What a remarkable story. Too bad the game that put the 2012 Indianapolis Colts into the playoffs was such a dud. But, a win is a win, and prior to the start of the 2012 regular season, very few (if any!) people had the Colts winning ten games and earning a post-season birth. On Sunday, in their Week 16 match-up with a Kansas City team some thought would be a playoff contender in 2012, the Colts took care of business and dispatched the Chiefs 20-13.
The key to the game was (drrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrums rolling...) turnovers!
Kansas City had several. The Colts had zilcho.
Two Brady Quinn interceptions and a boneheaded fumbled by Jamaal Charles were what won this game for the Colts. That, and some fourth quarter heroics by the offense, but mostly it was KC just being really, really bad.
For the second time this season, Darius Butler picked off a pass and returned it for a TD. In this game, he did it on KC's opening driving, scooping the ball off the turf and scampering in from 32 yards out to give the Colts a 7-0 lead.
Unfortunately, the Colts offense simply could not sustain drives. Dropped passes (I counted three) were the bane of Indy's offense early on. Because drives could not be sustained, the Chiefs began to gash the Colts in the running game. KC blasted Indy with 352 net rushing yards.
Three hundred and fifty two! Jesus H. Christ!
Still, to further illustrate to you, our well-informed readers, how running the football is nearly meaningless in this league, the Chiefs never led in this game despite running all over an extremely porous and injured Colts defense.
Part of the reason KC ran so effectively was the awful play of Pat Angerer, how should so obviously be on IR right now it's not even funny. He redeemed himself a bit by forcing a critical fumble late in the second quarter, but that play was mostly the fumble-prone Jamaal Charles (3 on the season) being careless with the ball.
Still, despite three turnovers, KC managed to tie the game going itno the fourth. Then, as he has done so many times this year, Andrew Luck wielded his magic wand and willed the Colts to victory. The Colts offense went on a 13-play drive starting at their own 27, ate up 6:05 of the clock, and capped it off with a 7-yard touchdown pass from Luck to (who else) Reggie Wayne.
Ballgame. 20-13. Colts win.
The Colts are the second team in NFL history to make the post-season the year after posting a 2-14 (or worse) record the year prior. Andrew Luck set an NFL record, throwing for 205 yards in the game, swelling his season yardage to 4,183. Cam Newton in 2011 had the previous record with 4,051 yards. The guy who had it before Cam? Peyton Manning in 1998 with 3,739.
Luck's fourth quarter drive was his 7th game-winning drive this season. That's both a rookie record and an NFL record. No QB has ever had seven game-winning drives in one year. Unbelievable.
Dwayne Allen also got into the record books. He eclipsed Ken Dilger's franchise record for catches by a rookie tight end in one season. Allen had three catches on Sunday, bringing his season total to 43. Dilger had 42 in 1995. Dilger's quarterback that year? Jim Harbaugh, the man who would go on to recruit Andrew Luck at Stanford before going to to coach the San Francisco 49ers.
with the win in KC, coupled with the Steelers losing to the Bengals 13-10, all the teams in the AFC playoffs are set. Also locked up is the No. 5 seed for the Colts. They will face the No. 4 seed, which could mean a trip to Baltimore to face the Ravens, the team Chuck Pagano used to coach for.
Speaking of Pagano, he is scheduled to return to work full-time tomorrow as the head coach after taking a leave of absence to battle leukemia. His cancer is now in remission, and he returns to a team that is bound for the post-season.
Wonderful story. Wonderful season. Couldn't ask for anything more.
Well, except one thing... win in the playoffs!