By Danny Cox
There was no way that anyone could have thought the Kansas City Chiefs were going to manhandle the Indianapolis Colts the way they did in the first half of the Wild Card playoff game. There is also no way that anyone saw the Colts outscoring the Chiefs 35-6 to close out the game and take the improbable victory.
It’s hard to give the proper grades for the Colts as this really was a game with two entirely different halves, but they did some things right and some things wrong so it’s time to check them all out.
Coaching Grade: B+
Colts head coach Chuck Pagano really called two different games with the first half and second half being things that you don’t see from the same team on the same day. He didn’t seem to have much of a plan in the first quarter, but Pagano even abandoned that in the second quarter as things got worse.
The third quarter saw a lot of Luck and luck and Donald Brown. It appeared as if whatever Pagano had drawn up for the game was thrown in the trash at halftime and he told his team to just go out there and win it.
So, they did.
Offense Grade: C
A hard grade to give because they couldn’t do anything in the first half, but the second half was fantastic. Andrew Luck had 443 yards through the air with four touchdowns but he threw three big interceptions. Luckily, he was sacked only one time.
The running game saw much of nothing because they were playing from behind virtually the entire game and had to abandon it. Trent Richardson had one carry and fumbled the ball away so he was done for the night. Donald Brown had a bit of success, but again, the team focused on the pass to catch up.
Defense Grade: D+
There is no mistaking that the defense didn’t do anything at all in the first half. Even though they tightened up in the second half, it was a defensive shredding that needs to see improvement for the Colts to keep advancing in the playoffs. The Colts managed one turnover and two sacks, but gave up 513 yards of total offense to the Chiefs. That’s just awful.
Robert Mathis, LaRon Landry, and Vontae Davis stood out, but more players need to step it up. Giving up that much on offense is just going to come back to bite them eventually, and this team is much better than this.
Special Teams Grade: A
Adam Vinatieri had only one field goal attempt and he booted a 37-yard field goal, but he did go 6-for-6 on extra points.
Pat McAfee punted only once on the night, but it was a 51-yard boomer.
LaVon Brazill did a great job on kickoff returns. He was able to run three back and had an average of 30 yards per return which gave the Colts some great field position.
Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. Danny is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.