ArrowheadOne: Chiefs at Colts and What to Expect
The Kansas City Chiefs will be playing the much despised Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. It was January of 2014 when these two teams last played: a playoff heartbreak for Kansas City who was up by as much as four TDs at one point, 38-10. So, anyone who’s been around long enough to follow this clash would also know that the Colts were responsible for the Chiefs ouster from the playoffs following the 2003 season, 38-31.
Then was then and now is now. These teams are entirely different. The Colts are 3-and-4 and sitting in 3rd place in the AFC South while the Chiefs are 4-and-2 and 1/2 game out of first place in the AFC West… but also sitting in third place. However, the Chiefs appear to be ascending while the Colts are not. Their defense ranks 28th in the league allowing 399.7 yards per game. Here’s a breakdown of the offensive and defensive matchups:
Colts Overall Offense- #10 vs. K.C. Chiefs Overall Defense- #23
Colts Passing Offense- # 7 vs. the K.C. Chiefs Passing Defense- #18
Colts Rushing Offense- #22 vs. the K.C. Chiefs Rushing Defense- #20
K.C. Chiefs Overall Offense- #19 vs. Colts Overall Defense- #28
K.C. Chiefs Passing Offense- #21 vs. Colts Passing Defense- #25
K.C. Chiefs Rushing Offense- #18 vs. Colts Rushing Defense- #24
While it looks like the biggest disparity comes when the Colts are throwing the ball, if Kansas City can control the game on the ground and keep pressure on Colts QB Andrew Luck, they will be able to pull away with a victory.
In a piece written by Evan Reller called, “The Indianapolis Colts Vs. the Kansas City Chiefs: What to Watch For” he lays out several tenets. Firstly, Reller says, Andrew Luck will have to be a “Hero” for the Colts to win. I would agree with this one in that Andrew Luck will have to avoid being sacked… and he’s already been sacked 25 times this season… and he’ll have to make plays… for the Colts to have a chance to win.
Evan Reller goes on to say that the Colts will have to “stop the pass” but admits, “Stopping Travis Kelce will be key but likely a pipe dream considering how terrible the Colts linebackers have been in coverage.” You can expect to see a lot of Kelce this week and the Colts passing defense is much worse than the Chiefs passing defense so I’d expect to see at least two more bombs to Tyreek Hill. If Hill catches even one of those, it should give the offense a huge bump and open up the field for Alex Smith and other wide receivers.
Another ploy you can expect to see in this game is Alex Smith using a hard count to draw the Colts offsides because the Colts are the 3rd most penalized team n the NFL. Smith does an excellent job of using the hard count so you’ll likely see it again and again in this game. While the Chiefs have an improved passing game this season, basically due to Chris Conley and rookie sensation Tyreek Hill, it’s the Chiefs running game that can cause havoc for defenses. If the Colts play to stop the passing game, it’s going to open the field up for Chiefs RB Spencer Ware… and that’s what I expect to see happen on Sunday.
In fact, it looks like playing against the Colts defense is all any team need to get well in a hurry:
Feeling down about your offense lately? Are you worried you’re not scoring enough points? Just play the 2016 Colts, and smile again. pic.twitter.com/mNi0ZVG6JP
— Scott Kacsmar (@FO_ScottKacsmar) October 25, 2016
The real work in this game will come in staying out in front of the Colts offense. If the Chiefs score early and get a lead… it will not be “The Playoff Collapse” all over again because their defense no longer has the ability to get stops when they need it like they did on January 4th, 2014. Yes, I can see the Colts RB Frank Gore having some success but, once the front 7 shuts him down, their offense becomes very containable. John Dorsey and Andy Reid and been building this team for 3 and a half years now, and this game should be a big win for them.
I’m predicting a 31 to 20 Chiefs victory on Sunday. How about you Chiefs fans? What’s your prediction?