Colts Beat Chiefs In Defensive Struggle 19-9

From Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis

We found out on Sunday that while the Chiefs are certainly an improved football team from the one that wore the red and gold a year ago, they remain not ready for prime-time players.

A lack of offensive execution was the evidence in the Chiefs 19-9 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. The defense and kicking game were not perfect, but they all did important things that allowed Todd Haley’s team to stay in the game against a superior foe.

It was the offense that held back the Chiefs and showed they are not yet ready for contender status.

“There were some things we had to do to have a chance to be in this game against a team like the Colts, unfortunately we didn’t execute in all of those areas,” Haley said. “Our defense, when you hold this team to under 20 points, you should have a chance to be in the game until the end.

“Overall, we need to execute in a couple areas better.”  

Since and including the 2005 season, the Colts have a 74-21 record in regular and post-season games. That’s a .779 winning percentage. In that time span, when they’ve been held under 20 points, they have a record of 14-12, a .539 winning percentage. The defense provided the Chiefs with an opportunity that normally does not come when playing Indianapolis.

But the offense could not get the job done. They were held without a touchdown, as the only points on the board came off the foot of K Ryan Succop with field goals of 45, 35 and 43 yards. In the second half they were unable to sustain any possessions as they had six possessions in the third and fourth quarters that lasted just 12 minutes and had three different times when they went three plays and out.

They finished with 261 offensive yards. They had been averaging 322 yards per game in the season’s first three performances.

“I thought our defense did a great job,” said QB Matt Cassel. “On offense we had a number of opportunities and we weren’t able to capitalize on all of them.”

That was especially true in the passing game, where the Chiefs had just 148 net yards throwing the ball. That means on the season, they are averaging just 158 passing yards per game, one of the worst passing games in the league. On Sunday, they had a touchdown through the air, but WR Dwayne Bowe dropped a very catchable ball.

“We came into this game and we wanted to run the ball and be physical,” said Cassel. “We held true to that game plan throughout the entire game.”

The Chiefs ran for 113 yards on 27 carries, as Jamaal Charles finished with 87 yards on 16 carries. Thomas Jones was very ineffective, with 19 yards on eight carries.

“We definitely had opportunities; what stopped us was us,” said LG Brian Waters. “There were some plays to be made, we were right there. We just didn’t make the playoffs. It wasn’t anything schematically that they did. It wasn’t anything outside the players in this locker room not getting done what we needed to get done.”

That the Chiefs went to the locker room at half-time down by just three points was due only to their defense. Coordinator Romeo Crennel’s unit allowed a lot of plays and a lot of yards, but they kept Manning and the Colts out of the end zone and did it in classic bend-but-don’t-break manner.

Haley decided to gamble immediately by having Succop attempt an onside kick on the opening play. But Succop’s dribbler did not go the required 10 yards and when Javier Arenas picked the ball up, it gave the Colts possession at the Chiefs 37-yard line to start the game.

Manning quickly got the Colts into scoring range, with 1st-and-goal from the KC three-yard line. RB Joseph Addai, who was the workhorse of this first possession, went right and got two yards, with OLB Tamba Hali and ILB Jovan Belcher bringing him down. On second down, ILB Derrick Johnson made a very nice play, shooting the gap and bringing Addai down for a one-yard loss.

On 3rd-and-goal from the two-yard line, Manning’s pass in the end zone for WR Reggie Wayne was knocked away at the last instant by CB Brandon Carr. That brought K Adam Vinatieri on the field and he hit a 20-yard field goal to give Indianapolis a 3-0 lead.

On the Chiefs first offensive possession, they drove all the way to the Colts eight-yard line, where they faced a 4th-and-two play. It would have been a 26-yard field goal for Succop. But even after calling a timeout, Haley decided to go for not the first down, but a touchdown. Cassel’s throw to Bowe in the end zone was knocked down by LB Gary Brackett. But Bowe wasn’t open any way, as he had double coverage on him. So the Chiefs held the ball for eight minutes – perfect when going against Manning – and they came away with nothing.

