Chiefs Blow 28 Point Lead, Lose To Colts

By: Michael Marot, AP Sports Writer
By: Michael Marot, AP Sports Writer
Kansas City led Indianapolis 38-10 early in the 3rd quarter. From there, Andrew Luck led a comeback for the ages.

After scoring a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) celebrates during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Chuck Pagano couldn't believe his eyes. Andrew Luck couldn't believe his ears. Colts fans couldn't believe the scoreboard, and the Kansas City Chiefs couldn't believe their incredibly bad luck.

It seemed unfathomable.

On a day Luck appeared to be pressing and, at times, as bad as he ever has while putting Indianapolis in a 28-point deficit, the Colts quarterback somehow turned things around. He threw three of his four touchdowns in the second half, scored on a fumble return and connected with a wide-open T.Y. Hilton on a 64-yard TD pass to give the Colts an improbable 45-44 wild-card victory Saturday.

''One for the ages,'' said Pagano, Indianapolis' coach. ''I think somebody said that it was the second-largest comeback or whatever in the history of whatever. I guess 21 wasn't large enough at half, so we thought we've give them another seven, you know, just to make it interesting.''

Actually, rallying from 28 down made the latest of Luck's amazing comebacks one to remember.

Indianapolis (12-5) became only the second playoff team to rally from that big a deficit, according to STATS. Buffalo rallied from 32 points to beat Houston 41-38 in January 1993, though that one required overtime.

The Colts, winners of four straight, travel to either Denver or New England next weekend for the divisional round.

Luck was an incredible mix of good and bad, finishing 29 of 45 for 443 yards, the second-highest yardage total in franchise history for a playoff game. He also matched his career high with three interceptions. Hilton broke franchise playoff records with 13 catches and 224 yards, and also caught two TDs.

But it was the way Indy won that made it stunning.

Luck played angry and frantic, turning a steady stream of halftime boos into a chorus of cheers.

''I don't know if it ever crossed my mind on how it would be remembered,'' Luck said after winning his first playoff game four seasons quicker than it took his predecessor, Peyton Manning. ''When I took a knee, and you feel the buzz and the energy of the crowd and see your teammates' faces, that makes it special.''

For Kansas City, it was another brief, miserable postseason appearance.

The Chiefs (11-6) finished their remarkable turnaround season with three straight losses and an eighth straight postseason defeat - none more shocking than this one. The eight consecutive losses broke a tie with the Detroit Lions for the longest playoff skid.

And they were beaten up, too.

Starting running back Jamaal Charles left with a concussion on the opening possession. Knile Davis, Charles' backup, left in the fourth quarter with what appeared to be a left knee injury. Receiver Donnie Avery and cornerback Brandon Flowers were knocked out with second-half concussions, and linebacker Justin Houston was out with a knee injury when Hilton caught the winning pass.

That put even more pressure on Alex Smith, who was 30 of 46 for 378 yards with four TDs and no interceptions but lost a fumble that led to a touchdown for Indy. Just about everyone other than the Colts figured Smith sealed the win with a 10-yard TD pass to Davis less than two minutes into the third quarter.

Instead, he tried to rally the Chiefs after Hilton's score and wound up throwing to Dwayne Bowe - who caught the ball but was out of bounds - on fourth-and-11 with 1:55 to play from the Indy 43.

''Anytime you're leading like that and then have them battle back and then take it, and you end up losing by a point, it's tough, a tough pill to swallow,'' Smith said.

Things appeared bleak with Indy trailing 31-10 at halftime, and they got worse when Luck's first pass of the second half was picked off and returned to the Indy 18. Three plays later, Smith made it 38-10.

But Luck had plenty of time to make the jaw-dropping rally.

With Indy going no-huddle, Luck started throwing at will. He eventually caught the Chiefs defense off-guard when Donald Brown scored on a 10-yard run to start the rally. Then Luck capitalized on the fumble by hooking with Brown on a 3-yard TD pass to make it 38-24.

After Luck's third interception turned into a 42-yard field goal, he answered with a 12-yard TD pass to cut the deficit to 41-31 after three quarters.

