AL HAMNIK: All NFL teams need some luck in postseason

2014-01-06T17:30:00Z 2014-01-07T22:41:04Z AL HAMNIK: All NFL teams need some luck in postseasonAl Hamnik Times Columnist nwitimes.com
January 06, 2014 5:30 pm  • 

I feel sorry for Andy Reid.

The long-time NFL coach had worn out his welcome in Philadelphia, came to Kansas City this season and went 11-5 with a team that finished 2-14 the year before.

Then there was Saturday's AFC wild card game with the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium, and the prime rib dinner became a Spam sandwich.

Reid's highly-regarded Chiefs led 38-10 with 12 minutes remaining in the third quarter, then lost 45-44 as the Colts tallied the second largest comeback in NFL history.

The Colts became the first team in league history to win a playoff game when allowing 40 points and committing four turnovers.

I feel sorry for Andy Reid, a truly good guy who wanted so desperately to snap the franchise's seven-game postseason losing streak. For more than two quarters, the Chiefs were well on their way to doing it.

And then came the collapse, devastating for the visitors, uplifting for the home crowd.

What makes covering sports so enjoyable is the aftermath, the emotions sweeping through both locker rooms, and the game's money players trying to explain what the heck just happened.

The news conferences alone can be quite telling.

"Not much to say ... compliments to the Colts for coming back," Reid said at his. "They did a nice job (with) 35 points in the second half. We started kicking field goals and they started scoring touchdowns.

"Sometimes the game speaks for itself, so you don't have to say a whole lot."

If you're a Chiefs' fan, what Reid did say made your ears bleed.

If you wear Colts' colors, you know how lucky your team was. I mean, down 28 points with 28 minutes remaining, your quarterback throws three interceptions and scores on a FUMBLE recovery.

Andrew Luck is well-named.

"They had their hearts ripped out. I can work with that," Reid said of his team. "They should hurt. That'll make us better."

The outcome was Bears-like in that Indianapolis scored five touchdowns against a K.C. defense that was torched for 536 yards in that game.

Colts' coach Chuck Pagano and his QB didn't have to be told they had dodged a bullet, no, a torpedo.

"The turnovers weren't us," Pagano insisted. "It's a pretty resilient bunch of guys we have that play one play at a time, don't look at the scoreboard and don't judge. They just go as hard as they can.

"They understand the mistakes that were made and they put it behind them and they move on."

Said Luck: "I was disappointed in myself. Angry. Really felt I was letting the team down. But you got to flush it. Got to forget about it.

"I'm thankful that guys trust me to go out there and right my wrong."

Next up is Saturday's game at New England (12-4), well rested after earning a bye for the fourth straight year.

The exuberant Colts (12-5) will have their feet back on the ground before then.

They have a knack for doing that.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at al.hamnik@nwi.com.

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