Saturday November 28th, 2015 10:31PM

NFL Playoffs: Colts pull off thrilling comeback over Chiefs, 45-44

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Colts had all the Luck - at least once the second half started.

Andrew Luck threw three touchdown passes after halftime, including a 64-yarder to a wide-open T.Y. Hilton for the go-ahead score with 4:22 left, leading the Colts from a four-TD deficit to an improbable 45-44 comeback victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in a wild-card game Saturday.

Indianapolis (12-5) became only the second team in playoff history to win after trailing by 28 or more points, according to STATS. The other: Buffalo over Houston 41-38 in overtime in January 1993. The Colts will travel to either Denver or New England next weekend for the divisional round with four straight wins.

Luck was an incredible mix of good and bad, finishing 29 of 45 for 443 yards, the second-highest total in franchise history for a playoff game, with four TDs and three interceptions. He also picked up a fumble and ran it in for a 5-yard score when the loose ball bounced back to him.

"We never panicked," Luck said. "We took it one play at a time."

Hilton broke a franchise playoff record with 13 catches and 224 yards, finishing with two TDs - including the winner.

Kansas City (11-6) finished its turnaround season with three straight losses, two to the Colts and an eighth straight postseason defeat - none more stunning than this one. The eight straight losses broke a tie with the Detroit Lions for the longest playoff skid.

Alex Smith was 30 of 46 for 378 yards with four TDs and no interceptions on a day he lost his top two running backs, Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis, and starting receiver Donnie Avery to injuries.

But Luck got the last word with his jaw-dropping rally.

Things appeared bleak with Indy trailing 31-10 at halftime, and they looked even worse when Luck's first pass of the second half was picked off and returned to the Indy 18. Three plays later, Smith threw a 10-yard TD pass to Davis to make it 38-10 with 13:39 left in the third quarter.

As it turned out, Luck had plenty of time to turn things around. In a big way.

With Indy in its no-huddle offense and nothing to lose, Luck started throwing the ball over the field, and Donald Brown's 10-yard TD run made it 38-17.

Then, Luck converted a lost fumble by Smith into a 3-yard TD pass to Brown. Suddenly, it was 38-24 and the fans who were booing at halftime were in a frenzy.

The noise subsided briefly after the Chiefs turned Luck's third interception into a 42-yard field goal, but Luck answered with a 12-yard TD pass to cut the deficit to 41-31 after three quarters.

Luck was just getting started.

Eric Berry's hit jarred the ball loose from Brown near the goal line early in the fourth, but the ball bounced right into Luck's hands and he picked it up and squirted through the middle for to make it 41-38 with 10:38 to go.

Kansas City drove for another field goal, but this time with Kansas City linebacker Justin Houston out of the game with knee injury, Hilton broke free down the middle of the field and Luck hit him in stride behind the secondary for the 64-yard score that made it 45-44.

All the Colts had to do then was stop Kansas City on downs, and kneel down three times.
© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
2014 Top 10: Looking back at the top sports stories of the year
It was another year for the record books in 2014, mostly for the right reasons -- state championships, new challenges and new stars taking their turn to shine. But there were also plenty of big stories that reminded us that sports -- like life -- isn
11:55PM ( 10 months ago )
NASCAR K&N Pro Series schedules set for 2015
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - NASCAR announced recently the 2015 schedules for its top developmental regional touring series, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
2:00PM ( 10 months ago )
Lanierland boys final: Johnson makes history with win over Red Elephants <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Ever the aggressor on the court, Johnson
8:55AM ( 10 months ago )
Pits will be tight as Chili Bowl entry count hits 316
TULSA, OK - The 29th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals presented by General Tire is on track to be a record smashing event, with the entry count climbing over the 300 mark for the first time to 316 entries confirming 303 drivers for the indoor spectacular happening Tuesday, January 13 through Saturday, January 17 at the Tulsa Expo Center in Tulsa, OK.
9:59AM ( 10 months ago )
Falcons fire Mike Smith after 2nd straight losing season
Mike Smith's status as the winningest coach in Falcons history wasn't enough to save his job. Owner Arthur Blank said he fired Smith on Monday because in his "heart of hearts" he didn't believe Smith could take the Falcons to the Super Bowl.
7:58PM ( 10 months ago )
New promoters in place for 2015 at Senoia Raceway
SENOIA, GA - Lease papers have been signed and a team of new promoters is in place for the upcoming stock car racing season at Senoia Raceway in Senoia, GA.
6:00AM ( 10 months ago )
Professional Sports
Dogs drop tough road game at Seton Hall
The Georgia men’s basketball team (2-2) lost a hard-fought game on the road,69-62, to the Seton Hall Pirates (5-0) Saturday night at the Prudential Center. The Bulldogs were led by by forward Yante Maten, who poured in a career-high 21 points.
By AccessWDUN Staff
10:23PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Girls basketball: Lady Wolves rally for big win over GAC
Buford rallied from a big first quarter deficit to beat Greater Atlanta Christian Saturday in a neutral site game.
By AccessWDUN Staff
8:16PM ( 2 hours ago )
Run game, defense helps Dogs seal victory over Jackets, 9-win campaign
Mark Richt trotted over to a corner of Bobby Dodd Stadium, where the Georgia band played and the red-clad faithful had nothing but cheers for the embattled coach.
5:00PM ( 5 hours ago )
Watson puts up 4 TDs and No. 1 Clemson moves to 12-0 with 37-32 win over South Carolina
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Deshaun Watson isn't giving up on Clemson's step-by-step approach, not when it's worked so well.Watson had another big day, running for three touchdowns and passing for a fourth...
4:59PM ( 5 hours ago )
PLAYOFFS: Three goes into four, as area trio earn semifinal berths
Once the dust settled on Friday night, northeast Georgia found three teams still standing in the state football playoffs -- and it was so nearly four...
9:01AM ( 13 hours ago )