Chiefs to Face Manning and ColtsOctober 7th, 2010 by Lee Eldridge
The Chiefs find themselves as the last unbeaten team in the league at 3-0, and travel to Indianapolis on Sunday to face the Colts, who are surprisingly at 2-2. The Colts are heavily favored to win.
How the Chiefs Could Win
The Chiefs are doing two things very well this year — running the football, and stopping the run. The Chiefs are third in the league in rushing, averaging 160.7 yards per game. And the Chiefs are ranked fifth in the league at stopping the run, only giving up 75 yards per game. This would seem to be a great matchup for the Chiefs, because the Colts are 29th in the league at running the ball, and 29th in the league at stopping the run. The Chiefs must dominate time of possession in this game, and limit the number of times that the Colts have the ball in order to win. Matt Cassel needs to hit enough passes to keep the Colts from loading up their defensive front, but expect to see a ton of Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles running the ball.
How the Chiefs Could Lose
Two words: Peyton Manning. It’s no secret, the Colts like to throw the ball. And Peyton is having an incredible start to the season. Take a look at these numbers: 69.8% completion rate for 1365 yards, 11 TDs and only 1 INT. His quarterback rating is 112.2. If Manning could average these numbers over the entire season, it would be the greatest single season in the history of the NFL.
Now that’s not likely to happen. Manning will throw some INTs this season. He’ll play against some defenses that will do a better job of containing their passing game. The question will be if the Chiefs with their VERY young secondary can cover Reggie Wayne, Austin Collie and Dallas Clark. The Chiefs defensively have focused on stopping the run all year by putting safety Eric Berry up near the line of scrimmage. This won’t work on Sunday. Berry and the rest of the defensive backs will be in pass coverage all day, and will not be able to help in run support.
If the Chiefs could pull this off, it would send shockwaves through the NFL. Defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel has coached against Manning and the Colts many times. And the Chiefs have had two weeks to prepare for this game. It would be a coming out party for the Chiefs.
The Colts are the most consistent team in the NFL. They win, especially at home. And they’re coming off a last second loss to the Jaguars. It’s difficult to imagine the Colts losing two in a row, but this Colts team does not appear to be as dominant as they’ve been in the past.
Prediction: Colts 27, Chiefs 20