October 9 2011: Kansas City Chiefs 28 – Indianapolis Colts 24
Todd Haley’s Chiefs travelled to the Lucas Oil stadium, looking to build on the momentum of the previous week’s narrow home win over the Minnesota Vikings.
The Colts were having a poor start to their season – with quarterback Peyton Manning out injured, they were relying on back-up Curtis Painter to manage the team’s offence. But Painter looked like a genuine first-string QB early in this game, as the hosts raced into a lead.
The opening drive saw the Colts grind relentlessly down field, taking 13 plays and over 7 minutes to move 80 yards, rounded off by a short pass from Painter to Pierre Garcon to open the scoring. After a Chiefs punt, another drive put Adam Vinatieri in range for a field goal to stretch the lead. And then, the Colts very next drive consisted of a single play – as Painter connected with Garcon once again, with a deep ball for a 67 yard touchdown. 17-0 to the Colts, with under twenty minutes played!
The Chiefs finally began to fight back on their next possession. Switching running back duties from Tomas Jones to Jackie Battle allowed them to drive into Colts territory, and then quarterback Matt Cassel found Dwayne Bowe with a short pass, which the wideout managed to take 40 yards to get KC on the board. The relief was short-lived though – the Colts’ next drive saw them march downfield. A long Colts passing play was stopped just short of the goal line, but it was only a couple more plays until rookie RB Delone Carter crossed it to pad the home team’s lead.
With only a minute left in the first half, Cassel managed to move the chain with a few quick passing plays. A Jackie Battle rush brought us to the red zone, and with the last play of the half, a pass found Steve Breaston, who took it home to make the score a more respectable 24-14 at the half.
In the first half, Painter had posted a 150 quarterback rating, as the Colts built a healthy lead. But in the second, the Chiefs defence would begin to thwart the home team – limiting them to only 64 offensive yards after the break, and building a platform for the offensive side of the ball to build a fight-back.
After holding the Colts to a quick 3-and-out, KC had the ball close to their own goal line after a long Pat McAfee punt. But the ground game – again led by Battle – slowly moved towards the Indianapolis line, until Cassel found a space to find Dwayne Bowe from short range for his second score of the game.
The Colts still held the lead, but couldn’t make anything from either of their next two possessions. They were made to pay for this, when Matt Cassel led the team downfield one more time, and rounded off the drive with an 11 yard touchdown pass to Steve Breaston, who, like Bowe, grabbed his second score of the day.
Breaston had caught the eye when he posted a massive 315 all-purpose yards, and a touchdown, in an exciting Rose Bowl game on New Year’s Day of 2005. Drafted by the Arizona Cardinals, he had moved to KC earlier in 2011. Although he played in all 16 games, and posted 785 receiving yards, the two touchdowns in this game were his only ever scores as a Chief.
The Chiefs now had their first lead of the game with only 5 minutes on the clock. Three incompletions in a row by Painter gave the ball back to KC. After another couple of rushes for first down by Battle, Matt Cassel was then able to line up the victory formation, and kneeled to run down the clock.
Elsewhere in the NFL at the time:
In a game between two of our divisional rivals, both quarterbacks rushed for touchdowns in an entertaining game. Philip Rivers scored early for the San Diego Chargers, but Tim Tebow’s 12 yard rushing score in the fourth quarter ensured a close finish. In the end, it was the boot of Nick Novak which made the difference – 5 from 5 in field goal attempts saw the Chargers win 29-24.
Elsewhere in the world:
A string of British small-screen celebrities died this month. Actress Betty Driver appeared in Coronation Street for over 40 years; George Baker played Inspector Wexford for over a decade, among many other roles; and Jimmy Savile had a 40 year career in television and radio after having been a professional wrestler as a young man.