The Indianapolis Colts improved to 10-5 on Sunday afternoon after steam-rolling the play0ff-bound Kansas City Chiefs (11-4) at Arrowhead Stadium. Averaging 50 points in their previous two games, the Chiefs started brightly. Forcing Indy into a quick three-and-out on their opening possession, Jamal Charles raced into the endzone from 31 yards out with less than four minutes played. Most would have expected Kansas to take a stranglehold of the contest from there, but the Colts kept their composure and a wonderful individual performance from running back Donald Brown, coupled with a spirited defensive effort saw Indy rack up 23 unanswered points on their way to a 23-7 victory.
Colts quarterback Andrew Luck finished the game with a 70% completion rate for 241 yards and a touchdown in freezing Missouri temperatures. Despite a 5th different combination in 5 games for Indy’s offensive line, the patched up group managed to keep a vaunted Chiefs defense at bay for most of the game, allowing Luck to find nine different receivers, a season high for the Sophomore superstar.
On the other side of the ball, the Colts’ defensive unit had their most complete performance since the Week 3 victory at Candlestick. After gaining 54 yards on their opening drive, the Chiefs were held to 233 net yards for the rest of the game and resoundingly surrendered the turnover battle with 2 interceptions and 2 forced fumbles recovered by the Colts. Inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman was the undisputed star of the show, picking off Kansas quarterback Alex Smith twice in the second half and forcing the 9-year veteran to lose the ball deep in the 4th quarter as the Chiefs rallied for a late comeback.
Colts running back Donald Brown had another stellar performance both running and catching the ball, finishing with 110 all-purpose yards, including a 33-yard catch and run to open the scoring for Indy, followed by a jinking 51-yard score midway through the second quarter to put the Colts up by 17 points. After catching his first touchdown pass against Houston last week, wide receiver Griff Whalen led the team with 80 yards on 7 catches, while T.Y Hilton and Da’Rick Rogers combined for an additional 94 yards as the Chiefs’ secondary struggled to deal with the speed of Indy’s wide-outs. Adam Vinatieri made 3/4 field goal attempts, while his counterpart Ryan Succop missed his only try from 47 yards as both kickers battled the cold and wind.
Victories for New England and the Cincinnati Bengals means the Colts remain the 4th seed, while Kansas were already guaranteed 5th position after last week’s win against the Redskins. The Colts’ seeding can improve if they beat the Jacksonville Jaguars next week and other results go their way. A loss for the Patriots or the Bengals would see Indianapolis take 3rd spot, and the unlikely scenario of both teams losing would give Indy the second seed and a bye in the first round of the playoffs.
Final Score: Indianapolis Colts 23-7 Kansas City Chiefs
Next Game: Indianapolis Colts – Jacksonville Jaguars
Kansas City Chiefs – @ San Diego Chargers
Photograph By: Jeremy Squire