The Kansas City Chiefs faced off against the Indianapolis Colts earlier this afternoon. In a very hard-fought victory the Chiefs edged the Colts 28-24. The Chiefs, who won their first game last week against the Minnesota Vikings, are now 2-3, while the Colts are still winless after five games.
Both of these squads have had a rough go of things this season. Injuries to superstar players have ultimately changed the direction of the season for both teams.
The Chiefs lost tight end Tony Moeaki in the preseason finale to a torn ACL. Then they lost starting safety Eric Berry in Week 1 of the season with the same injury, and finally they lost starting running back Jamaal Charles in Week 2 also with a torn ACL. In three weeks their whole season changed.
The Colts have been without the face of their franchise, Peyton Manning, the whole year. Manning, who had neck surgery, is still positive that he can play at some point this season. If he can somehow get on the field, he might have to save the Colts from going winless.
Here are the winners and losers from this AFC matchup.
Pierre Garcon had a field day against the Chiefs secondary.
Garcon racked up 125 yards receiving and two touchdowns on only five receptions.
Garcon, who is one of Peyton Manning's favorite targets, has obviously been affected by his absence. Despite this, Garcon has played extremely well the past two weeks for the Colts. He racked up 146 yards receiving and two touchdowns last week against the Buccaneers.
He is obviously one of best offensive threats on the team and can really rack up the stats. The biggest problem now is whether Curtis Painter can continue to get him the ball during the season.
The Colts defense started the game doing well, but then it all went terrible wrong.
After starting the game with a 17-0 lead in the second quarter, the Colts defense imploded.
The success the Chiefs had on the ground and in the air says all you need to know about the Colts defense's performance.
They allowed a 100-yard rusher and a 100-yard receiver today. Along with that, they gave up four touchdowns in the air.
Most importantly, they blew a 17-point lead and lost.
Quarterback Matt Cassel had a very rough first few weeks to start the year. He lost his tight end and his running back, so he has had to adjust as the season progressed, which has not been easy for him.
After a quarter of the year, the Chiefs were ranked 30th in the NFL in passing yards. He also had more interceptions than touchdown passes.
Playing the struggling Colts definitely helped out.
Cassel had a phenomenal game as he completed 21-of-29 passes for 257 yards, four touchdowns and had a quarterback rating of 138.9.
His play inspired the rest of the Chiefs, as they completed their comeback with five-plus minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Curtis Painter just can't catch a break, huh?
He first gets benched and is replaced by old-timer, now scrub, Kerry Collins for the first three games of the season, and now he is 0-2 in his starts this season.
Painter has been the butt of many backup quarterback jokes all year with the injury of Peyton Manning, and this is sure not to help.
When it looked like the Colts and Curtis Painter would be on their way to grab their first win, they were unable to execute in the second half.
Despite having a really good game statistically, the most important stat is the one on the final scoreboard.
Painter threw for 277 yards and two touchdowns on the day. Unfortunately for him, he was unable to maneuver a scoring drive in response to the Chiefs' late fourth-quarter touchdown.
When Chiefs' starting running back Jamaal Charles injured his ACL in Week 2, they lost a major part of their offensive production. Charles was key to their success, as well as their playoff appearance last year.
Today, backup Jackie Battle stepped up to the challenge.
Battle had 119 yards rushing on 19 carries against the Colts. Averaging 6.3 yards a carry really opened up some passing lanes for Cassel, who had a lot of success in the air.
If Battle continues to do well over the next few weeks, he will play a major role in the success of the Kansas City Chiefs. He will also become a little more appealing to fantasy football owners.
This year must be driving Peyton Manning insane. He has to watch while his team becomes one of the worst teams in the NFL, and he has no power to change that.
Manning has been acting as a player-coach on the sideline to Painter, but nothing can change the fact that the Colts have Curtis Painter as their starting quarterback.
Manning's beloved team has fallen to 0-5 and all he can do right now is look from the sidelines in a polo as the same team that he took to the playoffs last year just falls apart.
A neck injury might be one of the most sensitive injuries an athlete can have, and Manning should not be rushed back on the field. For that reason, he is projected to miss the entire season.
Although he intends to make an appearance before the end of the season, it might be best for Manning to take the entire year off in order to be at 100 percent next year. Maybe if the Colts win a game this season then Manning will be more at ease.
With Painter, Collins and the Colts' mediocre performance, one could understand how Manning has been extremely frustrated all year.
Peyton Manning will be a loser every week the Colts and Curtis Painter continue to struggle.