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Chiefs report card

Updated: 2013-12-23T00:20:51Z

By RANDY COVITZ

The Kansas City Star

First quarter

Key play: Dexter McCluster’s 25-yard punt return gave Chiefs good field position for Jamaal Charles’ TD. McCluster broke club’s single-season punt-return yardage mark with play.

Key stat: Dustin Colquitt’s punts of 61 and 59 yards backed up the Colts.

Second quarter

Key play: Rookie Knile Davis’ fumble gave the Colts possession and momentum in the game.

Key stat: Charles accounted for 93 (62 rushing, 31 receiving) of the Chiefs’ 146 first-half yards.

Third quarter

Key play: Alex Smith, hit by Robert Mathis while throwing, was intercepted by linebacker Jerrell Freeman, setting up the Colts’ second touchdown.

Key stat: Chiefs had three penalties for 55 yards, including two crippling fouls by cornerback Sean Smith (holding) and Dontari Poe (taunting) on third downs.

Fourth quarter

Key play: Smith’s underthrown pass intended for tight end Anthony Fasano was intercepted, killing a chance to get back into the game.

Key stat: The Chiefs lost their third straight at Arrowhead. They haven’t won there since Oct. 27.

Grades

Rushing offense

How much more can be asked of Charles? He went over 100 yards again, including a 31-yard TD, but rookie Davis cannot be trusted. Alex Smith looked pretty good on the read option, but all it takes is one big hit …

Grade: B minus

Passing offense

Grade: Smith went from pitching a perfect game — a 158.3 passer rating last week at Oakland — to a microscopic 41.3 on Sunday. The Chiefs could not get the ball downfield (his longest completion was 19 yards), and defenses are sitting on the short stuff.

Grade: F

Rushing defense

Colts’ Donald Brown made it look way too easy with his 51-yard touchdown run. Chiefs held Trent Richardson to 2.7-yards per carry, but everyone does that.

Grade D plus

Passing defense

Colts receivers seemed to be running around free all day. The blown coverage on a 31-yard pass to T.Y. Hilton and the shoddy tackling on Brown’s 33-yard catch and run was almost comical. One sack of Andrew Luck wasn’t enough.

Grade: D

Special teams

Dexter McCluster breathed some life into the game with his 25-yard punt return that helped set up the Chiefs’ only touchdown. Davis contributed a 48-yard kickoff return to open the second half, but the Chiefs didn’t take advantage. Ryan Succop was wide left on a 47-yard field goal at the end of the first half.

Grade: C minus

Coaching

Well, at least Andy Reid won another challenge, making him seven of eight in challenges this season. Other than that, this did not look like the well-prepared team of the first 14 games.

Grade: D

Player of the Game:

Colts’ Brown scored two touchdowns on offense; Freeman intercepted two passes on defense.

Reason to Hope: The Chiefs path to the Super Bowl is on the road. They’re 6-1 on the road; 5-3 at home.

Reason to Mope: The Chiefs didn’t look like they’re in Indianapolis’ class, and that’s their likely opponent in the post-season.

Looking ahead

The Chiefs play what amounts to be an exhibition game in the regular-season finale Sunday at San Diego.

To reach Randy Covitz, call 816-234-4796 or send email to rcovitz@kcstar.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/randycovitz.

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