Chiefs stumble to another loss
12/23/2012 3:52 PM
12/23/2012 3:53 PM
The Chiefs did what might amount to be the impossible in the National Football League.
They outgained the Indianapolis Colts 507 yards to 288 yards. They had one running back, Jamaal Charles, rush for 226 yards and another, Peyton Hillis, rush for 101 yards.
And they still lost, falling 20-13 on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium in front of an announced crowd of 62,938.
Indianapolis rookie quarterback Andrew Luck threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to veteran Reggie Wayne with 4:08 to play, giving the Colts, 10-5, the victory and a wild-card spot in the AFC playoffs.
The Chiefs fell to 2-13 but maintained the inside track for the first pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the spot Indianapolis selected Luck after going 2-14 last season.
The touchdown by Wayne was Indianapolis’ only offensive score of the game. Adam Vinatieri made two field goals, and Colts cornerback Darius Butler returned a Brady Quinn pass for an interception.
The performance by Charles and Hillis marked the first time since 1991 that the Chiefs had two running backs rush for 100 or more yards in a game. Harvey Williams ran for 103 yards and Christian Okoye 122 in a 33-6 win over Buffalo on a Monday night win in 1991.
On the first play of the second half, Charles bolted left for 86 yards and a touchdown, drawing the Chiefs to within 13-10. It was Kansas City’s first touchdown since Charles went 80 yards on the first play of the game at Cleveland on Dec. 9, snapping a streak of nine straight quarters by the Chiefs without a touchdown.
Charles dashed another 33 yards on the Chiefs’ next possession, and the Chiefs reached the Colts’ 14 before Quinn tried forcing a pass for Jon Baldwin in the corner of the end zone, and it was intercepted by Indianapolis cornerback Vontae Davis, the Chiefs’ third turnover of the game.
Davis appeared to have a second interception midway through the third quarter but was called for pass interference defending Jamar Newsome at the Colts’ 31, though replays didn’t show much contact. That led to Ryan Succop’s 47-yard field goal, tying the game at 13 with 6 minutes left in the third quarter.
The Chiefs had a chance to go ahead in the fourth quarter but on a fourth-and-1 at the Colts’ 27, Quinn came up short on a quarterback sneak, turning the ball back to Indianapolis.
Indianapolis led 13-3 at halftime on an interception return for a touchdown and two field goals by Vinatieri.
The Chiefs, who came into the game having turned the ball over 34 times -- tied with Philadelphia for the most in the league -- hurt themselves with two giveaways, an interception by Quinn that was returned for a touchdown and a fumble by Charles deep inside Colts territory.
On the Chiefs’ fifth play from scrimmage, Quinn’s pass thrown behind Dexter McCluster landed in the hands of Indianapolis cornerback Darius Butler, who returned the interception 32 yards for a 7-0 lead with 10:08 left in the first quarter.
The Chiefs answered with a 47-yard field goal by Succop, though the Chiefs could have gotten more. Quinn hit Baldwin for a 57-yard catch and run to the Indianapolis 23. But two more passes intended for Baldwin went incomplete, and after a 4-yard run by Shaun Draughn, the Chiefs settled for the field goal.
The Chiefs’ Derrick Johnson and Tamba Hali recorded back-to-back sacks of Luck, forcing an Indianapolis punt. The Chiefs moved to the Colts’ 25 where the drive bogged down, and Succop missed a 43-yard try.
Indianapolis converted a third-and-six with a 28-yard pass by Luck to Donnie Avery, who made a leaping catch over cornerback Brandon Flowers to the Kansas City 33. The Chiefs’ defense stiffened, and the Colts took a 10-3 lead on Vinatieri’s 48-yard field goal with 13:27 left in the first half.
The Chiefs threatened to tie the score at the end of the first half as Quinn hit rookie Devon Wiley for 16 yards and found former practice squad receiver Newsome with a nice over-the-shoulder grab for 28 yards to the Indianapolis 16.
But Charles fumbled on the next play, and the Colts converted that into a 36-yard field goal by Vinatieri with 7 seconds left in the half.
The Chiefs were called for four penalties in the first half -- three on rookie left tackle Donald Stephenson, who was flagged for a false start, hands-to-the-face and a hold -- while trying to block Indianapolis outside linebacker Dwight Freeney.