The Kansas City Chiefs won their second straight game on Sunday with a come from behind victory over the Indianapolis Colts 28-24. The win by the Chiefs keeps the Colts as one of just three winless teams in the NFL and likely removes Kansas City from the Andrew Luck sweepstakes.
It sure looked early on that Todd Haley and the Chiefs would be handing the Colts their first win in an embarrassing fashion as they fell behind 17-0 and then 24-7 in the first half. But they stormed back to score 21 unanswered points and shocked the Indianapolis fans inside Lucas Oil Stadium.
Though the offense and defense had stretches that made you scratch your head, they both came together nicely in the second half in a way that has to have Haley and the rest of the coaching staff feeling good about their team heading into the bye.
A week after a screaming match between Haley and QB Matt Cassel got all the attention, it was the coming out party for RB Jackie Battle and continued amazing play from WR Dwayne Bowe that are the headliners. Both helped Cassel turn in one of his best games as a Chief going 21 of 29 for 257 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions.
On the heels of two straight wins and with two divisional games on tap, we can start talking about the Chiefs getting right back into the thick of the AFC West race.
Here are the three players most deserving of a game ball on offense, defense and special teams.
Offense: Jackie Battle
This easily could have gone to Cassel, Bowe or Steve Breaston, but Battle gets the honor after a career day. For the first time since Jamaal Charles went down for the season with a torn ACL, the Chiefs had a running back they felt confident giving the ball too consistently.
Battle finished the day with 119 yards on 19 carries (6.3 ypc) to help Kansas City rack up nearly 200 yards on the ground. Unlike the last few weeks where it was a mix of Dexter McCluster, Thomas Jones and Le’Ron McClain, against the Colts the Chiefs quickly turned their running game over to Battle when he showed he could make things happen.
Serving as primarily a special teamer during his five years with the Chiefs, Battle may have kept the team from continuing to look for another player to add to the rotation. Though it’s important to remember going forward that he has had trouble with injuries during his career and was forced to leave the game in the final seconds with a stinger.
Defense: Derrick Johnson
The Chiefs defense looked completely lost in the first half as Colts QB Curtis Painter easily marched up and down the field on the way to 24 first half points. It seemed as if the entire unit had forgotten about just doing their own job and instead were trying to do too much.
Then a different unit came out after the half and there was no better example of that than Johnson. The linebacker finished with a team-high 8 tackles, looking more like the sideline-to-sidelines player we’ve seen for most of this season.
With Eric Berry out for the season and Brandon Flowers struggling, Johnson has to be the leader for this defense and needs to do it all game.
Special Teams: Dustin Colquitt
Colquitt isn’t going to turn any heads with the 44.8 yard average he had on Sunday, but he had one of the most consistent games of any Chiefs player. He punted the ball six times to the Colts, put two inside the 20 and only allowed one return for just two yards.
Take away his one touchback and there’s little for Colquitt to correct during the bye.