Indianapolis took over at their eight-yard line and Manning moved them down the field in 16 plays. But again, the Chiefs defense bent but did not break. The Colts were 1st-and-goal at the K.C. seven-yard line. Addai gained two on the left side, but then lost one on the next play as Johnson again shot the gap and brought him down. On third down, Manning’s throw to WR Pierre Garcon in the end zone was too high.

Vinatieri hit a 24-yard FG to put Indianapolis up 6-0.

The Colts defense gave their offense another chance to score, when S Antoine Bethea smacked Charles, forcing a fumble that was recovered by DE Keyunta Dawson. Manning had the ball at the Colts 34-yard line with one minute to play. They picked up 27 yards on three plays, but eventually they faced a 4th-and-two and went for the first down. But Addai was stopped by S Jon McGraw and the Chiefs took possession at their 39-yard line with 18 seconds to play.

Cassel hit WR Chris Chambers for 13 yards. They picked up another 15 yards when Indy CB Kelvin Hayden was flagged for hitting Chambers out of bounds. Cassel to Moeaki produced six yards and got the ball to the Colts 27-yard line. Succop came on and hit a 45-yard field goal.

That gave Indianapolis a 6-3 lead as the teams went to the locker room for half-time. The only reason it was that close was what the Chiefs defense was able to do. Although they gave up 167 yards, when it counted they were very stingy. Inside the 20-yard line, the Colts had eight offensive plays in the first half and gained yardage on only four of those plays for 23 yards.

The Chiefs got first crack at the ball in the second half, but went three plays and out. P Dustin Colquitt got off a huge punt with hang time, going 60 yards and Indianapolis started at their 20-yard line. Manning kept the ball for nearly 6:30 of the third quarter clock, but again could not dent the end zone and Vinatieri hit a 47-yard field goal giving the Colts a 9-3 lead.

In just over five minutes, the Chiefs tied the score. First, Cassel led the team on an eight-play, 55-yard drive that couldn’t produce much in the scoring zone (no yards on three plays). Succop came in and hit a 35-yard field goal that made it 9-6.

The Chiefs defense evened the turnover scoreboard, as McGraw stepped in front of a Manning pass intended for Garcon and the K.C. offense took possession at the Indy 30-yard line. Three snaps later, they were still at the 30, and Succop came in and was good for a 43-yard field goal that tied the score at 9-9 with 3:26 to play in the third quarter.

Early in the fourth quarter, Vinatieri added his fourth field goal of the day, hitting from 42 yards away and the Colts held a 12-9 lead. From there, it was a punting battle between the teams until Indy’s offense took over at their 29-yard line with 9:35 to play.

Manning methodically led the Colts offense down the field, producing only two plays of more than 10 yards. He picked and picked at the edges of the Chiefs defense and then had a couple successful runs by RB Mike Hart who was in to replace an injured Addai. It was Hart that got the ball in the end zone, scoring on an 11-yard run. With Vinatieri’s PAT kick it set the score at 19-9 with 4:02 to play in the game.

The Chiefs had one more chance but could not maintain possession and Succop tried a 51-yard field goal that was wide right.

In the end, it was not enough offense that moved the Chiefs record to 3-1 on the season.

“We fought hard and we made some plays, and we stayed in the game,” said Cassel. “We just didn’t make enough plays.”

28 Responses to “Colts Beat Chiefs In Defensive Struggle 19-9”

  • October 10, 2010  - Josh says:

    Between Cassel’s horrible performance and Haley’s bone-head decisions, the Chiefs didn’t have a prayer. Kudos to a phenomenal defensive performance, however. Bob, that beer in December looks like a given. Oh, and let me pre-empt you before you mention D.Bowe. He shouldn’t have a number on his jersey above 00. If we have a positive year (9-7 or above) it will be because our defense stays healthy.

  • October 10, 2010  - Michael O says:

    Great defense effort. Need to bring in a QB to push Cassel, a WR that can catch the ball. And stop with the on side kicks.

  • October 10, 2010  - Michael O says:

    I mean come on. We give up 3 because of the on side kick, didn’t get 3 on a 4th and goal. Then Bowe drops a TD pass. 13 points we could have used.

