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KANSAS CITY https://www.coltsfanshop.com/Jack-Mewhort-Jersey , Mo. — The Colts finally got their offense going against the Kansas City Chiefs late in the first half Saturday, driving deep downfield with an opportunity to bite into their deficit.Andrew Luck scrambled out of bounds with a few seconds left, and Colts coach Frank Reich sent one of the most reliable kickers in NFL history out to attempt a 23-yard chip-shot field goal.Adam Vinatieri doinked it off the left upright.Instead of taking some momentum into the locker room on a cold, snowy afternoon, the Colts trudged there facing a 24-7 deficit. They wouldn’t score on offense until Luck connected with T.Y. Hilton with 5:31 left in the game, and by that point the Chiefs were skating toward a victory.They wound up winning 31-13 to reach their first AFC title game since January 1994.“It was tough conditions out there I think for kicking,” Colts coach Frank Reich said. “I don’t know the specifics, but it was just one of those days. It was all three phases. It seemed like that was indicative of we were going to make a mistake like that in all three phases.”Meanwhile, the Chiefs ended years of postseason disappointments against Indianapolis, including two playoff losses at home. There was the game Lin Elliott missed three field goals, the infamous no-punt game, and the night five years ago that Luck rallied Indianapolis from a 38-10 second-half hole.He wasn’t able to engineer another comeback this time.Vinatieri, meanwhile, was a microcosm of a day in which little went right. Even when the Colts finally made the end zone, the veteran of 27 previous playoff games proceeded to miss the extra point.“That’s a momentum swing. Needing those points going into half, I didn’t come through for us,” he said. “The second one was just, I don’t know. I’ll go back and look at that one.”Luck, whose offensive line had kept him remarkably clean during a five-game win streak J'Marcus Webb Jersey , spent the entire game with linebackers Dee Ford and Justin Houston in his face. He was sacked three times, hit twice that many, and had what seemed like a dozen passes batted at the line of scrimmage.He finished 19 of 36 for 203 yards and a score, and left with his No. 12 jersey caked in mud.Marlon Mack fared no better on the ground as the Colts were forced to play from behind from the opening minutes. After running for a franchise playoff-record 148 yards last week against Houston, he was held to 46 yards rushing by the league’s worst run defense, and ultimately left with a hip injury with the game decided late in the fourth quarter.100<button class="view-gallery">View Gallery</button> Gallery:View from the sidelines: NFL cheerleaders 2018Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports | Raj Mehta“All of us had a fair amount of confidence coming into the game that we could do something,” Luck said. “and we didn’t. And we know this game punishes you quickly. We know how hard it is for everybody to be on the same page every play. And we weren’t, and it shows up in the final score.”The Colts’ defense, so pivotal in their rebound from a 1-5 start, had no answers for quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs’ vast array of offensive options. They allowed Kansas City to score on its first three possessions, and at one point the Colts were being outgained 185-12.The Chiefs’ Damien Williams, who at one point was the No. 3 running back in Kansas City, gouged a Colts defense that had not allowed a 100-yard rusher this season for 129 yards and a score.Tight end Travis Kelce, who feasts on cover-two defenses, made Indianapolis pay for its gaps downfield. He caught seven passes for a game-high 108 yards, several of them to convert first downs.Wide receiver Tyreek Hill, one of the fastest players in the NFL, kept running away from would-be tacklers. Hill caught eight passes for 72 yards, took a 36-yard sweep for a touchdown Jordan Wilkins Color Rush Jersey , and set the tone with his energetic pregame warmup and circus-style introduction.Even when the Colts defense did make a play, such as Darius Leonard‘s strip and recover of Sammy Watkins‘ fumble deep in Kansas City territory, their offense failed to capitalize. Luck fumbled the ball right back to foil an opportunity to close within 24-14 late in the third quarter.They wound up never getting that close the rest of the way.