Injuries Lay Waste to Record-Setting Chiefs’ Performance Against the Colts

248-115Dbj.SlMa.81Alex Smith threw for more touchdowns in a single game than any quarterback in Kansas City Chiefs postseason history, as the Chiefs put up their most points in playoff history. Yes, this includes the early years under Len Dawson and when Joe Montana suited up for the franchise in the mid 1990’s.

It wasn’t enough for Andy Reid’s squad to overcome a ton of injuries, as the homestanding Indianapolis Colts completed one of the best comebacks in NFL playoff history.

Star running back Jamaal Charles went down with a concussion seven plays into the game, while No. 2 wide receiver Donnie Avery joined him on the sideline in the second half. Kansas City, who was already without rookie right tackle Eric Fisher, also lost backup running back Knile Davis as well as cornerbacks Brandon Flowers and Dunta Robinson to injuries throughout the game.

As it relates to the few players who remained standing throughout the game, Smith had himself a career performance. He completed 30-of-46 passes for 378 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions. The much-maligned veteran also added 57 yards on eight attempts. His 435 total yards and four touchdowns set personal career highs and Chiefs playoff franchise records.

However, Smith started to struggle with Charles, Davis and Avery out of the lineup. After scoring on their first six possessions, the Chiefs were only able to add points on two of their final six possessions.

This isn’t to say that Indianapolis lucked out, pun very much intended.

Andrew Luck absolutely dominated the landscape of the game in the second half, leading the Colts to 361 total yards and 35 points after the break. Overall, Luck tallied 488 total yards and four scores to go with three uncharacteristic interceptions. Second-year receiver T.Y. Hilton added a whopping 224 yards and two scores on 13 receptions.

It appears that Chuck Pagano and Co. made the necessary adjustments at half time, while Andy Reid’s Chiefs’ coaching staff wasn’t able to keep pace.

Some want to blame Smith for the loss, but that’s utterly ridiculous. When a quarterback puts up 435 total yards and four scores in a game, he cannot be used as a scapegoat for below-average coaching and a disastrous defensive performance. On the same note, Luck needs to be praised for leading Indianapolis back from a 28-point second half deficit, which ranks as the second-largest comeback in NFL Postseason history. The second-year signal caller also broke an Indianapolis postseason franchise record with those 488 total yards. Take that, Mr. Manning.

Indianapolis will now await the outcome of today’s game between the San Diego Chargers and Cincinnati Bengals. If San Diego pulls the upset, the Colts will travel to New England to take on the Patriots. If not, they will take on Peyton Manning and the Broncos at Mile High.