KANSAS CITY -- Donald Brown scored touchdowns as a rusher and receiver and the Indianapolis defense forced four turnovers by the normally sure-handed Kansas City Chiefs as the Colts grabbed a 23-7 victory on a chilly Sunday afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium.
With the wind-chill factor at 11 degrees and a hardy breeze out of the northwest, the indoor Colts were not bothered by the weather.
After falling behind on a quick Kansas City touchdown, Indianapolis ran off 23 unanswered points. Brown scored in the second quarter on a 33-yard pass and run play from quarterback Andrew Luck, and then he came back and ran 51 yards for a third quarter touchdown. Kicker Adam Vinatieri added three field goals.
The Colts earned their 10th victory of the season and will host a first-round game in the AFC playoffs in two weeks. Kansas City's defeat and Denver's victory over Houston eliminated any chance the 11-4 Chiefs had of winning the AFC West and locked them into the fifth seed in the AFC.
Coming off back-to-back games where they outscored their opponent 101-41, Kansas City's offense was stagnant and unable to generate consistent yardage, let alone scoring chances. Quarterback Alex Smith threw a pair of interceptions, and the Colts' offense picked up seven points there. Smith and rookie running back Knile Davis lost fumbles, and Indy scored a touchdown off those takeaways as well. The Chiefs came into the game with a plus-21 turnover ratio and they were tied for No. 1 in the league for fewest giveaways with 14.
The Chiefs actually scored first, taking their initial possession of the game and moving 59 yards on four plays after getting good field position thanks to a 25-yard punt return by Dexter McCluster. The score came on a pretty 31-yard run by running back Jamaal Charles, who went off right tackle and ran through and away from the Colts' defense.
The Colts came back and ran off 13 unanswered points over the rest of the first half. After missing a 34-yard field goal, Adam Vinatieri made 46-yard field goal early in the second quarter to get the visitors on the board.
The fumble by Davis was recovered by Colts defensive end Cory Redding at the Kansas City 33-yard line. Luck took his team in for a touchdown on just two plays. The score came on a 33-yard pass play to Brown, who was left uncovered by the Chiefs defense, giving Indianapolis a 10-7 lead.
Indianapolis pushed the difference to six points later in the second quarter when Vinatieri made a 45-yard field goal and the Colts went to the halftime locker room leading 13-7.
Kansas City opened the second half, but Smith's right arm was hit as he was throwing a pass by Indianapolis outside linebacker Robert Mathis. The ball flew up in the air and was intercepted by Colts linebacker Jerrell Freeman.
Two snaps later, Brown scored on an impressive 51-yard run where he broke three tackles and did a tight rope walk down the sideline over the last 10 yards. That gave the Colts a 20-7 lead with 12:55 to play in the third quarter.
Indianapolis pushed the lead to 23-7 thanks to a 30-yard field goal by Vinatieri that completed a 15-play drive that chewed up 7:50 on the third quarter clock. The Chiefs helped out with a pair of defensive penalties on third down, a holding call against cornerback Sean Smith and a 15-yard taunting penalty on nose tackle Dontari Poe.
NOTES: The Colts did not have three offensive linemen for the game because of injuries, including a pair of starters. LG Hugh Thornton (neck), RG Jeff Linkenbach (quad) and G Joe Reitz (concussion) all were held out because of injury. ... Kansas City was without starting LT Branden Albert (knee) and OL Justin Houston (elbow). ... On an eight-yard scramble late in the first quarter, Chiefs QB Alex Smith set a new franchise record for single season rushing yards by a quarterback. The old record was 386 yards by Tyler Thigpen in 2008. Smith had 392 yards after that run.