Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs (-5.5)
Sat. 1/12, 4:35 p.m. ET
A month ago this game would have been considered a complete mismatch, now that all has changed and the Colts all of the sudden look like a serious Super Bowl contender. In the meantime, the Chiefs have caused great concern with a defense that has limitations and they have lost their top Running back, Kareem Hunt. Sure the Chiefs are at home but the Chiefs have not had home-field advantage in the playoffs as they own a 2-7 all-time home record.
Keys to the Game
The forecast for Saturday shows snow showers and 5 to 10 mph winds. In the past, this would have been bad for the Colts but in reality, bad weather will help the Colts here as they are the team that has the dominant offensive line and can run the ball downhill. The Chiefs are a spread team with a more pass blocking line, so while weather could affect this game. Again, it will actually be in the Colts favor if the weather is poor.
Can the Chiefs stop the Colts offense?
The Chiefs must be aggressive. Attack them, stop the run, make them one-dimensional. The Chiefs need a fast-paced offensive game and if they can’t at least limit the Colts run game, they will be in trouble. In the passing game, the Chiefs must pressure Andrew Luck. The Chiefs tied for the NFL lead in sacks while the Colts offensive line gave up the fewest sacks.
The Colts defense vs Chiefs offense
The Colts defense is only giving up an average of 14 points per game over their last eight games and they have a front seven that can pressure Mahomes. The Chiefs offense has not been as devastating as it was earlier in the year and you have to remember that the Chiefs Quarterback Mahomes will be playing in his first NFL Playoff game, so that is a huge unknown factor also.
Prediction: The Colts are just a more complete team. They have a dominant offensive line and should be able to slow the game down. I look for Andrew Luck to have a big enough day to keep some long scoring drives alive.
Colts 24 Chiefs 21