The Kansas City Chiefs turned the ball over four times and gave up four sacks on offense, while running back Donald Brown provided the big plays for the Indianapolis Colts in route to a relatively easy 23-7 win on a frigid day at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday. The loss, coupled with the Denver Broncos win over the Houston Texans, locked the Chiefs into the #5 wild card spot for the AFC playoffs.
A week after setting fans’ imaginations wild with a crushing 56-31 win against the Oakland Raiders, the Chiefs let the other shoe drop Sunday afternoon, playing sluggishly on offense after their opening scoring drive. The defense, likewise, started the game on a high note, but soon fell into sloppy play, missing tackles and getting ill-timed penalties that kept Indianapolis drives alive.
Not to feel left out of the total bomb of a game, even the special teams faltered at an important moment when Ryan Succop missed a field goal as time ran out before halftime with the Chiefs only down 13-7.
Andrew Luck of the Colts threw for 241 yards and 1 touchdown, but it was the lesser-known Donald Brown that was the thorn in the Chiefs side on Sunday. After a Knile Davis fumble in the second quarter, Brown snuck out of the backfield unnoticed by the Chiefs defense and caught a short pass from Luck and took it 33 yards for his first score of the game.
Then, after the Chiefs took the second half kickoff, quarterback Alex Smith had three plays he’ll want to forget, but won’t:
- 1st-and-10, ball at the 50-yard line – Smith incomplete pass to Dwayne Bowe
- 2nd-and-10, Smith fumbles, recovered by Jamaal Charles
- 3rd-and-16, Smith is hit in arm while throwing, ball intercepted by Jerrell Freeman of the Colts
Three plays later, Brown took a handoff from Luck and didn’t stop until he scored a TD, 51 yards later. That made the score 20-7 Indy and for all intents, the game was over.
Charles had 109 yards rushing and 38 yards receiving with one touchdown the week after he gashed Oakland for 215 yards and five touchdowns. Smith, the week after throwing five TDs and a perfect QB rating of 158.3, had his worst game as a Chief, 16-29 passing, 153 yards, no touchdowns, 2 interceptions, four sacks, 2 fumbles, 1 lost, and a rating of 41.3. Ouch!
Now the Chiefs have a totally meaningless game next week against San Diego on the road. Normally, one would suggest treating the game like a summer exhibition and letting the starters rest. However, this team isn’t chock-full of veterans with tons of playoff experience and other than Charles, everyone could benefit from trying to win the game.
Barring some unforeseen circumstances, it appears KC will travel to Indianapolis in two weeks for Round 1 of the AFC playoffs so Sunday’s game and the listless performance the Chiefs put together could be cause for concern.
However, at this holiday time of the year, your Chiefs Examiner could hear his late mother’s voice in his head, saying in a comforting tone of a Chiefs fan that had seen it all, “That’s ok, Danny. We’re just lulling the Colts into a false sense of security. We’ll get them in Indy!!”
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