Adam Vinatieri's two misses typify tough day for Colts

Adam Vinatieri built a strong piece of his legacy on his ability to kick in the snow.

The shot of him clearing space to attempt a game-winning field goal in Foxborough in January 2002 immediately comes to mind. But with less snow on the ground Saturday, 17 years after his kick sent New England to the AFC Championship Game, Vinatieri couldn't find his footing.

Vinatieri's first miss on the final play of the first half swept away the small bit of momentum the Colts had built for themselves with a quick drive. Indianapolis appeared to have regained its ability to move the ball and was going to cut into the Kansas City Chiefs' 17-point lead with a field goal -- until Vinatieri's kick clanged off the left upright, sending snow flying off the side of it.

"Just didn't get very good footing," he said after the 31-13 loss to the Chiefs, per ESPN.com. "You need every point that you can in a playoff game, and that one we needed for sure. It's a momentum swing and needing those points going into half and (I) didn't come through for us."

The miss from 23 yards out -- the shortest of his career -- was disappointing, but not catastrophic. His second miss, though, exemplified the type of day it was for the Colts .

Still trailing 24-7 midway through the fourth, Andrew Luck engineered a 10-play, 87-yard drive that culminated in a 29-yard touchdown pass to T.Y. Hilton. For the first time since that drive just before half, the Colts showed some life.

Then, Vinatieri missed again, this time on an extra-point attempt that sliced wide right.

That was it for scoring for the Colts, who allowed Kansas City to respond with a nine-play, 56-yard touchdown drive that made the 11-point deficit an 18-point hole and sealed the victory for the Chiefs. Vinatieri, who is the NFL's all-time points leader and is set to be a free agent in March, spent it on the sideline, left only to wonder what went wrong.

The message from the Colts, from coach Frank Reich to tight end Eric Ebron, was the same: The Chiefs outplayed them. It was even true in the kicking game: Harrison Butker was a perfect 4 of 4 on PATs and 1 of 1 on field goals.

"We dug ourself a pretty good hole and we just couldn't work our way out of it," Vinatieri said.