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Throwback Thursday: Playoff berth clinched at Arrowhead, Christmas present delivered to Pagano

Intro: With their head coach Chuck Pagano scheduled to return the next day, the Colts gave him an early Christmas present with a 20-13 playoff clinching victory against the Kansas City Chiefs.





INDIANAPOLIS –Wanting to take pressure off the regular season finale and the return of Chuck Pagano, the Colts were stuck in a rut.

The Colts had just lost their lead after being outscored 10-0 in the third quarter.

To make matters worse, Andrew Luck was in the midst of 10 straight incompletions with the scored tied at 13.

Facing a third-and-four from the Indianapolis 34-yard line, Luck connected with T.Y. Hilton to begin a 13-play, 73-yard touchdown drive.

The drive ended with 4:08 left in the fourth quarter when Reggie Wayne hauled in a seven-yard touchdown on a third-and-goal to give the Colts the game winning touchdown.

"I didn't think I could hit the broad side of the barn at that point," Luck said.  "I realized our defense had played so hard. It was our turn to carry the baton at that point. I was grateful for the opportunity to go back out and get a drive at that point."

Defensively, the Colts had an up-and-down afternoon with some critical plays making the difference.

The unit forced three turnovers including cornerback Darius Butler returning a first quarter interception 32 yards for a touchdown.

In the second half, the Chiefs opened with an 86-yard touchdown run by Jamaal Charles and continued to chew up yardage on the ground.

But on a fourth-and-one from the Colts 27-yard line, the Indianapolis defense stuffed the Chiefs attempt and it was time for Luck and the offense to embark on the game winning drive.

It was another one-possession victory for the Colts, a satisfying win that silenced many preseason predictions.

"Anybody outside our locker room who said the Indianapolis Colts would make playoffs, I think they'd being lying now if they claimed it," said Antoine Bethea after the club's 20-13 victory at Kansas City.

"The guys in the locker room, we stuck by each other week in and week out. It paid dividends. Everyone hung together, and we played well."

OFFENSIVE HIGHLIGHT:It wasn't a game that will appear on any Andrew Luck highlight films moving forward but the rookie quarterback did set another record.

Luck finished the Chiefs game with 4,183 passing yards, which set an NFL rookie record for a single season.

DEFENSIVE HIGHLIGHT:The Colts secondary ended the 2012 season on a terror.

Against the Chiefs, the Colts picked off Brady Quinn twice with Darius Butler turning his interception into a 32-yard touchdown.

The secondary was apart of a defensive effort that held the Chiefs to just 2-of-10 on third downs.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:Colts interim head coach Bruce Arians has been apart of a Super Bowl winning team but when comparing it to what he accomplished in 2012, it could not measure up.

"This is probably much more rewarding," Arians said. "I was fortunate enough to call the plays in a two-minute drive to win a Super Bowl, and that was fantastic. To do this job that was handed to me, there's nothing more rewarding."

INTERESTING FACT:It was another nail-biting afternoon for the Colts, something they were accustomed to in 2012.

In all, the Colts were 9-1 in one-possession games last season.




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