Colts, Saints produce stunning playoff wins
January 6, 2014, 12:07 am TWN
INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis pulled off the second-biggest comeback in NFL playoff history to stun Kansas City, while New Orleans beat Philadelphia on the last play of the game as Saturday's wild-card games provided a thrilling opening to the postseason.
Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck threw four second-half touchdown passes and scored on a fumble recovery, leading the Colts back from a 28-point deficit to an historic 45-44 victory over the Chiefs.
It's the second-biggest comeback in playoff history, according to STATS. Buffalo trailed by 32 before beating Houston 41-38 in overtime in January 1993.
The Chiefs took a 38-10 lead early in the third quarter, but all they could muster after that was two field goals, while the Colts made their comeback.
Luck completed 29 of 45 passes for 443 yards, the second-highest total in franchise history for a playoff game, with four TDs against three interceptions. He also picked up a fumble and ran it in for a 5-yard score.
The go-ahead touchdown came with 4:22 left as Luck threw a 64-yarder to a wide-open T.Y. Hilton. Hilton broke a franchise playoff record with 13 receptions and 224 yards, finishing with two touchdowns.
Kansas City (11-6) finished its turnaround season with three straight losses, two to the Colts and an eighth-straight postseason defeat — none more stunning than this one. The eight straight losses is a record, taking sole possession of that unwanted record after having shared it with Detroit.
Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith was 30 of 46 for 378 yards with four TDs and no interceptions on a day he lost his top two running backs, Jamaal Charles and Knile Davis, and starting receiver Donnie Avery to injuries.
Meanwhile in Philadelphia, Shayne Graham — who was signed by New Orleans just over two weeks ago — kicked a 32-yard field goal on the final play to give the Saints a 26-24 win over the Eagles.
Graham's third field goal gave the Saints their first road playoff victory and set up a divisional playoff at Seattle next weekend. New Orleans had been 0-5 in away games during the playoffs since entering the league in 1967.
New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees threw for a touchdown, Mark Ingram rushed for 97 yards and another score, and the Saints' defense slowed Philadelphia's up-tempo offense just enough.
The Eagles wound up 10-7 in Chip Kelly's first year as coach. He guided them from worst to first in the NFC East, but they were only 4-5 at home.
It was a tough defeat to take for the Eagles, who had some back from a 13-point deficit to take a one-point lead when Nick Foles hit rookie Zach Ertz for a 3-yard touchdown with 4:54 remaining.
But New Orleans' Darren Sproles had a 39-yard kickoff return and a penalty for a horse-collar tackle brought the Saints to the Philadelphia 48-yard line. Using mostly runs, the Saints then used up time and set up Graham's winner.