There was a playoff spot clinched at Arrowhead Stadium Sunday, but it was a lot harder than anyone thought it would be. The Kansas City Chiefs gave the Indianapolis Colts everything they could handle as the visitors pulled out a tight 20-13 victory.
Early on it looked like it would be another Chiefs no-show with Brady Quinn throwing an ugly pick six to give the Colts a 7-0 lead. But there was no quit in this Kansas City squad, a rarity in this 13 loss season. In fact, it was the home team that made the Colts look like the also ran, as they often bulldozed over the Indianapolis defense.
Leading the Charge for Kansas City was all-world running back Jamaal Charles, who finished the day with 226 yards on 22 carries, including an 86-yard touchdown in the third quarter that delivered a jolt to the Arrowhead crowd. Charles along with Peyton Hillis helped the Chiefs rip the Colts defense for 352 yards.
But despite an unreal performance from Charles, the Chiefs weren’t able to cover up for inept quarterback play, coaching and discipline, something that has plagued Kansas City all season long.
Brady Quinn was just 10-of-22 for 162 yards and threw two interceptions, showing once again he doesn’t belong anywhere near an NFL field. Not only did his first pick go for a touchdown, but he also cost the Chiefs points with his second interception in the Red Zone, underthrowing Jon Baldwin instead of giving his tall receiver a chance for a jump ball.
Then there was the botching of a fourth and one on the Chiefs first drive of the fourth quarter. On the Colts 27 yard line, head coach Romeo Crennel passed up a 44-yard field goal attempt and called a running play. Quinn decided instead of relying on a running game that had little trouble all day moving the football he would call his own number. Predictably, the quarterback was stuffed, though he brushed off his bonehead call by blaming the spot.
“I thought we got it. I thought it was a (lousy) spot,” Quinn told reporters after the game.
So instead of a chance to take the lead, the Chiefs gave the ball back to the Colts and they eventually found the end zone in the final minutes to produce the final score.
Now the Chiefs just have one more game left, against another playoff bound team in the Denver Broncos. It would be nice to think maybe the Kansas City players can turn in another solid performance, but that has been a lot to ask of this team and likely would be even in Crennel’s final game as head coach.
Before we start to look towards next week in Denver, here’s a look at the best of the worst for the Chiefs from Sunday afternoon.
Offense: Jamaal Charles
It’s such a shame that such an amazing talent is being wasted as the only weapon on the worst team in football. As we talked about during the game, can you imagine if he played in a real offense designed by a real coach? He’s nearly unstoppable even when everyone in the building knows he’s getting the ball, there’s no limit to how good he’d be with a passing game or just a game plan in general.
Charles had said he wanted to finish this season with 1,500 yards and now finds himself at 1,456. Hopefully the Chiefs will be smart enough to let him reach that goal next week and then allow him to start his offseason early. He has nothing else to prove and doesn’t need to carry an injury with him into training camp.
Defense: Eric Berry
While Charles looked like his old self early on this season after his ACL surgery, it was the Chiefs safety that often looked a step slow. However, over the last few weeks Berry has had a little extra pep in his step and that was clear again against the Colts.
Making plays both at the line and in coverage, Berry finished with four tackles (one TFL) and two passes defensed. Considering how bad he looked at times throughout the year, it’s huge for the Chiefs to know they can expect Berry back next season at full strength as their new coaching staff puts together the 2013 roster.
Special Teams: Dustin Colquitt
It wasn’t his best game, but that’s mainly because of how good Colquitt’s season has been. He only dropped one of his four punts inside the 20, but it was good enough to tie the single-season NFL record (42).
The free agent-to-be will have a chance to make history next week and if this year is any indication, he won’t have any trouble locking in the record.