''He's as advertised. He went out there and definitely avoided some pressure and made big plays down the field,'' Chiefs cornerback Sean Smith said, referring to Luck.

Even when Eric Berry jarred the ball loose from Brown near the goal line, Luck had the answer. He scooped up the bouncing ball and squirted through the middle to make it 41-38. And after a Kansas City field, goal, Luck found Hilton to win it.

''It seemed surreal, being down like we were down and then you have that fourth-down stop and they had used their last timeout there at the 2-minute warning,'' Pagano said. ''Thinking about how good tomorrow's going to be, snow or no snow, I don't really care.''

Notes: The Chiefs rushed for 150 yards on 32 carries, even with Charles out most of the game. ... Colts K Adam Vinatieri became the first player in NFL history to score 200 points in the playoffs. He now has 205. ... Indy won its first playoff game without Manning since Jan. 7, 1996, when Jim Harbaugh was the QB. ... The Chiefs fell to 0-4 vs. Colts in playoff matchups.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

POSTGAME NOTES: AFC WILD CARD CHIEFS AT COLTS (1/4/14)

POSTSEASON SCORING: Kansas City’s 31 first-half points are the most points ever scored by an away team in the first-half of any NFL postseason game. The Chiefs set a new franchise record for most points scored in a postseason game with 44, passing the old mark of 31 points, which was set twice.

CHIEFS RECORD BOOK

MOST POINTS, GAME, POSTSEASON

1. 44 at Indianapolis Jan. 4, 2014

2. 31 at Buffalo Jan. 11, 1967

vs. Indianapolis Jan. 11, 2004

4. 28 at Houston Jan. 16, 1994

5. 27 vs. Pittsburgh Jan. 8, 1994

The team also set a new franchise record for most touchdowns in a postseason game, finding the end zone five times, breaking the old club mark of four touchdowns, set on three occasions.

CHIEFS RECORD BOOK

MOST TOUCHDOWNS, GAME, POSTSEASON

1. 5 at Indianapolis Jan. 4, 2014

2. 4 at Buffalo Jan. 1, 1967

at Houston Jan. 16, 1994

vs. Indianapolis Jan. 11, 2004

3. 3 Twice; Last vs. Pittsburgh Jan. 8, 1994

Kansas City scored on the club’s first six offensive drives of the game, marking the first time that a team has done so in the postseason since Indianapolis scored on its first seven possessions in an AFC Wild Card Game vs. Denver on Jan. 4, 2004.

OFFENSE PUTS UP RECORD YARDAGE: The Chiefs set a new franchise record for most net yards, gaining 513 yards in the contest, passing the old club mark of 451, set on Dec. 25, 1971. It marks the first time in franchise history that the club has registered 500 or more yards of total offense in a postseason game.

CHIEFS RECORD BOOK

MOST NET YARDS, GAME, POSTSEASON

1. 513 at Indianapolis Jan. 4, 2014

2. 451 vs. Miami Dec. 25, 1971

3. 414 at Miami Dec. 31, 1994

4. 408 vs. Indianapolis Jan. 11, 2004

5. 401 vs. Pittsburgh Jan. 8, 1994

SMITH PASSING: Chiefs QB Alex Smith completed 30 of 46 passes for 378 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions, good for a 119.7 passer rating. His four touchdown passes sets a new franchise record for most passing touchdowns in a postseason game, passing the old mark of three set by QB Joe Montana at Houston on Jan. 16, 1994.

CHIEFS RECORD BOOK

MOST TOUCHDOWN PASSES, GAME, POSTSEASON

1. 4 Alex Smith at Indianapolis Jan. 4, 2014

2. 3 Joe Montana at Houston Jan. 16, 1994

3. 2 Len Dawson at Buffalo Jan. 1, 1967

Joe Montana at Miami Dec. 31, 1994

Smith’s 378 passing yards in today’s game mark the highest total in a postseason game in franchise history. He is only the second Chiefs quarterback to ever throw for more than 300 yards in a playoff contest in club history, passing QB Joe Montana’s mark of 314 passing yards at Miami on Dec. 31, 1994.

