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Sunday, January 17, 2021

Colts turn back Chiefs, even as offense sputters

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The Kansas City Chiefs came to Lucas Oil Stadium thinking they would have their hands full with Peyton Manning and the high octane Colts passing attack. So did all those in attendance, but when it was over, it basically had played out as a battle between the kickers until Mike Hart found the end zone from 11 yards out for the Colts to seal a hard fought 19-9 victory for Indianapolis.

The Chiefs would prove to be quite formidable on defense, starting with the first Indianapolis possession that came courtesy of a poorly executed onside kick by Kansas City to open the contest. The Colts quickly learned the Chiefs were stout defensively and had to settle for an Adam Vinatieri field goal. In a fashion that can only be described as completely out of sync, Manning and company continually misfired in the passing game throughout the first half and the two teams would exchange field goals and head in to the locker room with the Colts holding a not so impressive 6-3 lead at halftime.

The third quarter would, unfortunately for the paying customers, offer more of the same in terms of offensive futility by the home team. By virtue of Kansas City’s Ryan Succops two field goals to Vinatieri’s one, the Colts found themselves in a dogfight and the score tied at the end of three periods. Indianapolis would finally awaken a bit on offense as they regained possession of the football with just over nine minutes remaining in the game, and with Manning executing his normal precision accuracy, and some hard nosed running by Hart, would finally find the end zone at the 4:09 mark and extend their lead to 19-9.

The Colts defense would then flex their collective muscles and thwart the final Kansas City drive, and when Manning kneeled to allow the clock to expire, Indianapolis had secured a tough victory in one of the most difficult games for the Colts that yours truly has witnessed in the history of Lucas Oil Stadium.

NOTES: Joseph Addai injured his shoulder and did not return to the game. Addai had carried 17 times for 50 yards at the time of his injury.

Peyton Manning was anything but his normal self even though he did complete 26 of 44 passes, with no touchdowns and one interception.

Credit multiple formations and an overall great effort by the Kansas City defense for a lot of his miscues.

The Colts could manage just 34 yards of red zone offense in 12 plays. That will not cut it in the playoffs, Colts fans.

The Colts secondary, decimated by injuries, continues to live dangerously, as Kansas City’s Dwayne Bowe dropped an easy touchdown reception in the end zone after beating Jerraud Powers badly on the play. Bowe also dropped two other passes in the game that he should have caught easily. The Colts are now 3-2 and tied for the lead in the AFC South Division.

As part of the NFL’s league-wide initiative to raise awareness and funds to battle breast cancer, Jeannie Neal, a breast cancer survivor, delivered a splendid rendition of the National Anthem before the game. Hats off to this brave lady and thanks for sharing your phenomenal voice with us.

The Colts travel to Washington, D.C., to battle the Redskins next Sunday night in a game that can be seen on NBC.

The kickoff is slated for 8:20 and the game can be seen locally on WTHR 13. You can find the radio broadcast on 1070 AM or 93.1 FM.

Danny Bridges, whose mother lost her battle with cancer in 1971, salutes the NFL and their fans for their efforts to find a cure, and can be reached at (317) 578-1780 or at [email protected].

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