by Amy Lignor
The AFC wild card game that will literally go down in history as the most momentous, thrilling comeback ride of all time, was played this weekend – and people will be talking about this one far into the off-season.
Whereas the NFC games were gritty and, downright cold, when you think about the Niners versus the Packers; this AFC game was like watching the maestro of an orchestra give the best performance of all time.
Second-half comeback doesn’t even do justice to the Indianapolis Colts, who shocked fans in the stadium, people at home, and most certainly the Kansas City Chiefs when they moved ahead 45 to 44 after a 28-point deficit.
Peyton Manning was the end-all-and-be-all QB for the Colts before becoming the ‘god’ in Denver. But even though the Manning name and legend will be beloved by Indianapolis for all time, Andrew Luck has now become THE ‘god’ that no one ever thought he could be.
Luck raised his arms on the field and the world literally screamed. Although the last TD thrown might have looked like an easy one on screen, that was literally the toughest game Luck has ever played. Apparently, according to Luck, he was mad at himself. He felt like he was letting his team down. Well…he couldn’t have done better for them than 29-of-45 for 443 yards and four touchdowns. His buddy, Hilton, who he threw so easily to on the last play, racked up 13 catches for 224 yards and two touchdowns. In other words he, too, had a darn fine day.
And Coach Pagano, who fought leukemia, stood with a look of pride on his face that was so intense it completely matched the look of total confusion happening on the other side of the field.
What could be better for Indianapolis in their first home playoff game since the awesome Manning said goodbye, than to have their team work their behinds off to give them the win of a lifetime.
Alex Smith, the Chiefs QB, looked completely befuddled. And to add insult to injury the team that shunted him last year, the Niners (who decided to go with a rookie and let Smith go on his merry way), are now heading into the divisional playoffs behind that rookie (again) and Smith is heading home (again).
The statistics are this: Only two teams have ever come back from being down 28 points to win. And one was the Niners against the Saints who may, (if Seattle and Carolina have bad days next week), just meet each other for the NFC Championship.
Watching the Colts edge forward and forward and forward a little bit at a time, was awe-inspiring. The fourth-quarter began with the Colts only lacking ten points to get even with the Chiefs, and the combination of determination and sheer Luck had them moving down the field for 90 yards and a TD on their very first drive. And then, just a tad bit later, the Chiefs said goodbye to the season.
The Colts versus the Patriots is going to be a truly thrilling game next weekend. Fans everywhere are already wishing the week was over so that they can sit in their chairs, tell everyone in the house to be quiet, and hang on every play.
And, you never know…The Brady versus Manning shoot-out that everyone has called to be the AFC Championship Game, may just be ruined with a little Luck.
Until Next Time, Everybody,
Photo source: Chiefs site