just kicked a field goal for the Saints with 8:37 in the second quarter to score the first points of the game. Go figure.
UPDATE: The Saints beat the Eagles 26-24 on a field goal by Shayne Graham with three seconds left in the game. New Orleans led 20-7 with less than four minutes left in the 3rd quarter. But shortly thereafter Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson was neutralized by Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis. But Lewis had to leave the game in the third quarter with an apparent concussion after tackling Eagles wide receiver Jason Avant. With Lewis out of the game, the Eagles ran ramshod over the Saints defense and with less than five minutes left in the game the Eagles took a 24-23 lead. But the Saints took possession of the ball and did not look back. The Saints travel to Seattle to play the Seahawks next Saturday.
UPDATE II: The San Diego Chargers beat the Cincinnati Bengals 27-10 in today's AFC Wild Card game. The Chargers scored 20 unanswered points after the Bengals had a 10-7 at the half. Meanwhile, the San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers had a back and forth affair in the NFC Wild Card game with the 49ers pulling it out on a game winning field goal by Mason Crosby. 49ers QB Colin Kaepernickrushed for nearly 100 yards.
The Chargers will travel to Denver to face the Broncos. The other AFC divisional game will see the New England Patriots host the Indianapolis Colts. The 49ers travel to Charlotte to face the Panthers while, as mentioned previously, the Saints and the Seahawks face off in the other NFC divisional game next weekend.