Wild Card Game Notes: Colts 45, Chiefs 44

Rob Carr

WOW! WOW! WOW! The Indianapolis Colts overcame a 28-point deficit to beat the Kansas City Chiefs, 45-44 in the wild card round of the playoffs.

WOW!  WOW!  WOW!  WOW!  WOW!

Those are my thoughts after the Colts game today.  They were down 38-10 shortly after the second half started, when Luck was picked on his first pass attempt of the half.  Many gave up.  But they forgot the Colts had Andrew Luck.

In one of the most incredible comebacks in NFL history (points-wise, it is tied for the second biggest comeback in history), Luck carried his team to a victory when everything seemed hopeless.  Luck completed 29 of 45 passes for 443 yards and 4 touchdown passes, while at the same time throwing 3 interceptions, and he rushed 7 times for 45 yards and added a touchdown on a fumble return.

That fumble return was reminiscent of the 2007 AFC Championship game, when the Colts fumbled but center Jeff Saturday picked it up for a score.  In that game, the Colts pulled off a stunning comeback.  In this game, Donald Brown fumbled but quarterback Andrew Luck picked it up for a score.  In that game, the Colts pulled off a stunning comeback.

The Chiefs jumped all over the Colts to start off and several thought the game to be over, especially when Luck was picked on his last attempt of the first half and his first attempt of the second half.  But then he began to lead his Colts down the field possession by possession, and his defense began to play inspired and make some stops - led by Robert Mathis forcing a huge fumble.

This one was incredible.  This one was simply incredible.  WOW!  That's really all I can say about it.  WOW!

Here are today's game notes:

  • T.Y. Hilton is phenomenal.  He caught 13 passes for 224 yards and 2 touchdowns, including the game winning score.  While the other receivers were very reliable and dropping passes, Hilton was always there and was always reliable.  It was a tremendous performance from Hilton.  He emerged into a legitimate star.
  • Donald Brown played well today, too.  Carried the ball 11 times for 55 yards and a touchdown, and caught 4 passes for 47 yards and a touchdown.  He played a big role today, too.  Trent Richardson, who fumbled on his first carry, didn't.
  • The offensive line stunk today.  They absolutely must protect Luck better.
  • The Colts defense was torched early on and it was bad.  Greg Toler was the worst, getting burned repeatedly.  Why was Cassius Vaughn inactive, again?  But the real reason for the bad secondary (Vontae Davis was bad early on, too) was the lack of a pass rush in the first half, as the Colts couldn't pressure Alex Smith at all.
  • Robert Mathis is still incredible.  He had a huge play where he hit Smith from behind and forced a fumble, which the Colts recovered and turned into a touchdown a few plays later.  Mathis again came up HUGE for the Colts.
  • Give credit to the Chiefs - they played well and were well coached today.  Andy Reid called a phenomenal game.  Alex Smith played the game of his life, completing 30 of 46 passes for 378 yards, 4 touchdowns and no picks - he was great all game.  He overthrew one pass, and that ended up being a HUGE one.  And the Chiefs lost several players due to injury - most notably Jamaal Charles on the first series of the game - and while the loss can't be blamed on those injuries, it didn't help things at all.
  • It was very nice to see a game not dominated by the officiating and not having the refs in the headlines.  That's the way it should be.
  • The Colts next week will likely head to Denver to face Peyton Manning and the Broncos, unless the Chargers upset the Bengals tomorrow.  And before you start complaining, I'd actually rather go to Denver than to New England.  But wow, Luck vs. Peyton would be quite a divisional matchup!
  • What a game.  I mean, seriously.  I'm in awe.  Andrew Luck is incredible.  I know that this notes piece really doesn't offer a whole lot of analysis, but I promise you that I will have A TON on this game in the upcoming games.  A TON.  I promise you that, but right now, I'm still in shock.
  • Oh, one more thing: I'm pretty sure that number 12 guy for the Colts is Superman in disguise.  Just sayin' - we've never seen the two of them together at the same time.
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