Andrew Luck picked apart a punchless Kansas City Chiefs defense as the Indianapolis Colts scored 23 unanswered points and romped their way to a 23-7 road victory at Arrowhead Stadium.
With the win, Indianapolis can potentially earn a first-round bye. The AFC South champion can earn the No. 2 seed if they win Week 17 and the Baltimore Ravens win out.
The Chiefs' faint AFC West prospects are officially dashed. It's possible they could get a playoff rematch against the Colts in Indy on Wild Card Weekend.
Here is what else we learned:
1. Offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton allowed Luck to air the ball out early. Luck attempted 37 passes, completing 26. At one point in a pivotal second quarter, Luck attempted 10 consecutive passes. The Colts' offense is much more fluid when it isn't bogged down by a soggy running game.
2. We spent the last week praising Alex Smith's new-found confidence to extend the field. Sunday he reverted to throwing field darts. Smith was highly ineffective, going 16-of-29 passing with two interceptions and a fumble. The Chiefs' offense was frustratingly so bad that boos rained down in the second half from the Arrowhead faithful.
3. The first time the Chiefs entered the red zone was almost midway through the fourth quarter. Smith promptly threw a terrible pick.
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4. When Smith tried to go deep, his offensive line gave him zero time. The Colts had four sacks and Robert Mathis knocked Smith's arm forcing one of the interceptions.
5. Donald Brown -- after missing most of last week due to injury -- once again proved he's the Colts' best playmaker in the backfield. He had a 33-yard touchdown catch on a great play design, as well as a 51-yard touchdown gallop. The TD run was the Colts' best of the season.
6. Outside of garbage time, Andrew Luck should spike the ball in protest every time Hamilton calls a run play with Trent Richardson.
7. The Chiefs' defense was once again picked apart. Missed tackles, bad penalties and busted coverage proved a sour holiday treat. Worst of all, it got next to no pass rush against a shuffled Colts offensive line that has been a sieve all season.
8. Luck is doing his best Peyton Manning impression, making borderline NFL receivers look good. Griff Whalen -- on the practice squad three weeks ago -- had seven catches for 80 yards.
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