KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Indianapolis Colts had watched the Kansas City Chiefs march downfield for an easy score on the first series of the game, yet nobody on their sideline seemed to be worried.
In fact, it seemed as if their confidence soared.
Andrew Luck answered by calmly picking apart the Chiefs' defense, Donald Brown had touchdowns running and receiving, and the Colts didn't allow another point the rest of the way in a 23-7 victory Sunday that could turn into a preview of an AFC wild-card game.
If Indianapolis ends up as the No. 4 seed in the playoffs and with the Chiefs assured of the fifth seed, the two teams would meet again in two weeks at Lucas Oil Stadium. Kansas City's chances of winning the AFC West were dashed earlier Sunday when Denver beat Houston.
"There was no panic," said the Colts' Jerrell Freeman, who had two interceptions. "When they got that touchdown we were like, 'Aww, it's OK.' It's just execution, and us not trying to panic."
Instead, it was the Chiefs (11-4) who looked as if they panicked.
Alex Smith threw for 153 yards, but he fumbled once and was picked off twice. Knile Davis also fumbled the ball away, and the Chiefs were hit with several key penalties that scuttled any chance of mounting a second-half comeback in the frigid weather at Arrowhead Stadium.
"We'll see them again," Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson said. "They've got the upper hand on us right now because in their minds they think they can beat us. If we go down there, it will be a different story. But we've got to fight our way back."
The AFC South-champion Colts (10-5) have beaten the Chiefs in five of their last six games.
The Chiefs' Jamaal Charles ran for 106 yards and the game's opening score, but Kansas City failed to keep him involved as the Colts scored the final 23 points. Luck finished with 241 yards passing, while Brown gashed a decent run defense despite working behind a patchwork offensive line.