Chiefs vs. Colts: Adam Vinatieri Comes Through in Low-Scoring Affair
They got it. But it wasn't easy.
The Colts, the defending AFC champions, defeated the previously unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs, but did it with just one touchdown in a 19-9 victory in front of 66,869 at Lucas Oil Stadium Sunday afternoon.
Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri kicked field goals of 20, 24, 47 and 42 yards, with his 42-yarder giving Indianapolis a 12-9 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Running back Mike Hart's 11-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter clinched the victory for Indianapolis.
Quick thoughts on Chiefs-Colts:
• The Chiefs tried an onside kick on the opening kickoff. The Colts took possession when it failed to go 10 yards, but it wasn't a bad gamble for Chiefs coach Todd Haley. Indianapolis has moved consistently all year, and Kansas City held the Colts to a field goal. If the Chiefs had gotten possession, it would have been a huge lift. As it was, they only gave up three points.
• The Chiefs played aggressively early but with little benefit. Not only did they try the onside kick that failed, they went for it on 4th-and-2 from the Colts 9 early in the first quarter. When Cassel threw incomplete, a solid drive ended with Kansas City trailing, 3-0.
• RB Joseph Addai continues to be a huge key for the Colts' offense. With the Colts emphasizing the run early, he rushed for 43 yards on nine first-half carries and showed again that when he has at least a little room to run, he is very, very effective.
• The Colts missed on several first-half opportunities. Not only did they settle for field goals on two red-zone trips, the Chiefs stopped the Colts on downs at the Chiefs 34 with 18 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
• The Chiefs ran effectively on the Colts throughout. It wasn't a gashing, dominant performance, necessarily, but it was enough to keep Kansas City in the flow of the game.
• Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles was particularly effective at times. He is a breakaway back, and although he had no huge runs, he peppered the Colts' defense with runs between 5 and 14 yards.
• The Chiefs lost a fumble for the first time this season. The turnover came on a huge hit by Colts safety Antoine Bethea on Charles, and when Colts defensive end Keyunta Dawson recovered, Indianapolis had possession at its 34 with 1:00 remaining in the second quarter.
• Credit the Colts' defense with playing well inside the red zone. They held Denver to six points on five red-zone trips two weeks ago and after allowing three touchdowns on three red-zone possessions last week, they stopped the Chiefs there Sunday. The Colts stuffed the Chiefs on downs on their first red-zone possession and forced a 35-yard field goal on their second.
• The Colts' defense also had a crucial stop late in the third quarter. With the Chiefs having taken over after a turnover, Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel threw incomplete three consecutive passes to force a 43-yard game-tying field goal by Ryan Succop.
• Colts quarterback Peyton Manning had thrown just one interception in four games, but he threw a critical one in the second half. On 3rd-and-13 from the Colts 20, he threw to wide receiver Pierre Garcon, but the pass was easily intercepted by Chiefs linebacker Jon McGraw.