From the quite 1st push of the sport, the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs pretty considerably dominated the Indianapolis Colts, and even nevertheless the remaining score painted the photo of a sport that was nearer than it in fact felt, they are nevertheless headed to the AFC title video game — particularly where they belong immediately after a magnificent period.
On the very first enjoy of the night time, Dee Ford broke into the Colts’ backfield and slammed Marlon Mack to the ground for a a few-garden reduction. Two performs afterwards the Colts punted. Kansas City then marched correct down the discipline for a rating, with Damien Williams — who started the period as the team’s 3rd-string operating again — breaking by means of the line for a ten-garden rating.
On Indianapolis’ future drive, the Chiefs batted absent 3 consecutive passes from Andrew Luck — the 1st two at the line of scrimmage and the third in the secondary. Kansas Metropolis then marched correct down the discipline for a score, heading 70 yards in eight plays, the last of which was a 36-property stop-all-around flip to Tyreek Hill, who sped as a result of the secondary largely untouched.
On the Colts’ subsequent push, they went a few-and-out however yet again. Kansas Metropolis then marched appropriate down the industry for a rating, though this time it was a discipline intention, many thanks to a pair timely sacks from the Indianapolis defense. Following the Colts went a few-and-out for their fourth consecutive generate to open up the activity, the Chiefs gave them just a minor little bit of life. Two Kansas Metropolis penalties undermined a generate that hardly ever seriously received untracked, and then Dustin Colquitt had a punt blocked for the initially time in five a long time. Zach Pascal recovered it for a touchdown, and instantly the Colts had been only down seventeen-seven inspite of the truth that they were being staying out-acquired 258-21 and experienced not nevertheless recorded a solitary to start with down.
In this predicament, all they wanted was a quit and a rating to get proper again into it. But it was not to be. The Chiefs’ very first participate in of their subsequent generate was a 30-yard go from probable MVP Patrick Mahomes to Travis Kelce. Nine performs later on, Mahomes scrambled to his appropriate and dove for the pylon, pushing the Chiefs’ direct again to 17 details. Even just after the Colts ultimately acquired their offense moving down the field at the stop of the 1st 50 percent, Adam Vinatieri missed a 23-lawn field objective that would have minimize the lead to fourteen details.
Neither team’s offense did substantially in the second 50 percent. Kansas City retained punting and Indianapolis saved punting it back. The Colts were being -for-eight on 3rd downs throughout the aggressive part of the recreation, and they concluded the night with only 15 first downs — properly limited of the NFL history 26 per activity the Chiefs allowed throughout the common year. Even when the Chiefs appeared to give the Colts new everyday living at the time yet again following Sammy Watkins fumbled deep in his very own team’s territory, the team’s greatest device broke down at the worst achievable time as the offensive line enable Dee Ford run from all around the edge at the time once more. Ford stripped the ball out of Luck’s hands, Justin Houston recovered it, and the Chiefs’ direct was safe right after all.
Luck salvaged his night time with a fourth-quarter touchdown go to T.Y. Hilton on a image-best toss, but it never genuinely felt like Indy was threatening to gain the sport. Even just after that late rating, the Chiefs just drove the ball proper again down the field for a score of their very own to officially set the game out of access.
Even at 31-13, the score of this activity was not as shut as it felt. The Chiefs asserted their dominance on the two sides of the ball, and they appeared thoroughly in handle from the leap. All that is still left now is for them to do it all over again following week with a excursion to Atlanta for Super Bowl 53 on the line.
Here are a couple of much more factors to know about Kansas City’s divisional spherical earn.
The most likely MVP delivers his MVP game
In all probability, Patrick Mahomes will be provided the Most Valuable Participant award the night before Super Bowl 53. Mahomes was only stunning all through his initially time as the Chiefs’ starter, finishing 383 of 580 passes (66. per cent) for 5,097 yards (8.eight per try), as perfectly as fifty touchdowns versus just 12 interceptions.
He did not really dent the scoreboards in the similar way on Saturday as he did through the standard time, but Mahomes unquestionably brought out his A-video game for his initial ever playoff contest. He finished the night getting concluded 27 of 41 passes for 278 yards, and even though he did not throw for a touchdown, he did run for 1, and he made many of the outlandish performs we observed him make all year — sidearm throws, scrambles to invest in himself time before providing to the open gentleman downfield, almost everything. He brought it all to the desk.
It was a heck of a postseason debut for the probable MVP, who will have a different prospect to demonstrate his stuff following week in a activity that, no issue who wins on Sunday, will be from just one of really several groups that the Chiefs misplaced to throughout the standard season.