  • October 10, 2010  - Aloha Ray says:

    I liked Coach Haley’s calls, but Bowe’s drop was a killer. I guess an honest assessment of Cassel is diffcult with the dropped balls, but isn’t that what we say every week? We could have won this game!

  • October 10, 2010  - Kiowa says:

    Bowe killed us with the drop and Cassel stunk besides those two consecutive drops by Bowe. Time to let Croyle take some snaps! Cassel looks scared and completely indecisive when he is in the pocket and there is any kind of rush. AS for Haley, total bad call on missing out on the 1st field goal that he should have taken to make it 3-3 early in the game. Show some faith in how good the D is playing. If the offense could of stayed on the field longer, the D would not have faded at the end.

    Time to change the QB and find some receivers. Our TE, and sometimes Dexter, is the only one with hands to catch the crap passes from Cassel.

    Houston is starting to look suspect so we need to dust off and get ready to stop another supposed good offense.

  • October 10, 2010  - Edward says:

    Its amazing to me how fans still blame Cassel for the lack of play makers at wide receivers. Blame him for what. Oh its his fault Bowe couldn’t hang on to the touchdown late in the game that would’ve changed the dynamics of the game. Oh its his fault the next play Bowe dropped it again. Oh its Cassel fault on 3rd down Charles drops a ball that if he had caught the ball it would’ve possibly led to a first down. Now explain to me this all the Cassel bashers that can’t seem to do nothing but blame the QB instead of calling it like you see it. Has is changing the QB going to stop that.

  • October 10, 2010  - Roger says:

    Could have, would have, should have. If Bowe catches the pass in the end zone and Haley elects the field goal instead the fourth and goal attempt – 10 points and tie ball game. Could we have pulled it out from there? Maybe.

  • October 10, 2010  - el cid says:

    Cannot believe I am saying it but Bowe, ole hand and brain of stone, was not the problem, never expected him to produce anyway. On side kick is not what you do if you think you have a chance of winning in the first place. Likewise going for it insted of a FG attempt is NOT what good teams do. These are last grasps when you figure you will lose if you cannot steal something.

    I suggest it is time to consider Brodie, at least until he breaks. Cassel would be adequate with a decent offense around him. Mr Pioli may have fallen in love with Matt but forgot to get him any WRs. When Copper, a wild man on special teams, is playing WR, you got problems.

    Bit of hate, Weis, you said you were going to fix the QB, when do you plan on starting and how will you fix it with Bowe and Chambers being your starters?? Did not much like Moeaki but where would we be without his play the season? Still 3-1 is a wonderful first qtr.

  • October 10, 2010  - Aloha Ray says:

    I have to agree with Kiowa on his comments about Cassel’s demeanor. I think Cassel underestimates how his expressions and behaivor can affect the rest of the offense. I can’t see inside his head, so I don’t know if he really is intimidated or indecisive, but he sure is telegraphing thase emotions to the rest of his teammates — and to the opposing team. In the military we call it bearing. He may feel like limp pasta inside, but he must project steely confidence to those around him. Instead he leaves you with the impression that he’s feeling a mix of confusion and timidity.

  • October 10, 2010  - Nate says:

    We have a good football team—–except for Matt Sandcassel and Dwane Chokebowe. Get off Haley’s back about the onside kick. If it had worked everyone would be talking about how brilliant it was. I would remind you that Sean Peyton did the same thing at the beginning of the second half of the Super Bowl. It worked and kept Manning stewing on the bench and was the turning point in the Saints Super bowl victory. The colts only got 3 points on their 1st possession and is certainly not the reason the Chiefs lost. If you want to criticize someone try Succop. The kick was horrible and he only had 2 weeks to prepare for it.

  • October 10, 2010  - Nate says:

    I do agree that Cassel looks and acts as timid as a mouse. I would be more tolerant of him if he had some spark of leadership on the field. He has none. If that is his Tom Brady imitation it fails badly.

  • October 10, 2010  - Craig says:

    I agree to much of what has been said. I’m not sure Bowe had difficulty catching the ball until Cassel arrived. It would be a good stat to check out. Some QB throw a more catchable ball than others. I dont see Cassel winning us any games. Maybe not losing the game?

