The Chiefs lost Jamaal Charles on the sixth play of the game and melted down late in absolutely nutty contest with the Indianapolis Colts Saturday afternoon. Kansas City couldn’t secure its first playoff victory in nearly 20 years, losing 45-44 in the AFC Wild Card Round to put a stunning end to their season.
MVP – Alex Smith
Can we please finally put the game manager talk to rest? Smith is so much better than that title and proved it against the Colts with an unbelievable game. The forgotten quarterback a year ago finally got his shot again at the playoffs and made the most of it, despite the team coming up short. Smith finished 30/46 for 378 yards and four touchdowns. That wasn’t all though. He was consistently churning his legs and scampered eight times on the day for 57 yards. With Charles out early with a concussion, someone had to step up and play like a superstar and Smith did just that. It’s too bad the defense didn’t hold up its end of the deal.
LVP – Concussions
The Chiefs suffered many injuries on the day, including a slew of concussions. After Charles went down Chiefs wide receiver Donnie Avery only lasted a quarter longer, getting blasted over the middle and suffering a concussion of his own in the second quarter. Flash forward to the third quarter when cornerback Brandon Flowers had to be escorted to the locker room and the team fears he suffered a concussion too. Football’s a violent, violent game, and Kansas City learned that again on Saturday. Luckily, the guys have a long time to recover.
X-Factor – Knile Davis
The rookie out of Arkansas was immediately called upon to fill in for Charles, and he played like a veteran. Davis ran the ball 18 times for 67 yards and a touchdown, but also did his best Charles impression as a receiver out of the backfield, catching the ball seven times for 33 yards and a score as he constantly provided a bailout option for Smith. The problem? Davis was hurt too (knee) in the fourth quarter. A tough break for a guy who had a breakout day, but a lot to build on for next year.
Key Stat – 28
The Chiefs were up 28 points in the third quarter, and suffered one of the worst meltdowns in playoff history. To blow a lead that big is absolutely stunning. You can analyze the box score all you want, but all you need to know is Kansas City played a brilliant first half, had a great start to the second half and then had a collapse for the ages.
Tweet of the game
— NOT SportsCenter (@NOTSportsCenter) January 4, 2014
What This Loss Means
The brutal meltdown means the year is over and the offseason has begun. The team still has a ton to be proud of, turning around from 2-14 to go 11-5 and earn a playoff berth. But, let’s call a spade a spade — this was a disastrous finish. Losing a game you’re up 28(!) points in should never happen — and to have it occur in a playoff contest is just adding insult to injury.
Free Agency begins on March 11.
Need a laugh? Relive the game through the best tweets here.