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Colts Rally from 28-point Deficit to Advance to AFC Divisional Round

Posted Jan 4, 2014

The 2013 Colts cemented their own spot Saturday night in a franchise history already filled with memorable comebacks, both in the playoffs and during the regular season. The 45-44 win over the Kansas City Chiefs sends the club into the Divisional Round of the Playoffs for the first time since the 2009 season.

INDIANAPOLIS – Ironically, Saturday’s hallmark, comeback win could allow the Colts to face the orchestrator of many of those prior comebacks in recent years for the second time this season, as the club could head to Denver next Sunday for another showdown with Peyton Manning and the Broncos.

 

Down 38-10 at one point in the third quarter and having committed 4 turnovers in the game, the Colts refused to go away while embarking on a 35-13 second half run to extend the season at least another week.

 

Second-year quarterback Andrew Luck finished the day throwing for over 440 yards and four touchdowns to help the Colts climb back in the game when the situation looked bleak. Moreover, second-year receiver T.Y. Hilton finished his outing with 13 catches for 224 yards, the most for any Colt in team postseason history.

 

Veteran linebacker Robert Mathis instilled momentum in the comeback pursuit via a third quarter strip-sack with under eight minutes remaining. That turnover, recovered by fellow linebacker Kelvin Sheppard, led to a three-yard Donald Brown reception from Luck pulling the Colts to within fourteen points of the Chiefs.

 

Kansas City scored just 13 points in the second half after posting 31 in the first and second periods combined. Jamaal Charles, the feature back in the Chiefs’ potent rushing attack, exited the game in the first quarter with a concussion.

 

The Colts are now 12-5 on the year. Their next destination will be determined by the Chargers vs. Bengals game tomorrow in Cincinnati. The Colts will either head to Denver Sunday (4:40 pm kickoff) with a Bengals win, or to New England for a matchup with the Patriots on Saturday (8:10 pm kickoff) with a Chargers win.

 

SCORING RECAP

           

 

FIRST QUARTER (8:11 remaining)

The Chiefs took the opening kickoff and marched 82 yards for a touchdown in 14 plays. The score came on a 6-yard pass from Alex Smith to Dwayne Bowe. Ryan Succop added the extra point. Smith completed 5-of-7 passes for 34 yards on the drive and also scrambled once for 16 yards. Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles rushed three times for 18 yards before leaving the game and being evaluated for a concussion. Chiefs 7, Colts 0.

 

FIRST QUARTER (4:34 remaining)

The Colts answered Kansas City's opening score with a quick and masterful drive of their own. Quarterback Andrew Luck completed all seven of his passes for 74 yards and the TD. The 10-yard scoring pass went to T.Y. Hilton, who totaled four catches for 51 yards on the march. Adam Vinatieri kicked the extra point. Chiefs 7, Colts 7.

 

FIRST QUARTER (53 seconds remaining)

The Chiefs jumped ahead again on a 19-yard field goal by Succop. A 63-yard pass completion, Smith to Bowe, set up the three-pointer. The Chiefs had first-and-goal at the 2-yard line, but the Colts' defense held them to one yard in three plays. Chiefs 10, Colts 7.

 

SECOND QUARTER (14:39 remaining)

Kansas City struck again, this time on a 79-yard touchdown pass from Smith to former Colt Donnie Avery. Avery got ahead of Greg Toler down the middle of the field and Smith hit him in stride. Succop added the extra point. Chiefs 17, Colts 7.

 

SECOND  QUARTER (13:05 remaining)

The Chiefs extended their lead as Smith tossed a 5-yard shuffle pass to Anthony Sherman for a touchdown. Succop booted the extra point. Moments earlier, Colts running back Trent Richardson fumbled as he tried to switch the football from his left to his right hand, and Kansas City's Justin Houston recovered at the Colts' 17-yard line. Chiefs 24, Colts 7.

