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Historic Comeback Sees Colts Topple Chiefs

Andrew Luck led the Colts to an unthinkable comeback Saturday.

Andrew Luck led the Colts to an unthinkable comeback Saturday.

The Indianapolis Colts advanced to the divisional round of the playoffs Saturday, overcoming a 28-point deficit to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs 45-44 in Indianapolis.

The unimaginable second-half comeback provided all the drama the NFL could have wanted in its postseason curtain raiser, and went a long way to cementing the Comeback King status of quarterback Andrew Luck.

The Chiefs took a 31-10 lead into halftime thanks in part to a hat-trick of touchdown strikes from Alex Smith, who found Dwayne Bowe, Donnie Avery, and Anthony Sherman in the end zone. The Colts did their part, turning the ball over three times, with Luck throwing two interceptions and Trent Richardson fumbling the football.

Ryan Succop added a field goal for the Chiefs while Knile Davis, taking over from Jamaal Charles who suffered a concussion on the first drive of the game, ran the ball in from four yards out.

The Colts managed just one touchdown – a 10-yarder from Luck to T.Y. Hilton – and a field goal in response.

Things got worse for the Colts when Smith found Davis less than two minutes into the third period to give the Chiefs a 38-10 advantage.

Luck and the Colts found a way to battle back though.

First Donald Brown ran for a 10-yard touchdown before catching a 3-yard pass from Luck. The second-year quarterback then connected with Coby Fleener on a scoring strike from 12 yards before recovering Brown’s fumble himself and taking it in from 5 yards.

The Chiefs managed just a pair of field goals during this stretch, lending to a 44-38 advantage with 5:36 left on the clock.

Indianapolis then completed its unthinkable comeback as Luck connected with Hilton who took the ball 64 yards for his second score of the game and, more importantly, a 45-44 lead.

The Chiefs responded with a pair of first downs but the Colts defense forced Smith and Co. into an unsuccessful fourth and 11 with 1:55 on the clock. All that was left was for Luck to kneel down and see out the clock.

Luck finished the day 29 of 45 for 443 yards and four touchdowns. He ran the ball seven times for an additional 45 yards. His three interceptions, which tied a career-high, could have proven costly, but the Colts managed to overcome even these.

Hilton finished the game with 13 receptions for 224 yards and two touchdowns.

For the Chiefs, Smith went 30 of 46 for 378 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. He also tallied 57 yards on the ground, helping replace the injured Charles in the running game.

Bowe caught eight passed for 150 yards and a touchdown.

The 28-point deficit was the second highest margin eclipsed in a playoff game, trailing only a 32-point deficit covered by the Buffalo Bills in a 1992 wild-card game against the Houston Oilers. The Bills needed overtime in that game.

T.Y. Hilton's game-winning touchdown sees the Colts through to the divisional round of the playoffs.

T.Y. Hilton’s game-winning touchdown sees the Colts through to the divisional round of the playoffs.

Vegas Impact

The moneyline opened with Indianapolis favored over Kansas City but by the time the two teams took to the field it was the Chiefs that have moved into the role of favorite.

Indianapolis therefore covered the spread, which stood between 1 and 2 depending on which sportsbook you chose to bet against.

The Colts have now covered the spread in four straight games and 11 of the last 15.

The over/under opened at 46.5 and grew to 48 ahead of kickoff. With the two teams combining for 89 points, bettors backing the over were well and truly rewarded. The Colts had not seen the over in their last three games going into the matchup with the Chiefs.

On the season, the Colts are now 9-8-0 in favor of the over.

The Road Ahead

The Colts will now wait to find out where they travel to next.

If the Cincinnati Bengals defeat the San Diego Chargers in Sunday’s other AFC wild-card game, the Colts will head to the Mile High City to face the top-seeded Denver Broncos next Sunday.

If San Diego upsets Cincinnati, Indianapolis will travel to Foxborough, Mass., to take on the second-seeded New England Patriots on Saturday.

San Diego Chargers vs. Cincinnati Bengals odds and trends are available now.


For a list of Sunday’s wild-card round odds, click here.

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