The Herald Bulletin

January 4, 2014

Colts Report Card: AFC Wild Card

By George Bremer
The Herald Bulletin

---- — COLTS 45, CHIEFS 44

Player of the Game

Andrew Luck, QB, Colts

The second-year star's three interceptions were a big part of creating the team's 28-point deficit. But the franchise-record comeback that followed would not have been possible without his four touchdown passes. Luck completed 29 of 45 passes overall for a career-high 443 yards and picked up his first postseason victory in just his second try. The win also was Luck's 11th career fourth-quarter comeback, and the most remarkable by far.

Offense: A

It's hard to ignore the first half and the turnovers. But five touchdowns on the final six possessions demands a top grade. Indianapolis scored on a run and reception by Donald Brown, a fumble recovery by Luck and two touchdown passes to complete the largest playoff comeback in franchise history and the second-largest ever in the NFL. The team racked up 536 yards overall and converted 28 first downs in a game for the ages.

Defense: C+

The numbers are ugly — Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith threw for 378 yards and four touchdowns and the Chiefs had 513 yards of total offense overall — but Indianapolis came through when it had to. Ther Chiefs' only touchdown drive of the second half was set up by a Luck interception, and Kansas City got just three points in the decisive final quarter. Robert Mathis' third-quarter strip and sack of Smith also allowed everyone to believe the Colts still had a chance to win this game.

Special teams: A

Despite having the top special teams unit in the postseason, Kansas City never started a drive beyond its own 26-yard line after a kickoff. Adam Vinatieri hit his lone field-goal try, and Pat McAfee's lone punt traveled 51 yards and left the Chiefs at their own 21-yard line.