Chiefs protection shuts down Andrew Luck
Like Mahomes, Luck had a terrific typical period, and 1 that will possible earn him an award. It appears to be pretty likely that Luck usually takes household Comeback Participant of the Year at the NFL Honors ceremony after his 4,593-property, 39-touchdown normal time.
But as opposed to Mahomes, Luck did not have his finest stuff on Sunday. He just appeared off right from the commence, with his very first move of the match slipping incomplete when it appeared to slip out of his hand on its way to Eric Ebron and his next three all remaining batted down as the Colts went for their next of a few consecutive a few-and-outs to open up the video game.
Luck salvaged his day rather with an absolute dime to T.Y. Hilton in the fourth quarter:
But for the most section, he struggled. He finished the game just 19 of 36 for 203 yards and the score, when he was sacked a few moments, fumbled at the time, and was almost picked off by Steven Nelson on a toss that was way extensive of Hilton.
None of this normally takes all that considerably away from Luck’s terrific time or his probable to proceed his robust participate in into the potential, but he was not at his most effective in the divisional round.
The Snow Bowl
All during the week, we listened to about the opportunity for inclement weather in Kansas Town. Arrive Saturday, that’s precisely what we bought. The snow was coming down all afternoon, including all through really a lot the whole game. It even impacted the in excess of-underneath line for the contest, which plummeted from fifty seven to all around 54.five as news of the snow led bettors to hammer the beneath.
For most of the morning, NFL pregame shows and quite a lot every person who was on website at Arrowhead Stadium could not stop telling us about the snow. In fairness, there was a whole great deal of it.
The snow alone did not show up to influence the excellent of perform too substantially — at minimum for the Chiefs, who rather considerably looked like they normally do. (The only detail that seemed to be impacted was the structural integrity of Tyreek Hill’s shoelaces. He lost a shoe on two diverse catches.) The Colts struggled for most of the contest, but it’s challenging to say no matter whether or not that was owing to the climate situations.
Also not influenced by the snow: Chiefs followers. They brought their A-recreation.
A surprising pass up
There is pretty much very little in the NFL a lot more automatic than a small field intention from Adam Vinatieri. Primarily in a major sport. But that seemingly was not the case on Saturday.
Right after the Colts experienced struggled for the entire initial 50 % to get something likely offensively, they at last marched the ball downfield for a field aim try throughout the two-moment drill. After an incomplete move to Mo Alie-Cox in the corner of the finish zone with 3 seconds still left in the 50 percent, the Colts despatched Vinatieri on to the subject anticipating him to salvage the drive with a industry goal and reduce the Kansas City direct to 24-10.
And then Vinatieri did a little something he experienced never ever accomplished right before: he missed a subject objective from just 23 yards out. In accordance to ESPN’s studies office, he was 97-for-ninety seven on kicks from 23 yards or shorter for the duration of his NFL occupation prior to that skip.
Charles Woodson, who extensive in the past was on the incorrect conclusion of a Vinatieri area intention in a snowy playoff game, had the correct reaction listed here.
Absolutely, Raiders enthusiasts felt his — and Colts fans’ — pain.
And as if that weren’t weird adequate, Vinatieri afterwards missed an extra level, the very first time he’d ever missed 1 in his playoff vocation and only the nineteenth time he’d skipped in 941 standard year and postseason tries. A bizarre sight, in truth.
One more shocking mistake
Talking of strange particular groups glitches … here’s a blocked punt for a touchdown towards the Chiefs, which was the only semblance of momentum the Colts had all evening.
Chiefs punter Dustin Colquitt experienced not experienced a punt blocked in around 5 years before that just one. Kansas City had the NFL’s 2nd-best distinctive groups device this year, per Soccer Outsiders’ DVOA, and their unique teams device is coached by the famous Dave Toub, who is likely the very best distinctive groups coordinator in modern-day NFL background. He beforehand coordinated the Bears‘ special teams models even though Devin Hester was setting all types of return documents and Robbie Gould was just one of the most accurate kickers in the league.
His device providing up these a major participate in was fairly the shock. Of course, it was just one of the few problems the Chiefs designed the complete sport, so it was simple to forget about.
Travis Kelce’s monster night
It must not be at all shocking when Travis Kelce has a large activity. He is just one of the ideal tight finishes in the NFL, soon after all, and he is a person of Mahomes’ major targets. But Kelce obtaining a massive game in opposition to this unique Colts team may possibly have been the most predictable issue to happen all playoffs.
