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The shortest miss of Adam Vinatieri’s career was fitting way to end Colts’ miserable first half

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If you paid much attention to analysis of the Indianapolis Colts or Kansas City Chiefs this week, you probably heard about how well the Colts offense was playing, or that the Chiefs defense was vulnerable.

Nope.

The Colts didn’t get a first down until about 1:30 remained in the first half of their divisional round playoff game against the Chiefs. How rare is it for a team to go that deep into a game without a first down? The only time a team didn’t get a first-half first down this past regular season came in Week 1, by a Buffalo Bills team with Nathan Peterman at quarterback (h/t to Josh Dubow of the Associated Press).

Indianapolis Colts quarterback <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nfl/players/25711/" data-ylk="slk:Andrew Luck">Andrew Luck</a> runs away from a tackle attempt by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nfl/players/27551/" data-ylk="slk:Dee Ford">Dee Ford</a> (55). (AP)
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck runs away from a tackle attempt by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Dee Ford (55). (AP)

Then, to cap off one of the worst halves of offensive football by anyone this season, future Hall of Fame kicker Adam Vinatieri slammed a 23-yard field goal off the upright. That was the shortest miss of Vinatieri’s career, which spans 23 seasons. The Chiefs led 24-7 at halftime.

Things didn’t get much better for Vinatieri in the second half: he missed the extra-point try on the Colts’ second touchdown, in the fourth quarter. It’s the first time he’s missed a postseason PAT try in his career – before Saturday, Vinatieri was 70-for-70.

Here are some other facts and figures from the Colts’ absolutely brutal first half:

• Before a final drive gained some yards, the Colts had 21 yards of offense.

• Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce was outgaining the Colts 93-21 through the first 28 minutes of the first half.

• Colts running back Marlon Mack led the team in first-half rushing, with 9 yards on five carries.

• Through 28 minutes, the Colts had more blocked punts (one) than first downs (zero).

• Andrew Luck, who had the second-most touchdown passes (to Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes) in the NFL this season, completed back-to-back passes of 10 and 5 yards early in the second quarter. Those were his only completions before the final two minutes of the first half. He had zero completions in the first quarter.

• Vinatieri, the NFL’s all-time leading scorer, had never missed a field goal attempt of 23 yards or shorter in his career, which started in 1996. He was 97-of-97 (including playoffs) from 23 yards or shorter before his miss at the end of the first half, according to ESPN Stats and Info. He has made 204-of-210 field goal attempts from 29 yards or less in his regular season career. Vinatieri made one of the most famous kicks in NFL history in a blizzard during the “Tuck Rule” game against the Raiders at the end of the 2001 season, and then-Raider Charles Woodson made a note of it.

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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