NFL Divisional Playoff: Indianapolis Colts @ Chiefs Preview

January 7, 2019 by Ryan Knuppel

Indianapolis Colts vs Kansas City ChiefsThe #6 seed Colts advance to take on the #1 seed Kansas City Chiefs in the Divisional Round of the AFC Playoffs on Saturday.

The Colts defeated the Texans 21-7 in the Wild Card round to advance. In week 16, they beat the Giants 28-27, and in week 17 they beat the Titans 33-17.

The Chiefs held on to their first round bye, and in week 17 they beat the Raiders 35-3. In week 15, they lost 29-28, and in week 16 they lost 38-31 to the Seahawks.

Bovada has the Chiefs as 6 point favourites with an O/U total of 57.

Indianapolis Colts

(11-6 overall, 5-4 on the road)

Andrew Luck has been phenomenal over the 2nd half of the season, and carried that over into the Wild Card round with 220+ yards and 2 TDs. On the year, Luck has thrown for 4815 yards, 41 TDs, and 16 INTs while completing 66.9% of his passes and averaging 7.2 YPA. T.Y. Hilton continues to be a dynamic threat at receiver, catching 81 balls for 1355 yards and 6 TDs. Eric Ebron (69/776/14), Nyheim Hines (63/425/2) and Chester Rogers (57/531/2) are featured as well. Marlon Mack dominated last week against a very good Houston defensive front and now has 1056 yards and 10 TDs on 219 carries.

In the regular season, the Colts defense was ranked 10th in scoring defense, allowing 21.5 PPG and allowed just 7 last week. Their pass defense ranked 16th allowing 237.8 yards per game and 21 TDs while their pass rush ranked t-19th with 38 sacks. Their run defense ranked 8th allowing 101.6 yards per game and 12 TDs on the ground. Their defense forced 26 turnovers, and as a team they owned a +2 turnover differential.

Injuries and Inactive Watch

WR Ryan Grant (toe) – questionable, EDGE Tyquan Lewis (knee) – questionable

Kansas City Chiefs

(13-3 overall, 7-1 at home)

The Chiefs should be well rested coming off their 1st round bye, as their high powered offense looks to carry them deep into the postseason. Explosive QB Pat Mahomes has thrown for 5097 yards, 50 TDs, and 12 INTs on the year while completing 66% of his passes and averaging 8.8 YPA. Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce form a potent and dangerous duo in the receiving game, combining for over 2800 yards and 22 TDs. Hill (87/1479/12) provides a dangerous deep threat, while Kelce (103/1336/10) is a chain mover who is sure handed at the catch point. Spencer Ware (51/246/2) and Damien Williams (50/256/4) handle the running back duties, while Mahomes and Hill are involved on the ground as well.

The Chiefs scoring defense ranked 24th, allowing 26.3 PPG. Their pass defense ranked 31st, allowing 273.4 yards per game and 30 TDs while their pass rush ranked first with 52 sacks. Their run defense ranked 27th allowing 132.1 yards per game and 19 TDs on the ground. Their defense forced 27 turnovers, and as a team they owned a +9 turnover differential.

Injuries and Inactive Watch

RB Spencer Ware (hamstring) – questionable, S Eric Berry (heel) – questionable, WR Sammy Watkins (foot) – questionable

Predictions

This should be a fun one. If there is one QB who can go tit for tat with Pat Mahomes it’s Captain Andrew Luck, who is a complete gamer. The Chiefs defense poses little threat outside of their pass rush, which the Colts have done a nice job of handling all year with their spectacular line play. Their secondary has major holes and can be diced up, while their run D is subpar as well. With Marlon Mack coming and the Colts run game really coming to life, there is no reason they cant hang 40+ on the Chiefs.

The Chiefs offense is spectacular, as we all know. Pat Mahomes is otherworldly in some of the things he does off schedule, and this poses a huge threat for any opponent. However, the Colts defense has really stepped up over the latter part of the season, and while their coverage isn’t great, they have playmakers in the secondary. The Chiefs should win this game at home, but the Colts will have every shot in the world against an anemic Chiefs defense to keep this close and possibly advance.

Final Pick: Colts (+6)