I really don’t know what to say right now. I’m supposed to give you 1,000 words on the game we all just watched, and I really don’t know what to say.
This game started out as good as any Addict could have hoped. The Chiefs started out right away, moving the ball down the field. Running play to Jamaal Charles for five yards. Another JC sighting for six yards. A slant to Dwayne Bowe for 12 yards. Then, the unthinkable happened. Jamaal Charles got hit and didn’t get up.
Honestly, since Charles blew his ACL in the 2011 season, I’ve waited for this since. I always knew at some point that the star of the Chiefs offense — and the guy who gets my vote for NFL MVP for this season — wouldn’t pop up after a hit. The game was six plays and three minutes and twenty seconds old. It looked ugly for the Chiefs off the bat.
Enter Charles’ primary backup running back, the rookie Knile Davis who has some flashes of good play this season mixed with some ball security issues. However, last week when head coach Andy Reid sat his entire starting lineup against the San Diego Chargers, Davis had quite the showing. He continued that performance today leading all Chiefs rushers with 67 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown on the ground. He also added one through the air before also going out with an undisclosed injury.
While the injury bug bit early and often, that didn’t slow the Chiefs down for the first half of the game. They were scoring at will on the Colts and even though Andrew Luck‘s first offensive drive down the field resulted in a touchdown, the Colts only added a field goal to that score going into halftime.
Smith, on the other hand, proved he was worth every bit of the two second-round picks the Chiefs used to acquire him during the off season. He ended the day with 378 yards through the air and four touchdowns; a Chiefs franchise playoff record once held by a guy named Joe Montana. As the Chiefs came out of the locker room after halftime it would see that they were going to easily cruise to their first playoff victory in 20 years, since that same guy was the quarterback for this team.
Luck’s first pass after the second half kickoff was picked off by Hussain Abdullah, setting up the Chiefs in the red zone. Three plays later, Alex Smith hit Knile Davis for a 17 yard touchdown pass, breaking that aforementioned record. That’s when it all went downhill.
At that point, the score was 38-10 and the Chiefs looked poised. Many were tweeting and commenting on social media that this is what the team looked like when both the offense and defense were clicking. Then, the wheels came off.
The Colts came storming back in the third quarter and after that first touchdown outscored the Chiefs 21-3 in the third quarter. The Chiefs defense seemed completely unable — or unwilling to cover T.Y. Hilton — who predicted his huge game on ESPN earlier today. The second year receiver who has stepped up for the Colts in a big way had 224 yards receiving and two touchdowns, including a huge 64-yarder that was the ultimate game winner for Luck in his first playoff win.
The Chiefs had a chance to go back ahead, though in the fourth quarter, as they were down 45-44 with 4:21 left on the clock. Despite Smith’s excellent game, four touchdowns, 378 yards and 57 yards on the ground, he would have to put the team on his back to bring them back. For a minute, it looked like he would. All he had to do was maneuver the the team into field goal range and allow kicker Ryan Succop to redeem himself for the missed game winner last week.
It appeared as if he might do just that. However, on a third down and seven, the Colts defense broke through Smith’s protection. Given the option to take a huge sack or get rid of the ball, Smith threw the ball away. However, as he was falling backwards, the ball didn’t reach the line of scrimmage and an intentional grounding penalty was immediately called. This put the Chiefs in a huge hole at third and 17. After a quick screen to Dexter McCluster which gained six yards the Chiefs tried one last magic play.
Smith found Bowe in one-on-one coverage up the right sideline and hit him with a perfectly placed pass. The only problem: Bowe had been forced out of bounds by his defender, making the pass incomplete. With no timeouts remaining and the two minute warning in the rear view mirror, Andy Luck only had to kneel on the ball to secure his first career playoff win.
As the season comes to an end for these Kansas City Chiefs, there are really more questions than answers. How does a team that was 2-14 come to be 11-5? Is this team really what every hater, doubter and national pundit said they were? A fraud? A paper-thin team. If that’s the case, how did that team field eight pro-bowlers?
And, going into next season, what’s next for the Chiefs. The brain trust of Andy Reid and general manager John Dorsey have had an entire year to assimilate into the system. Is Alex Smith the quarterback of the future — at least the foreseeable one — for this franchise? All those questions will be answered in the days and weeks and months to come. For most of us, we would have rather that they were put off for a few more weeks.
As this season comes to an end, it’s time to look forward to free agency, the draft and then OTA’s are right around the corner. You see, we’re Addicts. The season never truly ends. It just rolls from one phase to the next.
It’s been a pleasure bringing you your Chiefs news and information this season, Addicts. I look forward to continuing this through the off season and beyond.
Win, lose or draw, I’m an Addict. An Arrowhead Addict. Go Chiefs!