 

SECOND QUARTER (9:14 remaining)

Vinatieri's 37-yard field goal sliced into Kansas City's edge. It came at the end of a 12-play, 61-yard drive. The big play was Luck's 21-yard keeper on fourth-and-1 that put the Colts at the Chiefs' 30. Chiefs 24, Colts 10.

 

SECOND QUARTER (1:51 remaining)

The Kansas City offense added to the visitors' lead with a methodical drive of 15 plays and 81 yards. Running back Krile Davis pushed the final four yards for the score. Four times the Chiefs converted third downs, including a third-and-7 at the Colts' 16 when Smith scrambled for an eight-yard gain. Succop booted the extra point. Chiefs 31, Colts 10.

 

THIRD QUARTER (13:39 remaining)

The second half began with similar woes for Luck, as the first play from scrimmage resulted in his second interception of the game. Three plays later, Alex Smith hit Knile Davis for another Chiefs score via a 10-yard pass in the flat. Succop added an extra point to give the Chiefs their largest lead of the game at 28 points. Chiefs 38, Colts 10.

 

THIRD QUARTER (11:47 remaining)

Despite the interception to open the half, Andrew Luck came out firing on the next drive and found Da’Rick Rodgers for a 46-yard reception. Rodgers’ grab setup a 10-yard run for Donald Brown to pull the Colts within 21. The 1:52 scoring drive was the game’s second straight that finished in under two minutes. Vinatieri’s extra point succeeded. Chiefs 38, Colts 17.

 

THIRD QUARTER (7:32 remaining)

A Robert Mathis strip-sack and recovery by Kelvin Sheppard set the Colts’ offense up at the Chiefs’ 41 yard line. Five plays later, Luck found Brown on a three-yard scoring reception to close the gap on Kansas City’s previous 21-point lead. Vinatieri’s extra point pulled the Colts within two possessions on a drive that included receptions by three different Colts. Chiefs 38, Colts 24.

 

THIRD QUARTER (4:12 remaining)

The latter part of the third quarter provided Kansas City an opportunity to capitalize off of an opponent turnover. Luck threw his third interception of the game, this time to Husain Abdullah. Another sub-two minute scoring drive extended the Kansas City lead to seventeen thanks to a Succop field goal.  Chiefs 41, Colts 24.

 

THIRD QUARTER (2:31 remaining)

Luck had no trouble bouncing back yet again after the turnover, leading the offense in a six-play, 80-yard touchdown drive. As the touchdown accounted for the 72nd total point of the game prior to entering the fourth quarter, the Colts narrowed the margin to ten upon Coby Fleener’s 12-yard touchdown catch from Luck and Vinatieri’s extra point. Chiefs 41, Colts 31.

 

 

FOURTH QUARTER (10:38 remaining)

What almost resulted in another Colts turnover resulted in a touchdown instead. A Donald Brown fumbled recovered and ran into the end zone from the backfield by Luck capped off a 12-play, 90-yard scoring drive early in the fourth quarter. The score and a Vinatieri extra point pulled the Colts within three, the closest they had been since the game was 10-7 in favor of Kansas City in the first quarter. Chiefs 41, Colts 38.

 

FOURTH QUARTER (5:36 remaining)

The Chiefs found a way to gain some momentum back with a Succup field goal late in the quarter while simultaneously executing the type of clock-melting drive present in the first period. Kansas City put pressure back on the Colts by using up over five minutes of the clock and going 68 yards. Vinatieri’s extra point drew the Colts to within a touchdown of tying the game. Chiefs 44, Colts 38.

 

 

FOURTH QUARTER (4:21 remaining)

Andrew Luck eclipsed the 400-yard mark and threw his fourth touchdown  with just over four minutes remaining in the game. That touchdown pass also gave T.Y. Hilton his second receiving touchdown of the contest, putting the second-year sensation over the 200-yard mark for the game. His 13 receptions and 224 yards were the most for a player in postseason, franchise history. Vinatieri’s extra point gave the Colts their first lead of the game.  Colts 45, Chiefs 44.

 

 

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