Game Preview
AFC Wild Card Playoff
Saturday, Jan. 4th @ Lucas Oil Stadium - 3:35 pm CST
Kansas City
11-5
VS
Indianapolis
11-5


The Indianapolis Colts think they're playing their best football at the perfect time. The Kansas City Chiefs are hoping to finally be healthy when it matters most.

They'll meet for the second time in three weeks Saturday at Indianapolis in an AFC wild-card game.

The Colts (11-5) have won three straight while allowing 20 points, including a 23-7 victory at Kansas City on Dec. 22.

"I think if you check the last six Super Bowl winners, they got hot at the right time," Indianapolis defensive end Robert Mathis said. "That's what it's all about, getting hot at the right time."

The Chiefs (11-5) have lost two in a row, but they approached Week 17 cautiously and now expect to have wide receiver Dwayne Bowe (concussion), linebacker Justin Houston (dislocated elbow) and left tackle Braden Albert (hyperextended knee) as they try to end a seven-game playoff losing streak.

However, the status of linebacker Tambi Hall (knee) is up in the air, and right tackle Eric Fisher could miss this game due to a strained groin.

"It's the start of a new season. That's how the playoffs work,'' Kansas City coach Andy Reid said. "You're in the dance, as they say. It's another phase of the season. You've worked very hard as a team to get into this position. Now it's important that you exhaust yourself to make sure you're right."

A 30-10 win over Jacksonville on Sunday closed out the Colts' regular season on a high note. Andrew Luck completed 26 of 37 for 282 yards and a touchdown, finishing his sophomore regular season with 23 TDs for the second straight year while cutting his interceptions in half to nine.

That followed their Week 16 win over the Chiefs in which Luck improved to 2-0 against Kansas City. He went 26 of 37 for 241 yards while counterpart Alex Smith was 16 for 28 for 153 yards and an interception.

Kansas City missed out on the AFC West title and a first-round bye with its late-season struggles, though some of its key players had a designed week off in Sunday's 27-24 loss at San Diego. Smith was among them.

"Obviously, guys are going to be feeling pretty fresh, so that's a good thing," Smith said. "It will really help us as far as the week goes, having a great week of preparation."

Prior to the loss to the Colts, Smith had thrown seven TDs without an interception in wins at Washington and Oakland. The Chiefs went 6-1 on the road with Smith at quarterback this year, and he threw 11 TDs and one pick in those games.

He now gets another shot at a Colts defense that forced eight turnovers in the last three games while allowing nine third-down conversions in 37 chances.

The defensive efficiency hasn't been there all season, and the team now looks back at a players meeting during the second half of the season as a turning point.

"It was an important moment for us as a defensive unit, and the results are where they are now. We finished December strong," end Cory Redding told the team's official website. "It was basically just coming together, putting things out on the table as a unit. Get anything that's going to hold us back from achieving our goal out in the open and, 'Let's talk about it, let's hash it out and let's get to playing football fun and together as a unit.' That's what we did."

Kansas City's defense had a stronger start, leading the Chiefs to a 9-0 start before injuries and inconsistency settled in as the team lost five of its last seven. It allowed 12.3 points per game in its first nine and 27.7 in the last seven.

The Chiefs know the Colts offense doesn't cause itself many problems, yielding a league-low 14 turnovers. Kansas City was tied for second with 18, four of which came against Indianapolis.

"That's a challenge I think both ways - both offensively and defensively," Reid said. "(The Colts are) efficient with the ball, they don't have a lot of penalties that are called against them and they don't turn the ball over much. That's this time of the year, you've got to eliminate mistakes. Mistakes get magnified in the playoffs."

The Chiefs haven't won a playoff game since the 1993 season, with three losses during their postseason skid coming against the Colts.

Indianapolis has dropped three straight in the postseason after last season's 24-9 wild-card loss to eventual Super Bowl champion Baltimore.

