It didn’t get much better today for the Indianapolis Colts as they dominated the Kansas City Chiefs en route to a 23-7 victory in a very cold Arrowhead Stadium. You know it doesn’t get much better than this when wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey shines.
The catch to this (pun intended) is his game to shine came on special teams. Entering today, Heyward-Bey was about as far down on the Colts’ wide receiver depth chart that he was one spot a head of you and me. Due to dropped catches and not getting open, he was benched in favor of Da’Rick Rogers, LaVon Brazill and Griff Whalen.
It’s not a coincidence that the Colts’ offense has gone back to normal since Heyward-Bey’s benching either. Indianapolis signed Heyward-Bey in the offseason to be the next man to replace Reggie Wayne when he retires in a few years. The former first round choice had all the tools to be that guy. He was big, strong and fast enough to make a difference. That chance to shine came earlier than expected when Wayne was injured for the year on Oct. 20. Since then, the offense looked dismal, and the reason was due to Heyward-Bey.
So, when he makes an impact on a game it means Indianapolis is in a good place.
The Colts moved him to special teams to help. In the fourth quarter, he made a crucial open field tackle on a punt by Pat McAfee, keeping the Chiefs inside their 20. On the next punt, he was able to down the ball on the six-yard line, giving Kansas City horrible field position on a key drive that they needed to score.
If Heyward-Bey can give that kind of effort going forward, then Indianapolis is a Super Bowl caliber team.
Eric Smith is the Colts Beat Writer for Rant Sports. He’s covered the team the past four seasons and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by the Colts. Follow him on Twitter @ericsportsguru