    Croyle can make the throws that Cassel cant, if the line doesnt get him broken. Kinda reminds me of the playoff game when Marty started Grbac over Gannon and we lost soley because they had so much money in Grbac. Maybe Charley can fix the QB, i dont think so. I think we will be lucky to win 6-8 games, teams will stack the line and dare Cassel to beat them.

    OK ill state the obvious. we got out head coached today, Poor choices by Mr. Haley.

  • October 10, 2010  - Edward says:

    Seriously we’re blaming Cassel with receivers like this. As for his demeanor what are you guys shrinks? LOL Seriously Manning was pissed the whole game it didn’t stop them from scoring. That has nothing to do with nothing and that’s making excuses for guys who deserve the real blame around here.

    Let me ask Bob and any other media or fan this question. How much better does anyone think Kyle Orton is compared to Matt Cassel? Not much. But you know who is leading the league in passing? Kyle Orton. You know why because he has receivers who get open, catches the football, and get yards after the catch. El cid makes great points about the same thing i’m saying about the receivers. How is changing QB going to change the fact that right now a rookie tight end is outperforming two veteran receivers. With one being Bowe who needs to step up. He must don’t realize this is a make or break it yr for him. Seriously people how can you bash Cassel he can’t throw the ball, get separation from the DB, and catch it to. His job is to deliver the football as accurately as possible its the receivers job to catch it bottom line.

    We lack playmakers at receiver position and until someone steps up not name Moeaki our passing offense is going to continue to struggle.

  • October 10, 2010  - Scotty says:

    A couple things that I took note of. Where’s Arenas on Kickoff returns? I can see putting Dex in here and there but he can’t break tackles Arenas. After watching Dex not produce after the 1st 2 returns they should have went back to Arenas.

    The offense looked tired and sluggish on that last drive. There looked like there was no urgency what so ever.

    TV crew kept panning over to Cassel before that last drive and he was standing there moping. Shouldn’t he be rallying up the troops and getting them motivated?

    It’s just one game, Im not too worried…

  • October 10, 2010  - Tim says:

    Cassel wasn’t the reason we lost this game to a better team. There were many reasons. Bowe dropping a touchdown was THE critical play froma potential momentum perspective. Too many drops by guys that cause people to focus on Cassel. Cassel did on some plays have more time than he thought & could’ve had a TD on the first drive had he not tried to get it to a double or triple covered guy on the slant. Moeaki was breaking open behind him in the corner. Our biggest offensive problem is our WRs.

  • October 10, 2010  - Edward says:

    Tim I love you man a guy that watch the game and see it for what it is I’m rewatching the game right now just to see if I miss something with all this Cassel bashing. Cassel made normal mistakes a starting Qb makes nothing that cost us the game. Too many drop though. The only critical mistake I seen Cassel made was like you said on that first drive on 4th down he forced it to Bowe. Might could’ve had Moeaki in the corner couldn’t tell. But he missed Castille wide open for the first down. That was the only real critical mistake I can blame Cassel for. Until these receivers step up and start to outplay Moeaki our passing game is going to suffer.

  • October 10, 2010  - Michael says:

    Everyone should just chill out. The Chiefs were not going to win 16 games this season. Overall, the team looked pretty good against a very good team playing at home. The Chiefs are going to win quite a few more games this season.

  • October 10, 2010  - Chiefs Can’t Get Over The Colts, 19-9 | Chiefs Football at says:

    [...] Game story – Chiefs lose defensive struggle. [...]

  • October 10, 2010  - el cid says:

    On the forced pass to Bowe, had Cassel waited one or two beats the FB was coming open moving left with no one around him, insted tried to force into triple coverage.

    I still say we need to consider Croyle for no other reason than Cassel has not YET developed with Weis tutorage. Might as well get Croyle killed with Cassel learns what ever Weis is trying to teach him.

    It is sort of amazing that the Chiefs have a running attack since they have no passing game other than Moeaki. Do not really care the record or wins, the receiver corps of the Chiefs is below sub par. Before this became a pay site, I remember so many slobbering over Bowe, guess they did not pay. And what happened to Chambers, they gave him a new contract to stay with the team, why? I guess it comes down to the fact that for all the good/excellent moves of the management there have been a number of bone-headed one to slow us down. This game was winable, just did not do it.