Kelce is a restricted finish, as beforehand outlined, and the Colts allowed 106 catches (most in the NFL) to limited ends this period, as properly as one,234 getting yards (most in the NFL) to players at the placement, although ranking twenty ninth in DVOA. The Colts perform a ton of zone coverage and their linebackers have a tendency to strongly respond to participate in-action fakes, which leaves tight ends large open in the zones ideal driving them.
That happened fairly considerably all evening for Kelce. He recorded six catches for ninety three yards in the to start with half on your own (he concluded with 7 for 108), together with a 30-yarder that got KC proper back into scoring posture soon after they’d provided up a blocked punt for a touchdown. And he showed his common wonderful chemistry with Mahomes on performs where by they quarterback extended the motion with his legs.
Floor and pounded
All in the course of the 7 days primary up to this match, we held listening to about how the Colts wanted to manage the activity on the ground. Kansas Town had the NFL’s worst operate protection through the typical period, letting five. yards per have and position thirty second in Football Outsiders’ operate protection DVOA. Controlling the ball and the clock with Marlon Mack against a porous operate defense seemed like a fantastic system for the Colts — especially with Mack coming off a monster 24-have, 148-yard functionality towards the Texans‘ No. 1-rated operate defense in the wild card spherical.
That good results was nowhere to be uncovered this week. Mack carried just five occasions for nine yards prior to halftime, obtaining bottled up correct from the first snap of the activity, on which Dee Ford dropped him for a 3-yard reduction just before Mack even obtained his legs beneath himself. He concluded the match with forty six yards on nine carries, but had only seven for fourteen yards until finally about midway through the fourth quarter. He was shut down fully.
In the meantime, Damien Williams ran seriously, actually nicely for the Chiefs. He completed with 25 carries for 129 yards and a landing on the ground, and also transformed on three individual fourth-and-one runs, two of which extended drives that ended in scores.
The Colts incredibly terribly required to earn the ground fight, and they didn’t arrive near. It really is not surprising that they ended up dropping the video game.
Massive-time gamers make huge-time performs in major-time video games
In the course of the typical period, the Chiefs led the NFL with an remarkable ninety five plays that attained 20 yards or a lot more. That was twelve far more than the future-closest group in the league (the Rams). In this sport, they ripped off 3 more gains of 20 yards or much more.
Just one of people was this 36-garden touchdown run from Tyreek Hill, which arrived on a great play-simply call, with a phony hand-off to Damien Williams just before a flip to Hill coming about the edge. The pace he confirmed on his way via the Indianapolis secondary was completely absurd.
The Chiefs also faked this actual exact same appear afterwards in the sport, on a enjoy the place Mahomes uncovered Travis Kelce for a decent-sized obtain of his very own.
And of training course, it wasn’t just the offense producing the significant-time performs. Kansas City’s defenders received in on the action as well — particularly move-rushers Justin Houston and Dee Ford. Houston had two sacks and two tackles for reduction, as very well as a fumble restoration on the strip-sack Ford had, which essentially sealed the sport. (The Colts had the ball in Chiefs territory soon after a Sammy Watkins fumble, but Ford sped close to the edge and shut down any scoring chance.)
Chris Jones acquired in on the motion with 3 batted passes and a hit on Luck. Charvarius Ward was wonderful in coverage, knocking away a few passes. Steven Nelson and Kendall Fuller gave absent practically almost nothing on the perimeter. All people chipped in. Most people designed things happen. It was a comprehensive effectiveness.
What is actually up coming?
The Colts’ time is in excess of. By virtue of becoming the very first staff to eliminate in the divisional round, they’re going to pick No. 25 in general in the 2019 NFL Draft. As far as requirements go, they could absolutely use some additional playmakers in the passing video game on both of those sides of the ball. A move-rusher to enhance Darius Leonard and the top quality run defense they recognized this yr would support a whole lot, as would an additional corner to supplement the team that solidified alone more than the 2nd half of the season. Giving Luck another selection on the perimeter to free of charge items up for T.Y. Hilton would not be a undesirable plan, possibly.
As for the Chiefs, they progress to the AFC title video game, where by they’ll square off towards the winner of Sunday’s Patriots vs. Chargers match. No make a difference which of these groups wins, the Chiefs will be the property group, by advantage of acquiring won the No. 1 seed during the standard period. That recreation — the first AFC title recreation the Chiefs will host in the heritage of Arrowhead Stadium — will just take area on Sunday, Jan. twenty, at 6:forty p.m. ET and can be found suitable below on CBS and streaming on CBS All Access.
Look at out our live web site of the festivities under.
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