FREENEY AND MATHIS RECORD SACKS –Every week the opposing offense the Colts will face knows it must account of numbers 93 and 98 on the defensive line.
Yet, week after week Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis are causing havoc in the backfield.
On the final play of the opening quarter Sunday, Freeney and Mathis got to Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel for the first sack of the afternoon. Mathis hit Cassel first and Freeney came from the other side of the line to finish the takedown and force a Chiefs punt.
Freeney added another sack in the third quarter when he nailed Cassel for an eight-yard loss on Kansas City's opening possession. The play came after Kansas City had moved into Colts territory, and it helped keep the club ahead at the time. The 1.5 sacks for Freeney give him 98.5 for his career, and he is close to becoming the 26th NFL player with 100 career sacks.
The Colts defense forced punts on the first four Chiefs possessions, including three three-and- outs.
The defensive line welcomed a familiar face on Sunday with defensive tackle Ricardo Mathews returning to action after being signed from the practice squad during the week. Eric Foster and Drake Nevis left Monday's game against Tampa Bay with injuries. Foster went on injured reserve and Nevis was deactivated against Kansas City.
Mathews was active in the middle of the Colts defense all afternoon, including knocking down a pair of Cassel's passes on the Chiefs opening drive of the second quarter.
Watching the Tampa Bay game Monday night, Mathews realized pretty quickly after Foster's injury that he would be suiting up this Sunday.
"I kind of anticipated it when I saw Eric get hurt and I pretty much knew after that," Mathews said.
The pass deflections by Mathews helped get the ball back for the Colts offense, and the unit turned the possession quickly into points when Curtis Painter found Pierre Garcon for a 67-yard touchdown with 11:13 remaining in the second quarter.
Fellow defensive tackle Fili Moala returned to the starting lineup against the Chiefs and praised the efforts of Mathews.
"Rico played tremendously," Moala said. "He fits in great with the defense, (he's) nothing but a plus."
CARTER SCORES FIRST NFL TOUCHDOWN –Through the five games of his rookie season, Delone Carter has experienced a little bit of everything in the NFL.
After serving primarily as Joseph Addai's backup early in 2011, Carter saw extensive action Sunday afternoon with Addai leaving the game with a hamstring injury in the first quarter.
On the first play of the Colts' second drive, Addai ran for three yards and came up limping after the play.
Watching Addai go down from the sideline was tough for Carter, but as a rookie he has made sure to use each week of practice to the fullest to be ready for every opportunity.
"Going to practice looking forward to the coaching, the preparation and turn to Joe for any questions because he always helps me get ready for the game," Carter said in regard to what he has learned in the NFL.
For the rest of the afternoon, Carter and running back Donald Brown would carry the load in the Colts backfield.
Brown, who had played mostly on special teams in 2011, got his first carries of the season on Sunday and finished the day with 4.8 rushing average with 38 yards on eight attempts.
The highlight of the afternoon for the running game came on the Colts' final scoring drive. Capping off an eight-play 80-yard drive was Carter running three yards up the middle for his first career NFL touchdown.
At first, Carter was stopped in the middle of the pile, but he kept his legs moving and plowed into the end zone.
"That's the key to it, once you stalemate you've got to keep the feet moving and see who's momentum carries who into the end zone. That's what we did and I got a lot of help from my line," Carter said.
OFFENSIVE LINE OVERCOMES INJURIES –One week ago Quinn Ojinnaka was watching NFL football. Sunday he was back on the field living it.
With rookie offensive tackles Anthony Castonzo and Ben Ijalana out due to injuries and Ryan Diem still not fully recovered from an ankle injury, the Colts signed Ojinnaka on Tuesday morning of last week.
Against the Chiefs, Ojinnaka started at right tackle and helped protect Curtis Painter throughout the entire game.
The offensive line did not allow a sack on Sunday and Painter was only hurried once on the afternoon.
It was a tale of two halves for the Colts on Sunday with the offense scoring all 24 points in the first 30 minutes.
"Football is like that," offensive guard Mike Pollak said. "It seemed in the first half every time we got out there we just rolled."
Missing three linemen forced normal right tackle Jeff Linkenbach to slide over to the left side with Ojinnaka opposite him.
As has been the case the in past weeks, Pollak started at right guard in place of Diem. Even though the offensive line did not give up a sack Sunday, Pollak said all that matters is the scoreboard at the end.
"We were trying to battle as best we could, but we weren't good enough to get a win," Pollak said. "We will look at it tomorrow, see what we did good and see what we did bad."
On the season, left guard Joe Reitz and center Jeff Saturday are the only members of the offensive line to start all five games in the same position.
Quarterback Curtis Painter was starting his second consecutive game. He hit 15-of-27 passes for 277 yards and two scores. Painter benefited from time to throw. Afterward, he had praise for the line and the running backs.
"I think they (the linemen) hung in there together," said Painter. "We had some new guys in there, one guy in particular. They did a heck of a job. I can't remember getting hit, maybe once. For a group going through all the adversity with the injuries, I thought they did a great job of coming in (and playing) against a pretty good defensive line. All in all, they did a decent job. We just couldn't keep it going. The first half, I thought we did pretty well all across the board offensively. The second half, we just got stalled a little bit. The guys up front hung in there. Any time you lose a guy (Addai) like that, a guy who knows what he's doing and has been around a little bit, it hurts. The guys behind him did a great job. Donald (Brown) and Delone (Carter) came in and did great jobs. I thought out offensive line did a good job in a pretty tough situation. I think we still ran the ball pretty well without Joe."