  • October 11, 2010  - Todd says:

    I’m going to agree with Ed and Tim. Cassel isn’t the problem, nearly as much as the WR’s. I counted 3 critical drops in one drive by Bowe. When he catches balls, he’s great. But he drops far too many catchable balls. He cost us a minimum of 7 points in the 3rd quarter alone.

    All in all, I was happy with the Chiefs performance. The defense was great until the very last Colts drive. Special teams too. Our offense looked great in the running game. Don’t blame the passing game on Cassel. The announcers talked up the Chiefs far more than I’m seeing here. That’s disturbing to me.

    Chiefs will bounce back. I think they can beat Houston next week. I never expected them to beat the Colts.

  • October 11, 2010  - Michael O says:

    Time to start looking for more talent on the bottom of the roster and practice squad.

  • October 11, 2010  - RW says:

    I was mystyfied as to the lack of urgency from about the 3 minute mark toward the end of the game. The offense was going about its business as if under normal game conditions and not being down by 10 points. That was a poser and still is.

    RAK and the Chief’s D deserve a big high five! If the Chiefs can get the offense sorted out to the point of even mediocre consistency, this will be a dangerous team.

  • October 11, 2010  - Brad says:

    I’m not sure you could ever say the Colts out-coached anyone. The coaches seem to just stand there while Manning makes all the decisions (at least offense-wise).

    The onside kick to start the game was a good idea. Indy would’ve moved the ball up the field anyway (they did it all game). The decision to not take the field goal at the start of the game was just stupid. In that decision Haley showed his team he didn’t think they could win.

    I also wondered why Arenas wasn’t returning kicks. But the reason is probably because he was on the field for almost every defensive snap. I recall Haley saying that was the reason Dexter was returing the punt he got the TD on.

  • October 11, 2010  - Brad says:

    And I’ve always liked Croyle (he’s just a little fragile). It would be nice to see him play more. Unfortunately I don’t know that the team would gain anything in benching Cassel for the quarter it would take to break Croyle. In the end, it might actually be worse for Cassel and the Chiefs.

  • October 11, 2010  - Ernie says:

    Be sure to thank your local Raider fan today…

  • October 11, 2010  - dan in joplin says:

    One thing to keep in mind on the 4th down decision, you usually need touchdowns to beat Peyton, not field goals! Plus it was early in the game!

  • October 11, 2010  - Carl says:

    Sure, Cassel’s stats would be better if his primary receivers would get open more often and not drop passes. However, the fact remains he does not look confident out there and too often makes bad decisions and throws poor passes – including throwing into coverage when he has secondary receivers open for first downs. Both Cassel and his primary receivers are at fault and need to improve or the offense will continue to stall. It must be very frustrating for Weiss who would be able to call a better game if he had more to work with.

  • October 11, 2010  - Edward says:

    I agree Weis play calling hasn’t been stellar. But seriously what frustrates me about some fans on one in they admit receivers are underperforming but still you’re blaming QB because receivers aren’t catchning the ball or getting separation down the field. So its apparent to me fans don’t know when to blame Cassel. Let me help you all understand when its on the QB and when its on the receiver. If Cassel was taking alot of sacks and holding on to the ball too long instead of getting rid of football them blame the QB. If Cassel was constantly throwing in double coverage a missing guys open down the field blame the QB. If Cassel consistently over and under throwing receiver alah Jamarcus Russel blame Matt Cassel. Finally if Cassel got Jay Cutler virus and just start throwing picks in the red zone then blame the QB.

    Now lets evaluate what’s going on with the Chiefs. Cassel isn’t turning the ball over in the red zone. He isn’t taking alot of sacks this season. He’s majority of the time making the best reads. So what’s the real problem no play makers. I tell any football fan this. Go check Kyle Orton numbers in Denver ask him what having a good receiving core can do for a QB numbers. Right now Orton is leading league in passing and do anyone on here think he’s a top 5 QB no. But he’s doing it because he has playmakers. Until Bowe and Chambers start to outplay Moeaki this is going to be an ongoing problem this season.

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