cloudyn.png
Sunday March 29th, 2020 7:52AM

Chiefs roll past Colts 31-13 to reach AFC title game

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs' defense had heard the chorus of critics all season long, the ones that claimed their sieve-like line and shaky backfield would spoil young superstar Patrick Mahomes and cost them a chance to chase their first Super Bowl appearance in decades.

Well, that defense is a big reason why the Chiefs are one step away.

With persistent snow turning Arrowhead Stadium into a winter wonderland, the Chiefs successfully shut down Andrew Luck and the potent Indianapolis Colts on Saturday.

Mahomes and the rest of their own high-powered offense took care of the rest, rolling to a 31-13 victory in the divisional round to end 25 years of playoff frustration.

"We're such a different team," said Mahomes, who threw for 278 yards while running for a score. "We have such young players. We have such confidence we're going to win every single game."

Damien Williams ran through snow and muck for 129 yards and another score, and Tyreek Hill had 72 yards receiving and a touchdown run, as the Chiefs beat Indianapolis for the first time in five playoff meetings to earn their first AFC title game appearance since January 1994.

The AFC West champions will play the winner of Sunday's game between the division-rival Los Angeles Chargers and the New England Patriots next weekend for a spot in the Super Bowl in Atlanta.

"We wanted to light up the city," Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones said. "We didn't want to take the road down memory lane."

Andrew Luck was held to 203 yards passing for the Colts, while Marlon Mack was a non-factor on the ground. He had 46 yards rushing before leaving late in the fourth quarter with a hip injury.

"Was not expecting it to end today," Colts coach Frank Reich said. "We knew we were going up against a very good team, a very well-coached team. It's hard to lose. It's hard to lose when you've come this far with the team that we have and the guys that we have, so credit to the Chiefs.

"They outcoached us, they outplayed us," Reich said. "We just gave them too many opportunities."

The Chiefs set out to change history from the opening minutes, when they forced a three-and-out and then waltzed right over a Colts defense that nearly shut out the Texans a week ago. Mahomes and Co. scored on their first three possessions , then again just before halftime, to take a 24-7 lead.

If there was any question whether this would be Kansas City's day, it was answered when Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri missed a 23-yard field-goal try off the upright just before halftime. It was the first time in 22 postseason attempts that he'd missed from that close.

Not that the Chiefs thought they had it wrapped up.

They've had bigger playoff meltdowns against the Colts.

There was the 10-7 loss in which Lin Elliott missed three field goals when the Chiefs were the No. 1 seed, and the loss at Arrowhead Stadium in 2003 in which nobody punted. Five years ago, they blew a 38-10 second-half lead against Luck and the Colts to spoil Andy Reid's first season.

Not this time.

Not with this Kansas City quarterback.

After shattering nearly every franchise passing record, Mahomes picked up right where he left off in his regular-season finale. He led the Chiefs on touchdown drives of 90 and 70 yards to open the game, quickly identified a favorite target in Travis Kelce, and shook off a banged-up knee to scramble for a touchdown late in the first half to give his team a big cushion.

Of course, the Chiefs (13-4) didn't need it the way their defense was playing.

The Colts (11-7) went three-and-out on their first four possessions, were outgained 185-12 in the first quarter, and Luck didn't complete a pass until he found T.Y Hilton early in the second.

Their lone bright spot came when Zach Paschal recovered a blocked punt for a touchdown .

Even when the Colts caught a break and Sammy Watkins fumbled the ball to them late in the third quarter, they were quick to give it back. Dee Ford stripped Luck and fellow linebacker Justin Houston plopped on the ball, ruining another red-zone opportunity.

"It seemed like the rushers were getting there all night," Chiefs cornerback Kendall Fuller said. "Guys sticking coverage, playing good technique, good eyes and things like that."

The Colts finally scored an offensive touchdown with 5:31 left in the game. But in the perfect summation of their lousy afternoon, their erstwhile star kicker missed the extra point.

By that point, the party in the stands already had begun.

The Chiefs had lost six straight home playoff games, including heartbreakers to Pittsburgh and Tennessee the past two years. But a proud franchise that won its only Super Bowl title with Len Dawson in 1970, and last played for a spot behind Joe Montana, is once more one step away.

"I'm just happy for these guys in this locker room," Kelce said. "Playoff wins are hard to come by, let alone wins in the NFL. So, I mean, it's just exciting for us to be able to play next week."

SNOWBALL FIGHT

Reid was summoned to the corner of the stadium during the two-minute warning in the first half to implore fans to stop throwing snowballs on the field. Earlier in the half, one almost hit Colts punter Rigoberto Sanchez while he was kicking.

INJURIES

Colts: Center Ryan Kelly (knee) left late in the fourth quarter. ... FS Malik Hooker (foot) and DE Tyquan Lewis (knee) were inactive, while SS Mike Mitchell (calf) was placed on injured reserve earlier this week. That left the Colts defense without some key pieces.

Chiefs: Safety Eric Berry (heel) and running back Spencer Ware (hamstring) were inactive, though Berry — the team's emotional leader — broke down the pregame huddle in the north end zone.