CHIEFS RECORD BOOK

MOST PASSING YARDS, GAME, POSTSEASON

1. 378 Alex Smith at Indianapolis Jan. 4, 2014

2. 314 Joe Montana at Miami Dec. 31, 1994

3. 299 Joe Montana at Houston Jan. 16, 1994

4. 276 Joe Montana vs. Pittsburgh Jan. 4, 1994

His 30 completions rank as the most completions in a postseason game in franchise history, while his 46 pass attempts rank first in club annals.

CHIEFS RECORD BOOK

MOST PASS COMPLETIONS, GAME, POSTSEASON

1. 30 Alex Smith at Indianapolis Jan. 4, 2014

2. 28 Joe Montana vs. Pittsburgh Jan. 8, 1994

3. 26 Joe Montana at Miami Dec. 31, 1994

4. 24 Elvis Grbac vs. Denver Jan. 4, 1998

5. 22 Joe Montana at Houston Jan. 16, 1994

CHIEFS RECORD BOOK

MOST PASS ATTEMPTS, GAME, POSTSEASON

1. 46 Alex Smith at Indianapolis Jan. 4, 2014

2. 43 Joe Montana vs. Pittsburgh Jan. 8, 1994

3. 38 Joe Montana at Houston Jan. 16, 1994

4. 37 Joe Montana at Miami Dec. 31, 1994

Elvis Grbac vs. Denver Jan. 4, 1998

SMITH RUSHING: After setting the franchise single-season record for rushing yards by a quarterback this season, QB Alex Smith picked up 57 yards on eight carries (7.1 avg.) in today’s game to finish as the club’s second-leading rusher. His 57 rushing yards are a career-high mark for a postseason game.

ALEX SMITH IN THE POSTSEASON: Including Saturday’s game, QB Alex Smith has completed 66 of 114 passes for 873 yards with nine touchdowns and no interceptions in three career postseason starts, good for a 108.6 passer rating. He also has 15 carries for 127 yards (8.5 avg.) with a rushing touchdown in those three games.

FORMER NO. 1 PICKS GO HEAD-TO-HEAD: Today’s game marked just the fifth time in NFL postseason history that the two opposing quarterbacks were both former first overall selections in the NFL Draft. Chiefs QB Alex Smith was the first overall selection of the San Francisco 49ers in 2005 while Colts QB Andrew Luck was the first overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft by Indianapolis. Alex Smith joins Vinny Testaverde as the only two former first round picks to play in two such postseason contests.

YEAR ROUND MATCHUP RESULT

2013 AFC Wild Card Alex Smith (KC) vs. Andrew Luck (IND) IND defeated KC 45-44

2011 NFC Championship Alex Smith (SF) vs. Eli Manning (NYG) NYG defeated SF 20-17 in OT

1999 NFC Wild Card Jeff George (MIN) vs. Troy Aikman (DAL) MIN defeated DAL 27-10

1998 AFC Championship John Elway (DEN) vs. Vinny Testaverde (NYJ) DEN defeated NYJ 23-10

1994 AFC Wild Card Vinny Testaverde (CLE) vs. Drew Bledsoe (NE) CLE defeated NE 20-13

BOWE TIES MARK FOR LONG RECEPTION, AVERY PASSES IT: WR Dwayne Bowe hauled in a 63-yard reception from QB Alex Smith in the first quarter of today’s contest, tying the longest pass reception in postseason action in franchise history. His 63-yard catch tied Elmo Wright’s reception against Miami on Dec. 25, 1971. In the second quarter, WR Donnie Avery caught a 79-yard touchdown pass from Smith, establishing a new franchise record for longest pass reception in postseason play.

