The Indianapolis Colts trailed the Kansas City Chiefs 38-10 early in the second half. What happened? The Colts went on to win 45-44, of course. Andrew Luck shook off three interceptions and T.Y. Hilton and the defense made clutch plays to send this team to Gillette Stadium to take on the Indianapolis Colts. Here are five things we learned from the huge win.
5. Trent Richardson is likely done
Trent Richardson has been a bust all season for the Colts, when you factor in that the team surrendered their first pick in 2014 for him.
Richardson had one carry and lost the ball and fumbled it deep in Colts territory. The Chiefs would score a touchdown on the drive. Richardson didn’t have a carry or reception in this game. At this point, the Colts should bench him completely for the playoffs and wait until next season to work with him more.
4. Rush defense continues to be a major weakness
Jamaal Charles got hurt in the Chiefs opening drive, but that didn’t stop the Chiefs’ running game from having a huge day. Rookie Knile Davis led the team in rushing with 67 yards on 18 carries plus a touchdown.
Alex Smith even added 57 of his own on eight carries. The Chiefs ended up with 150 total yards on the ground, and managed to have the ball for 37:33 in this game.
The Colts rushing defense has been the biggest weakness all season, and it has to step up fast. They won’t win a Super Bowl if they can’t limit the ground game and allow the other team to carry the ball for 15 minutes longer.
3. T.Y. Hilton came through
Hilton became the Colts top receiver after Reggie Wayne tore his ACL in week seven, ending his season.
Hilton had another huge game and was a major reason the Colts won the game. He finished with 13 catches for 224 yards and two touchdowns- including the game-wining score, a 64-yard touchdown with 4:21 left.
He’s become a huge part of this offense and has proven time and time again that he is this team’s biggest go-to receiver, and without him the Colts would have easily been blown out in this game.
2. Robert Mathis continues to shine
Mathis had a career year, with 19.5 sacks and eight forced fumbles this season.
He wasn’t as productive in this game until the third quarter, where he made a play that completely shifted the momentum of the game.
Up by 21 points in the third quarter, the Chiefs had the ball at the Colts 46, but Alex Smith was sacked by Mathis, who forced a fumble that was recoved by Kelvin Sheppard at the Chiefs 41. The Colts would score a touchdown on the next play.
Even though he only had two tackles in this one, Mathis made the game’s biggest defensive play that led the Colts to victory. His incredible season continued in the wild-card round, and it’s a huge reason they’re moving in to the divisional round.
1. Andrew Luck clutched up; this team can’t be counted out
In just his second season, Andrew Luck already has 11-game winning touchdown drives in just 34 total career games.
His biggest one yet came in his first career playoff win, erasing a monumental deficit against the Chiefs. Luck shook off three interceptions and was able to help his team come back from 28 points down in the third quarter, and when the stakes got high, he led his team to a game-winning touchdown with just 4:21 to play.
Luck has ice in the veins, and any team with Luck cannot be counted out (no pun intended.) He was born with something not everybody has…”it” factor. You can’t measure it, but you know it when you see it.
The Colts have fought back to win games that they had no business of winning multiple times, but this was their biggest one yet. With Luck behind center, and Chuck Pagano on the sidelines, this young Colts team cannot ever be counted out to lose a game.
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