Andy Reid started the day without his No. 1 pick, right tackle Eric Fisher. Jamaal Charles then departed the opening drive with a sustained concussion.
As the game unfolded, injuries snowballed into an eye-opening trend for Kansas City, as four starters (including Pro Bowlers Charles, Houston and Brandon Flowers) were demoted to the inactive list.
Eventually, a schizophrenic but effective Luck spearheaded a comeback for the ages, eking out a one-point wild-card victory over a handicapped Chiefs squad.
Kansas City - 44
Indianapolis - 45
|Kansas City Chiefs Grades|
|First-Half Grade||Final Grade|
|vs. Colts, 2013 Wild-Card Round|
Final analysis for the Kansas City Chiefs
Pass Offense: Quarter by quarter, Smith (30-of-46, 378 4 TD) carried a crippled Chiefs offense. Despite monumental odds, No. 11 constantly made plays and served a fresh plate of crow to his critics. Dwayne Bowe also racked up 150 yards and a touchdown on eight receptions.
Run Offense: When Charles went down, so did the Chiefs’ playoff aspirations. Well, at least it seemed. Davis, who was also sidelined in the fourth quarter, ran for a respectable 67 yards on 18 handoffs. On the heels of the rookie’s injury, Kansas City’s ground game slowed to a halt.
Run Defense: Brown (55 YDS, 11 ATT, TD) saw more success in the second half, but Luck authored Indianapolis’ most buzz-worthy runs of the game, scrambling for 45 yards on only seven attempts.
Pass Defense: This is a mixed bag. Firstly, the Chiefs lost Brandon Flowers, Justin Houston and Dunta Robinson throughout the game. Secondly, Kansas City forced three interceptions. Lastly, Luck repeatedly charred the opposing secondary, particularly throughout the second half.
Special Teams: In the wake of Week 17’s heart-wrenching misfire, Ryan Succop made true on all three field-goal attempts. Also, on one particular attempt, an official didn’t penalize Indianapolis for too many men on the field, which would’ve translated into a first down for the Chiefs.
Coaching: While Reid’s time-management demons came back to haunt him, the Chiefs began the day without No. 1 pick Eric Fisher and lost six other players (four starters, three Pro Bowlers) throughout the afternoon. Somehow, that uphill climb resulted only in a one-point loss.
First-half analysis for the Kansas City Chiefs
Pass Offense: Without All-Pro Jamaal Charles in the backfield—who has been ruled out with a concussion suffered in the first drive—game manager Alex Smith (and yes, that’s written sarcastically) stepped up to the plate and into the role of offensive playmaker. Smith routinely made plays in the face of adversity, throwing for 217 yards and a trio of touchdowns on 14-of-23 passing.
Run Offense: Before a head-hanging Charles walked off of the field, he churned out 18 yards on a meager three carries. However, the ground game lost little steam with Knile Davis, as the rookie rushed for 51 yards and a touchdown on 12 handoffs.
Run Defense: Trent Richardson’s lone handoff was punctuated by Tamba Hali stripping the rock and Justin Houston recovering. Due to the deficit, Donald Brown managed just 12 yards on three attempts.
Pass Defense: Initially, Andrew Luck (12-of-21, 129 YDS, TD, INT) looked the part of surgical signal-caller, penning a perfect first drive that ended with the Colts quarterback completing all seven of his attempts for 74 yards and a touchdown. However, Kansas City’s pass rush would eventually emerge, as Houston and Hali—who haven’t shared the field since Week 12—regularly collapsed the pocket and forced errant throws.
Special Teams: The highly touted special teams didn’t leave its mark on the first half. Glimpses of daylight closed in a heartbeat for returners.
Coaching: Andy Reid played it close to the vest in the teams’ Week 16 meeting. For today’s wild-card matchup, he has unshackled the playbook and thrown the kitchen sink at Indianapolis. Judging by the scoreboard, Reid had the right idea.
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