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Wild Card Notebook: Thursday Edition

Intro: Throughout the course of the playoffs, will publish a daily notebook addressing some key points heading into that weekend’s contest. Today’s notebook looks at why the Colts were successful in Arrowhead two weeks ago, T.Y. Hilton looking to re-write history and the Colts in rare NFL air.


Looking Back on the 1st Colts/Chiefs Meeting- Earlier this week, Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid was asked what he would like to change from the Colts 23-7 win in Week 16 on Saturday.

"Obviously the turnovers," Reid of his team committing a season-high four against the Colts. "If you're a good football team, you can't turn the football over."

The four forced turnovers by the Colts played a pivotal role in the road victory but here's a look at some other key factors that led to Indianapolis winning in Arrowhead for a second straight year.

1. The Colts forced five three-and-outs on the Chiefs 11 offensive possessions (45 percent). That stat is even more impressive considering the Chiefs had averaged three-and-outs on just 20 percent of their offensive possessions coming into the Dec. 23 game.

2. The seven points scored by the Chiefs were the fewest they've scored all season long by 10 points. Kansas City came into the Week 16 meeting third in the NFL in averaging 28.5 points per game. A 1-of-8 performance for the Chiefs on third-down tied their season low for conversions in a game.

3.Chiefs signal caller Alex Smith had a quarterback rating of 41.3 against the Colts. That was Smith lowest rating all season.

4. The Colts won the time of possession battle 38:20-21:40 on Dec. 23. The Colts held the ball for at least nine minutes in all four quarters. The Chiefs 21:40 time of possession was their lowest total by more than four minutes all season long.

Pep Hamilton said the Colts offensive game plan started from scratch this week and Chuck Pagano followed suit in talking how different the flow of the game will be from less than two weeks ago.

"I can't predict how that thing's going to go. I just know that we're not expecting the same type of ball game. We're going to prepare for them the same way we did, but how the game's going to go, how it's going to start, how it's going to end, I can't predict that," Pagano said.

"All I know is we're going to try and do the things that we need to do in all areas, all three phases, play great situational football, take care of the ball, try to take the ball away, be good on third down, try to control the clock, field position, all those things are going to play a huge factor."

Hilton The Oldest of the Young—As Robert Mathis walked off the podium and out of the Colts media room on Thursday afternoon he couldn't help but dance.

The dance was for T.Y. Hilton waiting to address the media and the young receiver couldn't help but laugh at Mathis' impression of the "T, Y" touchdown celebration.

Hilton wasn't done laughing as the questions began to come his way.

With all the youth currently contributing to the wide receiver position, it seems as if Hilton is the "old man" of the group.

"(Laughs) I wouldn't call it that but yeah it seems like it. It seems like I probably have the most experience going into the playoffs and I'm just looking forward to it."

"It feels like I'm in year four."

The second-year receiver will get his next crack at the postseason on Saturday.

Last year, Hilton caught eight passes for 66 yards in the Wild Card loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

Hilton is happy to be back in the playoffs, especially in the friendly elements of Lucas Oil Stadium, in hopes of re-writing the chapter that ended last season.

"We had some plays that could of won us the game. We had a few drops that lost us the game. Right now we have a chance, at home to seize the moment."

Colts In Rare NFL Company—Over the course of the 2013 regular season, the Colts have certainly proven they can beat the NFL's elite.

Whether it's convincing road victories against San Francisco and Kansas City or outlasting shootouts versus Seattle and Denver, the Colts have beat four teams with at least 11 victories.

How does regular season success against the league's best translate to postseason runs?

Well, per ESPN Stats and Info, the Colts are the third team since 2003 to record three regular season victories against teams that finished the year with at least 12 victories.

The two previous teams who accomplished this feat were the 2011 Ravens (lost AFC Championship) and the 2003 Patriots (Won Super Bowl).

Will the Colts follow suit?

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