CHIEFS RECORD BOOK

LONGEST PASS RECEPTION, POSTSEASON

1. 79 Donnie Avery at Indianapolis (from Alex Smith) Jan. 4, 2014

2. 63 Dwayne Bowe at Indianapolis (from Alex Smith) Jan. 4, 2014

Elmo Wright vs. Miami (from Len Dawson) Dec. 25, 1971

4. 61 Otis Taylor at N.Y. Jets (from Len Dawson) Dec. 20, 1969

5. 57 Kimble Anders at Miami (from Joe Montana) Dec. 31, 1994

BOWE GOES OVER 100 FOR THE DAY: WR Dwayne Bowe caught eight passes for 150 yards (18.8 avg.) in today’s game, setting a new franchise record for receiving yards in a postseason contest. It is the first time a Chiefs player had a 100-yard receiving day since Andre Rison had eight catches for 110 yards vs. Pittsburgh on Jan. 4, 1998. It is the seventh time a Chiefs player recorded 100 or more receiving yards in a postseason game.

CHIEFS RECORD BOOK

MOST RECEIVING YARDS, GAME, POSTSESAON

1. 150 Dwayne Bowe at Indianapolis Jan. 4, 2014

2. 142 Stephone Paige at Miami Jan. 5, 1991

3. 117 Otis Taylor at Oakland Dec. 22, 1968

4. 110 Ed Podolak vs. Miami Dec. 25, 1971

Andre Rison vs. Denver Jan. 4, 1998

Bowe’s eight receptions tie the franchise record for most receptions in a playoff game in team history, becoming the fourth player to record eight receptions in a postseason game.

CHIEFS RECORD BOOK

MOST RECEPTIONS, GAME, POSTSEASON

1. 8 Ed Podolak vs. Miami Dec. 25, 1971

Stephone Paige at Miami Jan. 5, 1991

Andre Rison vs. Denver Jan. 4, 1998

Dwayne Bowe at Indianapolis Jan. 4, 2014

5. 7 Keith Cash vs. Pittsburgh Jan. 8, 1994

Kimble Anders vs. Indianapolis Jan. 7, 1996

HALI FORCES FUMBLE: LB Tamba Hali forced a fumble of Colts RB Trent Richardson in the contest. It is Hali’s second-career forced fumble in postseason action. He forced a QB Joe Flacco fumble on a sack-and-strip and eventually recovered the ball himself in the club’s last postseason contest vs. Baltimore on Jan. 9, 2011. Hali added one solo tackle and a QB pressure.

HOUSTON FUMBLE RECOVERY: LB Justin Houston recovered a RB Trent Richardson fumble in Saturday’s game. It marks his first-career postseason fumble recovery. Houston finished the day with four tackles (three solo), including one for loss, a sack (-7.0 yards), three QB pressures and one pass defensed.

DAVIS HAS BIG DAY IN BACKFIELD: In the place of an injured RB Jamaal Charles, rookie RB Knile Davis finished as the team’s leading rusher, racking up 67 yards on 18 carries (3.7 avg.) with one rushing touchdown. He added seven receptions for 33 yards with a receiving touchdown. He ties the franchise record for most touchdowns scored in a postseason game.

CHIEFS RECORD BOOK

MOST TOUCHDOWNS, GAME, POSTSEASON

1. 2 Abner Haynes vs. Houston Dec. 23, 1962

Mike Garrett at Buffalo Jan. 1, 1967

Ed Podolak vs. Miami Dec. 25, 1971

Dante Hall vs. Indianapolis Jan. 11, 2004

Priest Holmes vs. Indianapolis Jan. 11, 2004

Knile Davis at Indianapolis Jan. 4, 2014

SHERMAN GRABS TOUCHDOWN RECEPTION: Playing in his first-career postseason game, FB Anthony Sherman hauled in a five-yard touchdown reception from QB Alex Smith.

FIRST DOWNS: The Chiefs accumulated 30 first downs in today’s contest, the most first downs in a postseason game in franchise history.

