Analysis

Chiefs Should Have No Trouble in Matchup With The Colts

The Chiefs have another AFC Showdown on Sunday Afternoon, facing off against the Indianapolis Colts.

The Chiefs have another AFC Showdown on Sunday Afternoon, facing off against the Indianapolis Colts. These two teams are trending in very different directions so we’ll see if those trends continue.

There once was a time when the Indianapolis Colts were a demon that needed to be exorcised from Chiefs fans’ collective psyche. Now, there could not be two more differently trending teams facing off at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday. The Chiefs are 2-0 and fresh off of a hard-fought, come-from-behind win against one of the best teams in the league. The Colts, meanwhile, have looked downright awful, tying the Houston Texans in Week One in a game no one seemed to want to win and getting the doors blown off of them by the Jacksonville Jaguars in a 24-0 shutout on the road.

I understand that both stud wideout Michael Pittman, Jr. and rookie Alec Pierce were out of that Jacksonville game with injuries, but they still had Jonathan Taylor who many consider to be the best running back in the game along with what was supposed to be a solid offensive line. Both Taylor and the O-line, however, have underperformed and Father Time looks like he’s about ready to knock veteran quarterback Matt Ryan out for good. This Colts team is in serious jeopardy of having their season lost before it starts and they will have certain desperation about them come Sunday afternoon. Based on what I’ve seen so far, however, I don’t think they have the horses to hang with the high-flying Chiefs come game time.

The Chiefs are impressive, but statistically, the Colts are a mess

When you look at the stats for the Colts’ offense, the yardage totals aren’t bad. They rank in the top 12 in passing, rushing, and total yards. The issue is that they absolutely cannot score, ranking dead last in the NFL in total points with only 20 on the year. The only playmaking pass catcher they have is Michael Pittman, Jr., and he was hurt last week and may not be fully healthy going into Sunday’s game. Outside of MPJ, there is no one to throw the ball to. Parris Campbell has been a huge disappointment despite the fanfare he entered the league with, being drafted in the 2nd round of the 2019 draft ahead of stud receivers like DK Metcalf, Diontae Johnson, and Terry McLaurin. Nyheim Hines is their leading receiver with 10 catches but only has 87 yards out of the backfield. Only two tight ends have recorded a catch so far in Mo Alie-Cox and Kylen Granson. Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, and Dallas Clark certainly aren’t walking through that door.

Neither is Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck as the formerly quarterback-rich franchise has found itself in Denver Broncos territory after the latter quarterback retired over three years ago. Matt Ryan has been downright awful with a 60% completion percentage, only one touchdown, and four interceptions. He’s been sacked seven times and fumbled five times. That simply will not get the job done no matter which team they are facing. After facing a prolific offense last Thursday, the young Chiefs secondary ought to have a much easier time defending this group and should have much more success stopping them in their tracks.

The Colts have also invested a small fortune in their offensive line to the tune of $42.2 million, which is the most in the league. That investment has not turned out to be a sound one, as they have allowed the fourth most sacks, and have looked generally porous through the first two games. They extended All-Pro guard Quentin Nelson for $80 million over four years, and rightfully so. The rest of the group has not been nearly as worthy. Braden Smith at right tackle was extended last year for $70 million over 4 years and that deal has already turned sour, especially after watching him do his best impression of a turnstile against Jacksonville. The same can be said of center Ryan Kelly, who is in the middle of his own four-year extension with almost $37 million on the books until after 2024. The Jaguars stunted and twisted this group to death in Week Two and you already know that defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo is licking his chops. Spags is incredibly creative when it comes to moving his defensive line around so I would expect a huge day from Chris Jones and Frank Clark against this overpaid shambles of an offensive line.

The Colts are no longer an insurmountable mountain that stands in the way of the Chiefs and ultimate glory. As of this writing, the Chiefs are seven-point favorites on the road at Indy, which is the biggest road favorite on the Week Three slate. I would expect that number to climb as these two teams are trending in very opposite directions. The Chiefs are starting to hit on all cylinders on offense and their young defense is steadily improving whereas the Colts are thrashing in the water trying not to drown on both sides of the ball. The Chiefs are better and more talented on every level and no number of impassioned motivational speeches by Colts head coach Frank Reich is going to change that. The Chiefs should win this one handily.