The Indianapolis Colts took out the Houston Texans last Saturday in Houston in the Wildcard round of the NFL Playoffs.
Nobody thought the Indianapolis Colts were a playoff team. Heck, USA Today predicted they would go 2-14. But here we are. It’s the second week of January and Andrew Luck and the Colts (11-6) are in the divisional round preparing to take on Patrick Mahomes and the #1 seed Kansas City Chiefs (12-4).
After a first round bye, the Chiefs are well-rested and will enjoy home field advantage throughout the AFC Playoffs. The Chiefs will be the Colts’ toughest opponent of the season. Kansas City leads the NFL in points per game (35.3), as well as yards per game (425.6), but they do have their Achilles’ heel: their defense.
As impressive as incumbent MVP Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs’ offense has been, the Kansas City defense has been a disaster. The Chiefs give up 405.5 yards per game, good for second worst in the league. If you don’t believe me, watch the Los Angeles Rams Monday night game, where they gave up 54 points and 455 yards of offense. They cannot stop the run, allowing over 130 rush yards per game, good for second worst in the league. The Colts need to make the Kansas City defense pay.
Colts running back Marlon Mack had the game of his life last week versus the Houston Texans, when he ran 24 times for 148 yards, good for over 6 yards per carry. The Colts must have Mack continue his impressive season and gash the Kansas City front seven. What is so great about a successful run game is that it opens up the rest of the playbook. If the Colts establish the run, then the pass game should easily work.
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Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs will likely score a lot of points. They do average over 35 points a game, but expect them to score in the high 30’s or low 40’s on Saturday afternoon. The Colts must keep up offensively. Andrew Luck will need to go step for step with Patrick Mahomes, which is not easy to do.