Indianapolis Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton (13) makes a first quarter touchdown over Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Dunta Robinson (21) during the 2013 AFC wild card playoff football game at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Thomas J. Russo, USA TODAY Sports)

Three Thoughts: Kansas City Chiefs Rise and Fall Against the Indianapolis Colts

You Couldn’t Start Any Better…

The game started on a dream. The Kansas City Chiefs entered into Indianapolis vying for their first playoff win in two decades. Six plays into the game, running back Jamaal Charles goes down with an injury and is out for the game It doesn’t seem to matter. They were playing well enough to make up for his disappearance.

Quarterback Alex Smith is playing the game of his life. He’s successfully launching deep passes for touchdowns, hitting receivers in stride even though they’re completely covered, and using his legs to run around extending plays and even earning substantial yardage. This was the guy the 49ers drafted all those years ago; here he was, but on a different team.

Even though Charles was out for the game, running back Knile Davis was filling in nicely. You often hear about players who got better during the course of the season. That happened this year with Davis. He started the season as a necessary backup for Charles; getting a few carries here or there, but mostly meant to block on plays where Smith was in the shotgun. Now here at the end, Davis plays with confidence and tenacity. At one point in the first half it surprised me to see him attempt to run over a defensive back, which is something he wouldn’t have done at the beginning of the season.

Just after halftime, the Chiefs were up 38-10.

My wife asked if she could change the channel. I said no. I wanted to see this win, this elusive playoff victory for Kansas City. I should’ve left. It would have saved the rest of my evening.

I Honestly Don’t Know What Happened…

The 38-10 lead is the last thing I remember. There is no memory in my brain that can recall what the Kansas City offense did during the late third quarter or the early fourth quarter. Could it be that my brain would purposefully make me forget? That can’t be it because I can vividly recall what the Colts did.

On the very first Indianapolis drive of the game, the Colts employed a very simple tactic. Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton would run a simple out route and somehow he was open every time. Play after play, quarterback Andrew Luck would pass the ball towards the first down marker, and Hilton was there with enough space to easily catch the ball and run out of bounds. It worried me at first, but the Chiefs tightened up, and it wasn’t a problem for the rest of the half.

But it returned. The Colts vengeance will forever be known to me as the ‘Out Route Massacre’.

The play would start, Hilton would run several yards, make a hard plant with his inside foot, and dash towards the sideline. Oh how it haunts my memories. What was it about such a basic route that the Chiefs could not comprehend? Hilton looked like the Flash, the Chiefs secondary looked like they couldn’t keep up.

There was a so many things wrong with the Chiefs during the second half, but that out route seems like a simple whole to fix, therefore making it worse than everything else. Maybe I’m just overreacting.

Injuries, Injuries Everywhere…

Jamaal Charles. Donnie Avery. Brandon Flowers. Justin Houston. Knile Davis.

All went down with injuries. It was like watching an oil company clear a rainforest, as if trees continued to fall and never get up.

As the lead dwindled more and more, I kept wondering if all of this could have been prevented had Charles stayed in the game. He produced nearly one third of the Chiefs offensive yards this season. At first the offense looked like they didn’t need him, but the second half was full of three-and-outs. Would it be too much to ask for one offensive drive to continue for more than five minutes?

The greatest turnaround in NFL history ended when a few key players could not resume play. I know this entire final thought is all about if’s and could-of’s, but it made a huge difference to the way the Chiefs played.

(Good luck Indy.)

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Tags: AFC Wild Card Kansas City Chiefs

17 Comments on Three Thoughts: Kansas City Chiefs Rise and Fall Against the Indianapolis Colts

  1. Aaron Martin says:

    I wish I turned my tv off too. I am so sick to
    My stomach.

  2. Larry Devore says:

    Replace the fu–in secondary. How do you let Hilton catch 224 yds

  3. Jetlife510 says:

    Ahaha chiefs suck!!! Better luck next year ! Raider nation

  4. Guest says:

    Typical loser raider fan!!!!

  5. John Qunicy says:

    The Chiefs secondary was disgusting beyond belief. But then…that’s exactly the way they played all season long. Eric Berry an All-Pro? He is an utter embarrassment as are the rest of the thugs in our D secondary.

    Action item #1 for Andy in the off season: Replace our ENTIRE D secondary.

    • d-block says:

      Was shocked to see two members of the Chiefs secondary make the pro bowl. I no longer feel sick but that’s thanks to alcohol.

    • DTVTechGuy says:

      Oh that’s right.. EB led the team in tackles… Thugs??!!? I hope these statements stem from emotion because they certainly don’t stem from intelligence or information because they lack both.

      • John Qunicy says:

        DTV…Berry’s status as an All-Pro was, apparently on the basis of what the team did over the first 9 – 12 weeks, when the Chiefs played against no-talent losing teams. Look…I love the Chiefs more than words can describe…but the guy is an overpaid fraud, as is the entire D backfield.

        When they lose the dreds…I won’t call ‘em thugs any more.

        • DTVTechGuy says:

          Berry was also a Pro- Bowler his Rookie season… To say he doesn’t have any talent is ridiculous and it doesn’t have any merit or foundation if you look at it logically. And dreadlocks are a hairstyle, not a lifestyle. That’s bigotry man. Not really a cool attitude to have. Berry is a solid player, the stats prove that, Flowers is a solid player. These guys suffered when the defensive front lost their ability to get to the QB. Lewis is a waste, Robinson is a waste. Abdullah and Smith both looked great at times and poor at times. Cooper was dramatically hot or dramatically cold. We will see some changes, but to say they ALL have to go because of a couple knuckleheads and call them thugs because a couple guys on the team have dreadlocks…. Ridiculous.

          Jamal Charles has dreadlocks by the way? Do we get rid of that ” thug? “

  6. Kansas_City says:

    Sure, the defense stunk, but Smith needs to step up and not: (1) overthrow Gray when good pass effectively closes the game; and ((2) takes an intenional gounding that effectively takes the Chiefs out of the chance to win on a field goal. He is a good QB, but before any team goes anywhere in the playoffs, the QB has to make the plays when the moment comes. He did not. Hard to see how next year will be a good one — natural regression by a turn around team and much tougher schedule.

  7. Chris Schroeder says:

    Hey… Look at the bright side chiefs fans. You know that you were overrated all season long and really had no business being in the post season after only winning against sub 500 teams for most of the year anyway. The Chiefs seriously had a easy schedule to begin with and there was no way they were winning a Super Bowl this year.

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