Three plays help erase poor defensive play

INDIANAPOLIS -- The frustration was there for the Indianapolis Colts' defense. So were some ‘R-rated’ words after a brutal defensive performance for more than a half.

The Kansas City Chiefs didn’t have running back Jamaal Charles (concussion) but quarterback Alex Smith roasted the Colts' secondary by coming up with big plays with his arm. They converted seven of their first nine third-down attempts.

“I’m not going to say there wasn’t any frustration because there was,” Colts linebacker Robert Mathis said. “No finger pointing, we just have to play ball. That’s why you play the game, you play until the end.”

The Colts needed something to happen to show that their defense had some kind of life in them.

It started with Mathis doing what he does best -- getting a strip-sack of Smith -- in the third quarter. The Colts scored five plays later.

After quarterback Andrew Luck completed the 28-point comeback by throwing a 64-yard touchdown to receiver T.Y. Hilton, Mathis barreled in and hit Smith. Smith tried to throw the ball away, but he was called for intentional grounding because he was still in the tackle box.

Then, with the game on the line, the Colts sealed the game when cornerback Josh Gordy, playing in place of the injured Greg Toler, defended Chiefs receiver Dwayne Bowe perfectly along the sideline on fourth-and-11. Bowe caught the pass, but he couldn’t get both feet inbounds.

“All great defenses want to be out there on that last drive,” safety Antoine Bethea said. “Be out there on the last drive and be able to close out teams. That’s what we were able to do.”

Those three key plays helped ease the fact that the defense gave up 44 points, 513 yards and 30 first downs to Kansas City. All three were season highs allowed by the Colts.

“We just decided we didn’t want our season to end today,” Mathis said. “Knowing what type of team we have and just getting the job done.”