“We keep using this illustration of climbing the mountain, Mount Everest,” Reich said. “What we said in there was it’s hard to climb Mount Everest your first time that you go to climb it. We didn’t make it all the way to the top this year, but we made it up that mountain pretty far.” NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Entering the 2018-19 regular season the Indianapolis Colts weren’t very fond of the number 32 and the word rebuild. That’s what media and football spectators coined the Colts. A team that found itself with a huge question-mark at quarterback and several other positions. With all those concerns, Indianapolis was labeled No. 32. 32 as in the 32nd ranked team in the preseason rankings. The Colts head coach knew it wasn’t a rebuild and he knew he had a group of guys that is better than the No. 32 label. Fast forward 17 weeks, Reich was right. “I never thought it was a rebuild,” Reich said to reporters after the Week 17 win over the Tennessee Titans. “Chris (Ballard) and I would talk, he had the perspective at the end that we talked about building. We talked about building. We talked about where we were at, and goals that we had. I took myself out of that equation from the beginning. I just wanted to say one thing up front that I’ve got one thing on my mind, and that’s to win this year, and that’s what our expectation is.”The expectation came to fruition when the Colts earned their 10th win of the season, knocking the Titans out of the playoffs with a 33-17 win. That victory capped off a 2018 regular season in which Indianapolis won nine of its last 10 games. That doesn’t happen over night, and the 32nd ranked team in the league wouldn’t be able to achieve such a feat. The Colts did, and they were motivated. “We have the players to do it,” Reich said. “We don’t want to hear everything about what everybody said about the roster. We were ranked 32nd in all preseason polls. We talked about that, and then we were ranked 32nd after the draft with that draft we had. I like where we’re at.” Whenever Luck is 100 percent healthy https://www.coltsfanshop.com/Henry-Anderson-Jersey , the Colts have a chance to win each game. With Luck finding his old self again, the Colts needed other roster members to step-up to relieve some pressure off the franchise quarterback.Chris Ballard did that, finding players such Quenton Nelson, Eric Ebron, Dontrelle Inman, Mark Glowinski, Nyheim Hines, Tyquan Lewis, Braden Smith, Malik Hooker, and so forth. Ballard’s campaign started off on a bumpy road, as the Colts won just five games in 22 attempts. That had the Indianapolis fan base concerned about their new general manager. Those yells and whispers are forgotten as Ballard’s roster build has the Colts primed for a playoff run outside of this season. “I can’t say enough about Chris (Ballard) and everything he’s done to make this happen,” Reich said. “The emphasis on character, the draft that we had, the leadership that we’re getting from the guys in the draft – not just great players, but strong players. Obviously, Chris (Ballard) is at the forefront of that.”Even at 1-5, the Colts knew they had a chance for something special. With close losses to the Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles Joe Haeg Jersey , and Houston Texans, the guys in the locker room stuck together like glue.The glue never wore off, which made the win over the Titans in Week 17 that much more special.“We’re excited,” Luck said. “I’m so proud of the guys on this team. I sincerely love being on this team. I really enjoy those guys in the locker room, the coaches, the help, everybody. It’s a great group of guys. You can’t do it without a strong locker room. You can’t. It’s what this league’s about. Coach put a great group together. Frank (Reich) leading the charge, awesome. We’ve been in playoff mode for a long time now, we really have and honestly, I think that helps. It helps us when we are in a so called ‘win and in’ situation. Things don’t change this weekend now; it’s the same. Excited, very happy, certainly proud to be a Colt.” The Colts became the second team in the history of the National Football League to clinch a playoff berth despite starting 1-5. Don’t tell Luck that this group isn’t special. “I’ll be honest when you’re in the weeds of it and you’re in it, it’s hard to sort of step back and appreciate it. I know for my personality, at least it is. Frank (Reich) mentioned something about maybe being the second team in NFL history to do what we’ve done and that’s great. That’s awesome. We’re just excited to have another opportunity to go play again. I guess to answer your question, it’s a little hard to step back and look at it from that perspective now.” Next up, Houston.

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