CHIEFS RECORD BOOK

MOST FIRST DOWNS, GAME, POSTSEASON

1. 30 at Indianapolis Jan. 4, 2014

2. 28 vs. Pittsburgh Jan. 8, 1994

2. 24 at Miami Dec. 31, 1994

vs. Indianapolis Jan. 11, 2004

4. 23 vs. Miami Dec. 25, 1971

ABDULLAH GRABS TWO INTERCEPTIONS: S Husain Abdullah recorded two interceptions of QB Andrew Luck in today’s contest. The interceptions are his first two postseason interceptions and tie the club record for most interceptions in a single postseason game. He becomes the sixth player in Chiefs history to record two interceptions in a playoff game. He added six solo tackles and two passes defensed.

CHIEFS RECORD BOOK

MOST INTERCEPTIONS, GAME, POSTSEASON

1. 2 Johnny Robinson vs. Houston Dec. 23, 1962

Jim Marsalis at N.Y. Jets Dec. 20, 1969

Emmitt Thomas at Oakland Jan. 4, 1970

Deron Cherry vs. L.A. Raiders Dec. 28, 1991

Ty Law at Indianapolis Jan. 6, 2007

Husain Abdullah Jan. 4, 2014

FLOWERS GRABS PICK: CB Brandon Flowers grabbed an interception off QB Andrew Luck in the game and returned it 17 yards. It is his first playoff interception. He added three tackles (two solo) and two passes defensed in the game.

SUCCOP CONVERTS FIELD GOALS, PATS: K Ryan Succop converted all three field goals (19, 42 and 43

yards) and all five PATs in the contest for 14 points. His 14 points are a franchise record for most points by a single player in a playoff game, while his three made field goals tie the club record for most field goals made in a postseason game. His five PATs are a new franchise record for most made extra points in a playoff contest.

CHIEFS RECORD BOOK

MOST POINTS, GAME, POSTSEASON

1. 14 Ryan Succop at Indianapolis Jan. 4, 2014

2. 12 Abner Haynes vs. Houston Dec. 23, 1962

Mike Garrett at Buffalo Jan. 1, 1967

Ed Podolak vs. Miami Dec. 25, 1971

Dante Hall vs. Indianapolis Jan. 11, 2004

Priest Holmes vs. Indianapolis Jan. 11, 2004

Knile Davis at Indianapolis Jan. 4, 2014

CHIEFS RECORD BOOK

MOST FIELD GOALS, GAME, POSTSEASON

1. 3 Jan Stenerud vs. Minnesota Jan. 4, 2014

Nick Lowery at Miami Jan. 5, 1991

Ryan Succop at Indianapolis Jan. 4, 2014

CHIEFS RECORD BOOK

MOST POINTS AFTER TOUCHDOWN, GAME, POSTSEASON

1. 5 Ryan Succop at Indianapolis (5 att.) Jan. 4, 2014

2. 4 Mike Mercer at Buffalo (4 att.) Jan. 1, 1967

Nick Lowery at Houston (4 att.) Jan. 16, 1994

Morten Andersen vs. Indianapolis (4 att.) Jan. 11, 2004

DEMPS KICKOFF RETURNS, RETURN YARDS: S Quintin Demps recorded seven kickoff returns for 187 yards (26.7 avg.) in today’s contest. His seven kickoff returns tie as the best postseason total in franchise history, and his 187 kickoff return yards are the second-most in a postseason game in club annals.

CHIEFS RECORD BOOK

MOST KICKOFF RETURNS, GAME, POSTSESAON

1. 7 Dante Hall vs. Indianapolis Jan. 11, 2004

Quintin Demps at Indianapolis Jan. 4, 2014

3. 5 Noland Smith vs. Oakland Dec. 22, 1968

John Stephens at Buffalo Jan. 23, 1994

CHIEFS RECORD BOOK

MOST KICKOFF RETURN YARDS, GAME, POSTSEASON

1. 208 Dante Hall vs. Indianapolis Jan. 11, 2004

2. 187 Quintin Demps at Indianapolis Jan. 4, 2014

3. 154 Ed Podolak vs. Miami Dec. 25, 1971

4. 89 John Stephens vs. Buffalo Jan. 23, 1994

5. 83 Dexter McCluster vs. Baltimore Jan. 9, 2011


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