Andrew Luck threw three second half touchdowns to lead his Indianapolis Colts to a thrilling come from behind win to stun the Kansas City Chiefs in a wild opening game to this years NFL playoffs.
Spotting the Chiefs a 28 point lead early in the second half, the Indianapolis Colts outscored their visitors 35-6 to earn themselves a trip to either Denver or New England in next weeks divisional round.
Kansas City lost Jamal Charles early in the game to a concussion, but that didn’t seem to slow them down, and it was Alex Smith who led the team into its big lead, before running out of ideas against a swarming Colts defence in the second half.
Dwayne Bowe opened the scoring collecting a 6 yard pass from Smith, but the Colts soon replied with TY Hilton taking in a 10 yard toss from Luck, the first quarter ended with the Chiefs ahead 10-7. Turnovers were then instrumental in giving the Chiefs some momentum as Luck threw a pick which was turned into points when Anthony Sherman took Smith’s pass in from 5 yards, this after Donald Avery had gone 79 yards for a spectacular score. Before the half was over Knile Davis, stepping in for the banged up Charles ran in from 5 yards to put the Chiefs ahead 31-10 at the interval.
The Colts opened the second half with the ball, but on the very first play Luck threw another pick, and once again the Chiefs capitalised when Smith threw his fourth touchdown of the game, a 10 yarder to Davis. At 38-10 the game was done and dusted, but this wasn’t any ordinary day in Indianapolis. The Colts were about to embark on the second biggest comeback in playoff history.
Donald Brown hauled in two touchdowns, and to close out the third quarter, Luck found Coby Fleener for a 12 yard score to pull the Colts to within 10 points. Sensing something dramatic was happening the home crowd got louder, if that was indeed possible from the deafening start to the game.
It was Luck himself who proved he had the rub of the green now as he pounced on a lose ball near the Chiefs goal line for a 5 yard fumble recovery for a score, and then when the Colts D stood tall again and held the Chiefs to a filed goal the stage was set for the game winning climax.
The stunning comeback was complete when Luck threw his fourth touchdown of the game, this one a huge 64 yard bomb to TY Hilton, the extra point was added and at 45-44 with 4.21 remaining Indy had its first lead of the game. Their defence once again come good forcing Kansas into a do or die 4th down and despite Bowes great effort at trying to haul in a pass down the sideline, one foot was out of bounds giving the Colts one of the most remarkable moments in NFL playoffs history.
Hilton finished with 224 yards from 13 catches, with his game winner being the highlight of the day. The Colts will be full of confidence on the road next week knowing that they have already beaten the Broncos this year, and that the Patriots are not the team they used to be, but as this game proved it’s playoff football now and anything can happen.