Drum Beats: Indianapolis Grades

Unfortunately, there's no place for moral victories in the standings. The Kansas City Chiefs dropped their third consecutive game, 13-10 to the Indianapolis Colts, but looked pretty good doing it.

The Chiefs stayed with the heavily favored Colts all game long, dictating the action at times, and overcoming a couple of miscues that could have sent them into a tailspin. It was encouraging for fans, but unfortunately, the Chiefs couldn't do enough to come up with a win. Ultimately, the Colts were able to overcome a few miscues of their own and make just enough plays to pull it out at the end.

Passing Offense

Chiefs Quarterback Line: 19/27, 162 Yards, 1 Touchdown, 0 Interceptions

It was Brodie Croyle's first NFL start and the Chiefs did everything they could to protect him. Maybe too much. The Chiefs went even more conservative than usual, limiting Croyle to short passing, mostly underneath 15 yards. It may have been KC's undoing - they needed to challenge the reeling Colts, but other than a pinpoint touchdown strike to wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, couldn't land any real punches. Croyle was cool under fire, however, so there's plenty there for Chiefs fans to be encouraged about.

Grade: B-

The Chiefs could have opened things up more, but they've got Croyle's long-term psyche to worry about, I guess.

Running Offense

Chiefs Running Back Line: 27 Carries, 72 Yards, 2.7 Yards Per Carry, 0 Touchdowns

There were two major issues at work here. First, the Chiefs ran an awful lot on first down, something that the Colts, not being dummies, figured out. Second, the strength of Priest Holmes, his vision on perimeter runs, plays to strength of the Colts' defense, their speed. The Chiefs tried to establish Holmes on the perimeter, but on several occasions, the Colts were able to negate the runs with their speed on the outside. The Chiefs responded with a metric ton of draw plays, but most of the time, the Colts sniffed those out.

Grade: C-

Holmes gets more comfortable every week, and the offensive line is still improving. It's just not enough yet.

Passing Defense

Colts Quarterback Line: 16/32, 150 Yards, 0 Touchdowns, 1 Interception

Any time a team holds Peyton Manning to only 150 yards passing at home, high marks are deserved. The media will be talking about how the Colts struggled because they were undermanned, but the Chiefs did a good job of disrupting Indy's passing game all day long. Jared Allen couldn't get to Manning, but did bat down several passes, disrupting Manning's rhythm. Tamba Hali and Ron Edwards sacked Manning once each, and Jarrad Page picked him off.

Grade: A

The Chiefs did a fantastic job of affecting the usually unflappable Manning.

Run Defense

Colts Running Back Line: 27 Carries, 66 Yards, 2.4 Yards Per Carry, 1 Touchdown

Colts running back Joseph Addai has two of the best feet in the NFL, and they're probably what saved this game for the Colts. Addai's second-half touchdown was Indy's only trip to the end zone. The Chiefs sent waves of defenders after Addai but he managed to make the right plays at the right time.

Grade: B-

Any doubts about Addai's ability should be put to rest. He didn't have a great game statistically, but he made plays when the Colts needed him.

Special Teams

It was a crazy day. Kickers Dave Rayner and Adam Vinatieri missed kicks, but both teams rebounded from those misses. The Chiefs looked more settled in the kick return game with Jeff Webb running back kickoffs, but punt returns were an adventure for Eddie Kennison. Props to Kansas City for stopping the Colts after Kennison's fumble.

Grade: C

Here's hoping Webb continues to return kicks for the Chiefs. He looks more comfortable back there than "specialist" Eddie Drummond.

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