Top 5 Performers For Indianapolis Colts On Wild Card Weekend
Indianapolis Colts Beat Kansas City Chiefs: Top 5 Performers
The Indianapolis Colts produced an astonishing turnaround on Wild Card weekend, coming back from a 28-point deficit in the third quarter to beat the Kansas City Chiefs 45-44 at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Colts became just the second team in playoff history to mount such a revival, and the game marked the first postseason victory for second-year superstar Andrew Luck.
The Chiefs started brightly, scoring on their opening possession before Luck and the young Colts offense replied with a touchdown of their own to tie the game at seven apiece. After beating the Chiefs 23-7 just two weeks ago, it was hard to predict how the rematch would play out.
The Chiefs seemed like a different team last night, racing ahead to a 31-10 lead at halftime before adding another touchdown early in the third quarter. The Colts finally regained their rhythm on offense soon after, having only scored a solitary field goal since their opening drive. The Chiefs defense simply couldn’t live with them in the second half. Three touchdowns in the third quarter followed by two more in the last 15 minutes saw Indianapolis take the lead. With time left on the clock, Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith rallied his troops, but a critical fourth down stop in the dying minutes by the Colts’ defense sealed a memorable victory.
The combined 89 points scored between the two teams ranks third all-time, and the 1,049 yards of total offense is the greatest number in playoff history.
Five key players stood out for the Colts, who will face the Denver Broncos or New England Patriots on the road next week depending on other wild card results.
5. Coby Fleener
Fleener was a key third-down target for Andrew Luck as he jostled all afternoon with the Chiefs' secondary. He was the Colts' second-highest pass catcher with five receptions, and finished the game with 46 yards and a critical third-quarter touchdown.
4. Robert Mathis
The Colts' defense struggled for most of the game as Smith made the right passes and used his legs when necessary. However, strip-sack king Robert Mathis finally got his hands on Smith in the third quarter, and the turnover was a key moment in the game as Indianapolis scored a touchdown on the ensuing drive to close the gap to 14 points.
3. Donald Brown
Brown continued his fine form this season with 55 yards rushing, 47 yards receiving and two touchdown scores. After Trent Richardson's fumble on his single carry of the game, Brown was forced to take the entire workload on his shoulders and did so with aplomb.
2. T.Y. Hilton
It was another fantastic performance from the second-year receiver. Finishing with 13 catches for 224 yards, Hilton broke two franchise records held by Ray Berry and Reggie Wayne respectively. His two touchdowns, particularly the 64-yard bomb in the fourth quarter, was invaluable to the Colts’ offense.
1. Andrew Luck
Despite throwing three interceptions, Luck’s ability to shake off mistakes and perform under immense pressure is simply incredible for a second-year player. It was his 11th fourth-quarter comebacks in two years and by far the most important of his young career. Going 29-of-45 for 443 yards and four touchdowns, along with a fumble recovery touchdown run, the Colts would not have won this game without Luck under center.
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