 Related Links
Kansas City Chiefs
Indianapolis Colts
 Injury Reports
Kansas City Chiefs
Out: OT Eric Fisher (groin/shoulder)
Questionable: LB Tamba Hali (knee)
Full Participation in Practice: OT Branden Albert (knee); WR Dwayne Bowe (concussion); LB Justin Houston (elbow); OL Eric Kush (ankle); DB Ron Parker (finger/ankle)
Indianapolis Colts
Questionable: NT Aubrayo Franklin (knee); DE Fili Moala (knee)
Full Participation in Practice: FS Sergio Brown (groin); CB Darius Butler (quad); CB Vontae Davis (groin); WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (hamstring); DT Ricky Jean Francois (foot); OLB Robert Mathis (rest); G/C Mike McGlynn (elbow); DE Cory Redding (shoulder); CB Greg Toler (groin); OLB Bjoern Werner (ankle)
 Team Comparison
Category
KC
Ind
First Downs
323
318
3rd Down Conv.
74/213
80/213
4th Down Conv.
4/11
3/10
Total Offensive Yards
5396
5468
Avg.Yards  Per Play
5.2
5.3
Total Rushing Yards
2056
1743
Avg. Yards Per Rush
4.7
4.3
Total Passing Yards
3340
3725
Avg. Yards Per Pass
6.5
6.8
Sacks
47
42
Field Goals
22/28
35/40
Touchdowns
52
40
Time of Poss.
31:05
29:41
Turnover Rate
+18
+13
 Team Leaders
Kanas City Chiefs
Passing
Yds.
Com. %
TD
INT
Alex Smith
3313
60.6
23
8
Rushing
Att.
Yds.
Avg.
TD
Jamaal Charles
259
1287
5.0
12
Alex Smith
76
431
5.7
1
Knile Davis
70
242
3.5
4
Chase Daniel
14
52
3.7
0
Cyrus Gray
9
24
2.7
0
Receiving
Rec.
Yds.
Avg.
TD
Jamaal Charles
70
693
9.9
7
Dwayne Bowe
57
673
11.8
5
Dexter McCluster
53
511
9.6
2
Donnie Avery
40
596
14.9
2
Sean McGrath
26
302
11.6
2
Field Goals
Att.
Made
Long
Pts.
Ryan Succop
28
22
51
118
Punting
Att.
Avg.
Long
In 20
Dustin Colquitt
87
46.0
65
35
Punt Returns
Att.
Avg.
Long
FC
Dexter McCluster
58
11.8
89
11
Kickoff Returns
Att.
Yds.
Avg.
Long
Quintin Demps
33
992
30.1
95
Knile Davis
10
321
32.1
108
Defense
Solo
Ass.
Sack
Fumb.
Derrick Johnson
95
12
4.5
0
Eric Berry
66
8
3.5
1
Brandon Flowers
63
5
1.0
0
Akeem Jordan
54
14
0.0
2
Kendrick Lewis
46
10
0.0
0
Dontari Poe
43
8
4.5
0
Sean Smith
43
4
0.0
0
Marcus Cooper
41
3
0.0
1
Justin Houston
40
4
11.0
1
Tamba Hali
39
7
11.0
4
Indianapolis Colts
Passing
Yds.
Com. %
TD
INT
Andrew Luck
3822
60.2
23
9
Rushing
Att.
Yds.
Avg.
TD
Trent Richardson
157
458
2.9
3
Donald Brown
102
537
5.3
6
Andrew Luck
63
377
6.0
4
Ahmad Bradshaw
41
186
4.5
2
Vick Ballard
13
63
4.8
0
Receiving
Rec.
Yds.
Avg.
TD
T.Y. Hilton
82
1083
13.2
5
Coby Fleener
52
608
11.7
4
Reggie Wayne
38
503
13.2
2
Darrius Heyward-Bey
29
309
10.7
1
Trent Richardson
28
265
9.5
1
Field Goals
Att.
Made
Long
Pts.
Adam Vinatieri
40
35
52
139
Punting
Att.
Avg.
Long
In 20
Pat McAfee
76
46.0
65
27
Punt Returns
Att.
Avg.
Long
FC
T.Y. Hilton
17
9.4
34
12
Kickoff Returns
Att.
Yds.
Avg.
Long
David Reed
24
590
24.6
39
Defense
Solo
Ass.
Sack
Fumb.
Jerrell Freeman
83
43
5.5
6
Antoine Bethea
80
30
1.0
0
LaRon Landry
62
25
0.0
0
Darius Butler
44
10
0.0
0
Robert Mathis
43
16
19.5
8
Vontae Davis
41
5
0.0
0
Pat Angerer
37
26
0.5
0
Cassius Vaughn
27
3
0.0
1
Erik Walden
26
19
3.0
1
Cory Redding
23
14
4.5
0





                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
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