Indianapolis Colts 20 vs Kansas City Chiefs 13
TD D.Butler 32 yd. interception return (A.Vinatieri kick)
FG R.Succop 47 yd. Field Goal (6-51, 1:50)
FG A.Vinatieri 48 yd. Field Goal (7-37, 2:14)
FG A.Vinatieri 36 yd. Field Goal (7-60, 0:55)
TD J.Charles 86 yd. run (R.Succop kick) (1-86, 0:20)
FG R.Succop 47 yd. Field Goal (8-52, 4:02)
TD R.Wayne 7 yd. pass from A.Luck (A.Vinatieri kick) (13-73, 6:05
What the Colts did Right
The Colts still won the game, and although ugly, every team needs to have an ugly one every now and then.
First, the offense. Andrew Luck had another mistake free football game, on the road. He had more "highlight" throws than last week, and even more big plays. He seemed a bit more comfortable. He threw it down the field more often, with some nice passes to Donnie Avery and TY Hilton. Reggie Wayne made a nice contribution. He had a beautiful catch in the endzone, and just before that on the game-leading drive, he had a couple of good catches that went for first downs. He definitely made up for 2 below average weeks.
Vick Ballard had a couple of good runs, but none was bigger than his final one where, for the third time this year, he clinched the win with a first down run. I don't know if a running back could be clutch, but he's had some clutch runs.
Dwayne Allen did a good job blocking, as usual. He also had a few "dump off" catches; cattches that he turned into nice gains. He's emerged as a really complete tight end.
Then we have the defense.
Besides a couple of a big plays early on, the Colts did a solid job in pass defense. Brady Quinn did make a lot of bad decisions, but he wasn't able to get anything big in the second half. HIs passes were knocked down a lot today, and there were a few interceptions. Having a positive turnover differential is a very good thing, and will win you games.
Dwight Freeney had a nice game. He had a favorable matchup against rookie left tackle Donald Stephenson, and took advantage of the rookie. He had a sack, 4 hits, and at least 7 pressures.
The secondary had a couple of good performances. Darius Butler had a very important pick 6 in the first quarter, and had a very good day covering. He allowed a couple passes to Devon Wylie, but all in all he was very solid. Vontae Davis had a fantastic day getting an interception in the endzone that would prove to be very important. He was tight in his coverages, not allowing more than 2 passes completed. This was perhaps his best performance of the season, even though it came against the Chiefs.
What the Colts did Wrong
The Colts made this a very ugly game, and against the Chiefs, you just can't do that. Sometimes it just happens, but you have to avoid them when they're against the Chiefs. Any other playoff team would easily beat this KC team.
I'll start with the offense. The passing game never really got going. They were either stopped in their tracks by a 5'9 animal named Brandon Flowers, or the protection collapsed on Luck. Something went wrong on 90% of the plays, and that just can't happen against the worst team in the NFL. Luck forced a lot of throws, and again he finished with a completion percentage of under 50%. When he doesn't force throws, he has a good completion percentage. Also, what I didn't like from Luck was the fact that he kept staring down his receivers. He's been pretty good with that for the last little bit, it returned on several plays last week, and definitely returned today. He kept starting down his guys and guess what, a lot of his balls were batted down. Brandon Flowers had his number today, and that was seen when Flowers decked him on a dumb play by Luck. Luck decided to stay in bounds for some reason, and Flowers just knocked him on his butt. This surprised me, as Luck is a very smart runner, who usually knows when to take on a guy and to slide. Didn't make the right choice. Maybe it's a bit harsh to bash him on one run, but you can't be making mistakes like that. It could have been much worse had it been Patrick Willis or Kam Chamcellor (did you see his hit on Vernon Davis?!?) out there.
Staying in the passing game, TY Hilton and Donnie Avery both had inconsistent games, with Avery having quite a few drops. Avery dropped 2 passes on the day and his slump continued. Hilton didn't have a big impact, and that was partly due to his very sloppy routes and his inability to get open.
The run blocking wasn't very good. Ballard wasn't at fault for the majority of his runs today. Whenever he was stopped in the backfield, it was because of a Chiefs player beating one of the Colts guys and getting in the backfield before Luck could hand the ball off. The run blocking was inconsistent, and I'm quite surprised Ballard got 69 yards. The Colts weren't able to get any big runs until the last play. The failed to get to the second level and that's Reitz', Shipley's and McGlynn's fault. Poe and Jackson had good games against them, and that's not good, considering JJ Watt is coming back to town next week. The pass blocking was not good either. The right side of the line was horrendous. Jeff Linkenbach had a tough time against Justin Houston.
Now let's go to the defense.
The run defense was something else. They reached a new level of crap. They allowed 352 yards on the ground. That's the worst performance in the NFL this season, and close to record lows in franchise history. If this were any other team, or any decent team, the Colts would have been blown out of the water today. The Colts were lucky it was the Chiefs they were against. Add the fact that Foster had a 165 yards last week, and we could be seeing a trend.
The linebackers had a poor game. Pat Angerer had a really tough game tackling, and considering his biggest strength is tackling, that's not good. He had trouble taking some guys down, including Peyton Hillis and that backup Chiefs tight end. Jerrell Freeman also had a weak game. That one was a bit surprising, but also expected. The guy was due for an off game. Thank goodness it came it against the Chiefs. Freeman also missed some tackles, and took some terrible angles. He didn't get to Charles fast enough on some plays and it cost them. He didn't play "gap control" very well. Robert Mathis was pretty much stopped all day by All-Pro tackle Eric Winston. He had a couple of pressures, but he was essentially shut down. He was also man-handled in the running game.
The secondary had some good and bad performances. Here are the bad ones. Cassius Vaughn, two weeks after being given my game ball, had an awful performance. He was picked on a lot, and in the running game, didn't even make a tackle on Jamaal Charles. Joe Lefeged did not have a good game, and neither did Bethea. Infact, Bethea had a horrendous game picking bad angles, and missing tackles. He's still a great player and I wouldn't want anyone else, but that was a bad performance.
As for you can, there is more bad than good, but the Colts won and that's all that matters.
This week's game ball goes to Vontae Davis, for his exceptional play in coverage, and his game changing interception. He a pick that turned the game around and should have had another one. He just shut down the guys he went against.