COLTS 23, CHIEFS 7
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Andrew Luck, QB, Colts
Playing behind his seventh different offensive line combo of the season, the second-year star completed 26 of 37 passes for 241 yards and one touchdown. Most importantly, he directed an offense that didn't turn the ball over against one of the NFL's most opportunistic defenses. It was exactly the kind of performance in a key late-season game players selected with the No. 1 overall pick are expected to produce.
Bouncing back quickly from a three-and-out start and taking control of the game in the second quarter represented another big step forward. But the Colts still need to work on finishing drives. Indianapolis found the end zone on just two possessions, settling for Adam Vinatieri field-goal attempts four other times. Donald Brown's consistent rise continued with a hard-fought 10-carry, 79-yard day. The impactful running back scored on a 51-yard rush and a 33-yard pass reception. The Colts also dominated time of possession, controlling the ball for 38 minutes, 20 seconds.
Yes, Jamaal Charles got free for 144 total yards, including 106 on the ground, and scored Kansas City's lone touchdown. But 46 of those yards came on his first four touches, and the Colts forced four turnovers. Inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman led the way with two interceptions and a forced fumble. Safety Antoine Bethea also had a big day, consistently making big hits in the open field to limit potential big plays. Kansas City was just 1-for-8 on third down and gained less than 300 yards of total offense.
Special teams: B-
A unit missing star gunner Sergio Brown still managed to down a punt inside the Chiefs' 10-yard line, but Kansas City did find room to make some big plays in the return game. Knile Davis averaged 31 yards on three kickoff returns, including a 48-yarder, to give the Chiefs offense field position it could not take advantage of. Adam Vinatieri missed a field goal of less than 40 yards for the first time in recent memory but connected on three others, including a 46-yarder into a tricky wind. Punter Pat McAfee had a solid day, averaging 44.5 yards on four attempts.