Chiefs' Record-Setting Performance Dampened by Defeat

Posted Dec 24, 2012

507 yards of offense not enough for team’s third win

Sunday’s 20-13 loss to the playoff-bound Indianapolis Colts was a mixture of emotions. On one hand, it was an epic performance and a sight to see, including team and individual records being set and just the simplicity of watching a running game take complete control of a defense. On the other hand, however, what came from such amazing feats and jaw-dropping runs, was another notch in the loss column.

So many good things happened throughout the day, but in the end, the game was marked as a loss, Kansas City’s 13th defeat of the season.

While there is no “I” in team, Chiefs QB Brady Quinn wants the team’s loss blamed exclusively on him.

“Let me first start off by saying this game, without a doubt, is 100 percent on my shoulders and is my fault. You can’t play the way I played today and win a football game,” Quinn said after Sunday’s game.

“You can’t have two turnovers, especially one in the red zone and overall not produce more on offense. I fully take responsibility and blame for this game. Our defense played lights out, our offensive line and the running game was there, everyone did a fantastic job blocking and taking advantage of the looks they gave us. Special teams even gave us great field position, so without a doubt this is on me 100 percent.”

The Chiefs stressed all week that they wanted to walk off Arrowhead’s field a winner, leaving Kingdom fans with some holiday cheer. In the end, the team ran all over Arrowhead’s turf before falling short to the NFL’s comeback team of the year, the Colts.

Kansas City stalled the Colts on their first drive, but Indianapolis would score five plays later when its CB Darius Butler intercepted Brady Quinn’s pass to WR Dexter McCluster, returning it the other way for six.

“I shouldn’t have thrown the ball, obviously,” Quinn admitted. “I was anticipating him [McCluster] sitting; he obviously cut out of it. There are certain times in the game when you have to anticipate routes or try to get the ball out due to pressure or whatever else, and that’s just one of those times where it may be better to eat it and take a sack or just throw the ball incomplete and away.” Colts lead 7-0.

The turnover was one of three committed by the Chiefs on the day. Kansas City’s turnover ratio is -25.

Despite the season-long struggle, the Chiefs have not quit and they didn’t on Sunday. The very next drive, Brady Quinn used a long completion to WR Jon Baldwin (57 yards), which was later overshadowed by a holding penalty, leading to Chiefs K Ryan Succop booting a 47-yard FG. 7-3 Colts.

Kansas City forced Indianapolis to punt on the very-next drive before it turned Peyton Hillis loose. Hillis carried the pigskin five times for 34 yards, finishing the day with 101 yards. The Chiefs stalled on the Colts’ 25-yard line before they called on Succop, who missed from 43 yards out.

Often times in sports, when one team has a miscue, it is turned into points by the opposition and the Colts made this opportunity no exception.

Rookie-of-the-Year QB Andrew Luck connected with WR Donnie Avery twice and gave the ball to RB Vick Ballard twice, eventually leading the team to Kansas City’s 30-yard line, where K Adam Vinatieri drilled a 48-yard FG. 10-3 Colts.

After the game’s next-two drives resulted in punts, the Chiefs were snake-bitten by another turnover. Kansas City moved the ball from its 20-yard line to the 16-yard line of Indianapolis, where Jamaal Charles fumbled the ball, which was recovered by Colts S Joe Lefeged.

“I fumbled it and it was tough, especially since we were in the red zone,” Charles said after the game. “(Scoring) could have been a big-momentum boost going in to halftime. I hurt the team on that.”

The Colts converted the turnover into three points, when Adam Vinatieri kicked a 36-yard FG to make it a 13-3 lead for the Colts and it stayed that way into the third quarter.

A short memory and some phenomenal blocking up front, followed by two down-field blocks (FB Patrick DiMarco and WR Jon Baldwin), the magnificent moves of Jamaal Charles were again on display, ending with an 86-yard weave to the end zone.

“I knew the only way he [the defender] was going to make the tackle was to run through me,” Baldwin said. “I knew he wasn’t going to be able to do that. So, I just shielded him. When I felt like he [the defender] was going to try to go in front of me, I just put my arm on his shoulder and then he [Charles] cut inside of me and went for the touchdown.” Colts lead 13-10.

After a Colts punt, the Chiefs needed just four plays to get to the Colts’ 13-yard line, where on the next play, Quinn tried to connect again with Baldwin, but Colts CB Vontae Davis had other plans, intercepting the pass, denying the Chiefs for a second time in the red zone.

Fortunately for Kansas City, its defense again stepped up, forcing the Colts to punt three plays after the Davis interception.

The next drive for Kansas City was the ground-and-pound game of Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis. The duo each carried the ball three times, helping the Chiefs move the ball to the Colts’ 22-yard line, where Ryan Succop drilled a 47-yard FG, making the score even, 13-13.

“We had a feeling that we could run against them. When Peyton (Hillis) was running well in the first half, I knew I had to do something too,” Charles later said. The duo combined for 327 yards and one score on the day.

The game’s next three drives ended in punts, before Kansas City took possession of perhaps the most-pivotal drive of the game. Starting on their 27-yard line, the Chiefs gave Jamaal Charles four rushes, totaling 15 yards and Peyton Hillis carried the ball six times for 26 yards, helping the team get to the Colts’ 27-yard line, where it faced a fourth-and-one predicament.

Coach Crennel gambled and lost.

“I called it,” Quinn admitted after the game. “We had a run play called; it wasn’t a good look for the run play. The best option I felt like was for me to try to sneak it, given the look they had given us in that front because there was going to be a free guy coming off the edge of the side we were running. So I tried to put the ball in my hands, tried to make a play. I thought we got it, I thought it was a crappy spot, but that’s neither here nor there.”

Instead, the ball went back to the Colts, who 13 plays later scored the game-winning TD. Andrew Luck found Reggie Wayne in the back of the end zone, leading to the team’s unconquerable 20-13 lead.

“He just beat the coverage, found the open spot and beat the coverage,” Chiefs S Eric Berry said of Wayne.

Kansas City’s final drive lasted three plays. Dustin Colquitt punted the ball back to the Colts, who would keep it for the remainder of the game, draining the game clock and with it, the hopes of a Kingdom win during the Arrowhead finale.

“I think it illustrates what we’ve been talking about all year, our Achilles’ heel, turning the ball over, getting some penalties at some bad times and not getting in the end zone,” Chiefs C Ryan Lilja said.

“I don’t care how many yards you run for; I don’t care how you move the ball, all that stuff doesn’t matter, it matters to the fantasy fans out there, (but) it doesn’t matter in this locker room, so it’s a loss and it stings.”

The Chiefs will regroup by enjoying the holiday with their families, before preparing for the AFC West-leading Denver Broncos on Sunday. Denver has won 10-straight games.

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