Pulling off upset victories on wintry days in Kansas City is getting to be a habit for the Indianapolis Colts.
On Sunday, underdogs once again, the Colts took advantage of Kansas City's injury-riddled defense to capture a 24-19 victory that left both teams hanging on the playoff cliff.
"Whew, I've got to get my heart quieted down a little," Indianapolis Coach Lindy Infante said after Dedric Mathis batted away Steve Bono's pass in the end zone with nine seconds left.
"The heart just drops out of your body."
Rookie Marvin Harrison tied a team record by catching three touchdown passes from Jim Harbaugh. Both teams went home with 9-6 records to watch with disappointment as Jacksonville beat Seattle, 20-13, in the late game.
The Colts needed to win and have Houston, Oakland and Jacksonville lose to clinch a playoff bid. Houston fell, 21-13, to Cincinnati and Oakland lost, 24-19, to Denver.
Kansas City, which has lost three of its last four, would have made the playoffs for the seventh consecutive year if Seattle had beaten Jacksonville. Now, it's in with a win at Buffalo next week or if Jacksonville loses to Atlanta.
"Everybody knows this team stabbed us in the heart last year," Chief receiver Tamarick Vanover said of the Colts. "We really wanted to get some revenge. We had the opportunity, but we just didn't get it done."
The Colts had to hold their breath after Harrison's third touchdown made it 24-13 with 3:48 left.
Steve Bono, who came in for an injured Rich Gannon in the second quarter, connected with Kimble Anders on a five-yard scoring pass with 1:17 to play to make it 24-19. Then the Chiefs' Anthony Davis recovered an onside kick, and Bono passed the Chiefs to the 11 with 18 seconds left. But on fourth down, Mathis broke up Bono's pass to Danan Hughes.
"I needed to come up with a big play and I did," Mathis said. "It came down to the end."
After failing behind, 14-0, in the first quarter, the Chiefs fought back to make it 17-10, first behind Gannon and then with Bono back at quarterback.
The Chiefs were without three injured defensive starters, including Pro Bowl cornerback Dale Carter.