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The Lake News Online
  • Chiefs come up short against Colts, 23-7

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    • 5 takeaways from Colts' win over Chiefs
      KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Even though the Indianapolis Colts won't know their playoff seeding until after next week's games, they're probably hoping that the Chiefs are their first ...
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      5 takeaways from Colts' win over Chiefs
      KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Even though the Indianapolis Colts won't know their playoff seeding until after next week's games, they're probably hoping that the Chiefs are their first opponent.
      After all, they had their way with Kansas City on Sunday.
      Andrew Luck threw for 241 yards in an efficient performance, Donald Brown had touchdowns running and receiving, and the Colts shut out the Chiefs after an opening touchdown in a 23-7 win that could end up being a preview of an AFC wild-card game in just two weeks.
      If Indianapolis ends up as the No. 4 seed in the playoffs and with the Chiefs assured of the fifth seed, the two teams would meet again at Lucas Oil Stadium. Kansas City's chances of winning the AFC West were dashed earlier Sunday when Denver beat Houston.
      "It's a possibility," Luck said of a rematch. "We have another game or two until that happens, but if it is (Kansas City), we'll take a hard look at what just happened."
      It's sure to be a pleasing film session.
      Alex Smith threw for 153 yards, but he fumbled once and was picked off twice. Knile Davis also fumbled the ball away, and the Chiefs were hit with several key penalties that scuttled any chance of mounting a second-half comeback in the frigid weather at Arrowhead Stadium.
      It was the fifth time the Colts (10-5) beat the Chiefs (11-4) in their last six meetings.
      "We'll see them again," Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson said. "They've got the upper hand on us right now because in their minds they think they can beat us. If we go down there, it will be a different story. But we've got to fight our way back."
      Jamaal Charles ran for 106 yards and the game's opening score, but Kansas City failed to keep him involved in the offense, and that allowed the Colts to seize control.
      Adam Vinatieri started the Indianapolis comeback with the first of his three field goals, Brown caught a 31-yard screen pass for a touchdown, and then added a 51-yard run later in the game, tight-rope walking down the sideline the last 10 yards for the score.
      By the time Smith threw his second interception to Jerrell Freeman, and then fumbled the ball away in the fourth quarter, the game had already been decided.
      "The way we opened up, marching down the way we did, it felt like things were going to be the way they've been," Smith said. "We really didn't get into a rhythm after that, didn't execute in any area, and then the turnovers. The turnovers hurt you."
      As the Colts prepare for their regular-season finale against Jacksonville, and Kansas City gets ready to wrap up in San Diego, here are five things to remember:
      TURNOVER TROUBLE: The Chiefs came into the game plus-21 in turnover differential, by far the best in the league. But it was Indianapolis that took advantage of Kansas City's miscues by scoring both of its touchdowns within two plays of a turnover. "To be able to come on the road, in this environment, and win a game like this is very positive for us all," Colts coach Chuck Pagano said.
      SHORT AND SWEET: Luck rarely threw deep down field, but it didn't matter. He gutted the Kansas City defense on crossing routes, screen passes and check downs. "They were flying around," Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers said. "We were just watching them fly around."
      ARROWHEAD MELTDOWN: The Chiefs will be headed on the road in the playoffs, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. They lost their final three regular-season games at Arrowhead Stadium, which has long had one of the NFL's best homefield advantages.
      STOPPING CHARLES: Charles was held in check after the opening drive, and that was by design. The Colts saw him score five TDs last week against Oakland and weren't about to let that happen to them. "It was 'Where's Waldo' all week for us," Colts safety Antoine Bethea said. "We knew he was their go-to guy, and if we could take him out of the game, it would be tough for their offense."
      BIG 'MO: Indianapolis has won three of its last four game and, in the words of defensive end Bjoern Werner, "we now have momentum going into the playoffs." The Chiefs head to San Diego next week without any hope of improving its playoff seeding, which means coach Andy Reid could be giving his starters a week off to rest. "I haven't even gotten that far," Reid said. "I'm not going to say anything now on that, but yeah, I'll evaluate what we do as we go forward."
  • KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — After a haphazard performance filled with penalties and turnovers, the Kansas City Chiefs had every reason to feel glum about a potential playoff rematch with the Indianapolis Colts.
    Veteran linebacker Derrick Johnson was taking a decidedly different approach.
    "They've got the upper hand on us right now because in their minds, they think they can beat us," he said after the Chiefs' 23-7 loss to Indianapolis on Sunday. "If we go down there, it will be a different story. But we've got to fight our way back."
    Jamaal Charles ran for 106 yards and the game's first score, but the Chiefs (11-4) didn't do much the rest of the way. Instead, Andrew Luck threw for 241 yards, and Donald Brown had TDs on the ground and through the air as the Colts (10-5) scored the game's final 23 points.
    Alex Smith threw for 153 yards, but he fumbled once and was picked off twice after throwing just six interceptions his first 14 games. Knile Davis also fumbled the ball away for Kansas City.
    "I think it was a team effort in not a very good way," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. "You can't pull your foot off the accelerator when you go out that quick. You have to keep going."
    The Chiefs vowed to do that if the teams meet again in two weeks.
    Kansas City is assured of the No. 5 seed in the playoffs after Denver beat Houston earlier Sunday to wrap up the AFC West and the No. 1 seed. That means the Chiefs would head to Lucas Oil Stadium for a wild-card game if the Colts end up as the No. 4 seed.
    "I know we'll have some motivation. Definitely," Chiefs offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz said. "They might think we're one team, but we'll be back in a couple of weeks."
    Early on, the Chiefs appeared as if they were going to pick up right where they left off last week, when they hung 56 points on the Raiders. They marched downfield on the opening drive, and Charles took a carry around the right side 31 yards for a touchdown.
    The Colts defense stiffened after that, though, and the closest Kansas City came to scoring again in the first half came when Ryan Succop yanked a 47-yard field goal wide left.
    "Anytime you can play the type of game we played today, against a playoff team in a hostile environment, it speaks to the character of our football team," Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. "They stick to the process and stay focused on the process."
    Indianapolis kept taking advantage of breakdowns in the Kansas City pass defense, the most glaring one coming after Davis fumbled in the second quarter.
    Page 2 of 2 - Brown leaked out of the backfield unnoticed by the Kansas City defense, Luck hit him with a dump-off pass that he took virtually untouched 33 yards for a score.
    "I think they busted the coverage," Brown said, "so that made my job a lot easier."
    Brown's job wasn't a whole lot tougher when the Colts got the ball back in the third quarter off Smith's interception. He raced through a gaping hole, then tight-rope walked down the sideline 51 yards for a score — a video review showed that he somehow stayed inbounds.
    Adam Vinatieri added to the Colts' cushion with his third field goal, capping a drive kept alive by a defensive hold and a taunting penalty after the Chiefs had already held on third down.
    "I can't tell you why we came out here and performed the way we did today, we just did," Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers said. "We should have come out and matched their intensity."
    Smith was picked off again by Jerrell Freeman in the end zone midway through the fourth quarter, and then the quarterback fumbled the ball away with 3:24 left to seal the game.
    "The way we opened up, marching down the way we did, it felt like things were going to be the way they've been," Smith said. "We really didn't get into a rhythm after that, didn't execute in any area, and then the turnovers. The turnovers hurt you."
    NOTES: Vinatieri has now scored 1,993 points, passing fellow kicker Jason Elam for seventh on the NFL's career list. ... Three of the Chiefs' four losses have come at Arrowhead Stadium. ... Kansas City had scored 101 points the last two weeks. ... The Colts started their seventh offensive line combination and fifth in five games.
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