UP NEXT

Chiefs: Await the Chargers-Patriots winner in the AFC title game.

Colts: Begin preparing for April's draft.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Sports - NFL
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Chiefs roll past Colts 31-13 to reach AFC title game
Patrick Mahomes picked apart the Colts and the Kansas City defense came through, helping the Chiefs to a 31-13 victory in the divisional round of the playoffs
7:49PM ( 3 minutes ago )
Woman who fled Saudi Arabia reaches her new home in Canada
A smiling 18-year-old Saudi woman who said she feared death if sent back home is now in Canada, which has offered her asylum
7:34PM ( 18 minutes ago )
The Latest: No movement in settling record-long shutdown
The partial government shutdown has slipped into the record books as the longest ever, members of Congress are out of town, no negotiations are scheduled and President Donald Trump is tweeting into the void.
7:12PM ( 39 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Reddish hits 3 that lifts Duke past Florida St. 80-78
Cam Reddish hits 3 that lifts No. 1 Duke past No. 13 Florida St. 80-78
6:26PM ( 1 hour ago )
Griffin has 44 points in return against Clippers
Blake Griffin scored 44 points in his return to Staples Center for the first time against his old team and the Detroit Pistons beat the Los Angeles Clippers 109-104 on Saturday to snap a four-game skid
6:13PM ( 1 hour ago )
Chill out! Chiefs' Andy Reid urges KC fans to nix snowballs
Chiefs coach Andy Reid was summoned to the corner of Arrowhead Stadium during Saturday's playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts to get fans to stop throwing snowballs on the field
6:07PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
Ready Freddie: Kitchens hired by Browns after offensive run
Browns make Freddie Kitchens new coach after strong run with offense
1:07PM ( 6 hours ago )
Ready Freddie: Browns make Kitchens new head coach
Browns make Freddie Kitchens new coach after strong run with offense
12:43PM ( 7 hours ago )
Chiefs aim to rewrite playoff history vs nemesis Colts
The Chiefs have never beaten Indianapolis in four tries in the playoffs, a dubious streak that Patrick Mahomes and Co. aim to end on Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium
2:33AM ( 17 hours ago )
AP Online Football
Authorities name man who killed rookie California officer
Authorities have identified a man who shot and killed a rookie police officer in California and later took his own life during a standoff with police
6:30PM ( 1 hour ago )
Democrats roll out big health care proposals in the states
Democrats won back governor's offices and legislative chambers in numerous states last year, thanks in large part to their promises to expand health coverage and make it more affordable
6:06PM ( 1 hour ago )
Runaway Saudi woman reaches her new home in Canada
A smiling 18-year-old Saudi woman who said she feared death if sent back home is now in Canada, which has offered her asylum
5:50PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
Former Obama housing chief Julian Castro joins 2020 campaign
Former Obama housing chief Julian Castro is now in the 2020 Democratic race for president, and he could end up being the only Latino in what's expected to be a crowded field of contenders
3:26PM ( 4 hours ago )
McCarrick accuser cooperates with NYC prosecutors on abuse
The key accuser in the sex abuse case against ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has met with New York City prosecutors
2:09PM ( 5 hours ago )
3 dead, dozens injured in Paris bakery gas leak explosion
A powerful explosion apparently caused by a gas leak blew apart a Paris bakery, killing three people and injuring dozens as it blasted out windows and overturned nearby cars
1:29PM ( 6 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
NFL launches social justice initiative, stressing education
NFL launching social justice platform, with emphasis on community work, education
3:54PM ( 1 day ago )
Cardinals hire former Broncos coach Joseph as D-coordinator
Former Denver Broncos head coach Vance Joseph has been hired as the defensive coordinator on new Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury's staff
3:54PM ( 1 day ago )
Cardinals hire ex-Bronco coach Joseph as D-coordinator
Former Denver Broncos head coach Vance Joseph has been hired as the defensive coordinator on new Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury's staff
2:56PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Sports - NFL
Woman who fled Saudi Arabia reaches her new home in Canada
A smiling 18-year-old Saudi woman who said she feared death if sent back home is now in Canada, which has offered her asylum
7:34PM ( 18 minutes ago )
The Latest: No movement in settling record-long shutdown
The partial government shutdown has slipped into the record books as the longest ever, members of Congress are out of town, no negotiations are scheduled and President Donald Trump is tweeting into the void.
7:12PM ( 39 minutes ago )
Selective shutdown? Trump tries to blunt impact, takes heat
Selective reopening of government offices to ease the pain for some citizens shows willingness to cut corners and wade into dubious territory, experts say
7:05PM ( 46 minutes ago )
Ex-kidnapping victims: Jayme Closs needs space, time to heal
A child trauma expert and former kidnapping victims say Jayme Closs will need the support of friends and family _ and control over how and when she speaks about her three-month ordeal
6:57PM ( 54 minutes ago )
Storm dumps snow on Midwest; at least 5 dead in crashes
A massive winter snowstorm making its way across the Midwest and into the Mid-Atlantic region contributed to at least five road deaths and saw crews scrambling to clear snow from Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City
6:39PM ( 1 hour ago )