This Sunday’s match-up will be the fourth straight meeting between these two teams in Kansas City, but surprisingly, Indianapolis has won all four of those contests. In fact, the Colts have won the last seven games, including two playoff contests. Overall, the Colts have won ten of the sixteen meetings between these two clubs and six of the eight meetings at Arrowhead.
The last time the Chiefs defeated the Colts was way back in November of 1985, when Todd Blackledge was quarterback, Back to the Future was just released in theaters, and the Kansas City Royals were World Series Champions.
Been a long time huh? But anyway, with this weeks meeting I thought it would be fun (and painful) to take a look back at couple of the key games in this rivalry.
2003 AFC Divisional Playoff Game
Colts 38, Chiefs 31
January 11, 2004 – Arrowhead Stadium
The NFL’s top two scoring offenses battled in an offensive shootout in which Indianapolis prevailed by a 38-31 margin. RB Priest Holmes finished the game with a Chiefs single-game postseason record 176 rushing yards and tied a club playoff record with two rushing touchdowns, but it wasn’t enough. Colts QB Peyton Manning was just as good, throwing for 304 yards and three scores and posting an impeccable 138.8 rating.
In a game that featured no punts, just one turnover and only five total penalties, Manning’s nearly-perfect performance kept the Colts one step ahead of Kansas City all afternoon. Manning opened the game with a 29-yard touchdown pass to WR Brandon Stokley on the Colts first possession. Kansas City quickly answered with a 22-yard field goal by Morten Andersen when Holmes was stopped on third-and-goal from the three. Manning and company kept the pressure on an 11-yard touchdown run from Edgerrin James for a 14-3 lead.
The Chiefs responded again as Green found WR Dante Hall on a nine-yard touchdown, cutting the deficit to 14-10. However, the Colts put together another impressive drive, as Manning again capped it with a two-yard touchdown pass to FB Tom Lopienski for a 21-10 lead.
That’s when things really went bad for the Chiefs as they failed to score on their final first half possession thanks to a 31-yard touchdown that was called back on an offensive pass interference call on TE Tony Gonzalez and a missed 31-yard field goal.
Holmes ripped off a 48-yard run on the second play of the third quarter, but he had the ball ripped loose by CB David Macklin who recovered the fumble at the Colts 22-yard line. Indianapolis would cash the turnover in with a 45-yard field goal from Mike Vanderjagt for a 24-10 lead.
Holmes would exact revenge on the Chiefs next drive as he accounted for 44 yards rushing and a one-yard touchdown dive. After a Manning-to-Reggie Wayne touchdown pass boosted the Colts margin to 31-17 late in the third quarter, Dante Hall responded by returning the ensuing kickoff 92 yards for his second touchdown of the game.
Indianapolis would answer with a one-yard touchdown from James, building an insurmountable 38-24 lead. The Chiefs made it interesting though as Holmes scored on a one-yard touchdown run with 4:22 remaining to make the score 38-31. But Kansas City’s defense couldn’t get the ball back until just 0:08 remained on the clock, leaving the Chiefs out of time for a comeback.
1995 AFC Divisional Playoff Game
Colts 10, Chiefs 7
January 7, 1996 – Arrowhead Stadium
Frigid conditions, four turnovers and three missed field goals contributed to one of the most shocking upsets in Chiefs history as Kansas City (13-3) suffered a 10-7 loss to Indianapolis (9-7) at Arrowhead.
A game-time temperature of 11 degrees and a wind chill of -9 seemingly did little to faze the dome-dwelling Colts. Indianapolis didn’t lost any of their four fumbles and despite missing two field goals, they still made one when it counted as Kansas City squandered a solid effort from their league leading scoring defense and 94 rushing yards from Marcus Allen.
The Chiefs got off to a promising start, putting together a five-play, 62-yard touchdown drive on their third possession of the game. That march culminated with a 20-yard scoring pass from QB Steve Bono to WR Lake Dawson to give the Chiefs their only score of the day and a 7-0 lead.
Colts QB Jim Harbaugh then made perhaps the biggest play of the game on Indianapolis’ next possession. Facing third-and-11 at his own 22-yard line, Harbaugh scrambled for an 18-yard gain. The Colts would convert six times on either third or fourth down on the drive, including a five-yard touchdown reception by WR Floyd Turner on third down which capped an 18-play, 77-yard drive that ate 8:40 off the clock and tied the score at 7-7.
Then both teams missed scoring opportunities. Indianapolis kicker Cary Blanchard was short on a 47-yard field goal following a Chiefs fumble. Chiefs kicker Lin Elliott had a shot to put his team ahead with 0:12 left in the first half, but he was wide right from 35-yards out and the game remained tied at halftime.
In the third quarter, the Chiefs forced their only turnover of the game when CB Mark Collins picked off Harbaugh. But just two plays later, Bono was intercepted by CB Ashley Ambrose, setting up a 30-yard field goal that put the Colts ahead 10-7 with 2:48 left in the third quarter.
The Chiefs defense kept it close in the final fifteen minutes, but it was not enough. Elliott was wide right on a 39-yard field goal to open the fourth quarter and Bono was picked off by LB Quentin Coryatt on the Chiefs next possession. KC still appeared to have a shot when Blanchard’s 49-yard field goal fell short with 5:44 left in the game, but three plays later Bono was picked off by CB Eugene Daniel. However, the Chiefs defense held once again, setting the stage for one final drive with 4:12 remaining.
QB Rich Gannon came on in relief of Bono and took over at the Chiefs 18-yard line. He methodically moved the Chiefs downfield, converting three third downs, including a 14-yard scramble that put Kansas City on the Colts 25-yard line with 56 seconds left. Gannon narrowly missed WR Lake Dawson in the end zone on third down, setting up a final field goal attempt by Elliott from 42 yards out. But the kick sailed wide left as Indianapolis claimed a 10-7 victory and advanced to the AFC Championship Game.