The Indianapolis Colts will travel to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs in the weekend’s first Divisional round playoff game. These teams took very different paths here as the Colts have had several weeks in a row where each game was a must win, while the Chiefs have been resting and preparing for this game. The Chiefs won the AFC South and earned a first round bye when they defeated the Oakland Raiders 35-3 in week 17. The Colts started the season 1-5 but have won 9 of their last 10 including last week when they beat the Houston Texans 21-7 in the Wild Card round.
The Chiefs were led all season by their second year quarterback Pat Mahomes, who finished first in touchdowns thrown with 50 and second in yards with 5,097. His success led to the team’s success as they finished first in points per game with 35.3 and yards per game with 425.6. His favorite target this season was Tyreke Hill who caught 87 passes for 1,479 yards and 12 touchdowns. The team ranked 16th in the league in rushing yards with 115.9 per game. Defensively, they ranked 27th in the league in rushing yards allowed with 132.1 per game. This could be a problem as last week the Colts rushed for 200 yards against the Texans defense who ranked 3rd with 82.7 yards allowed per game. They forced 27 turnovers this season with 15 interceptions and 12 fumble recoveries.
The Colts played well on both sides of the ball last week against Houston to keep their season alive. Andrew Luck finished with a passer rating of 88.3 as he completed 19 of 32 passes for 222 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. T.Y. Hilton has been playing injured for the last several weeks and hasn’t missed a beat as he led the team with 5 receptions for 85 yards. Marlon Mack had a big game running the ball as he gained 148 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries. Defensively, they intercepted Deshaun Watson once and sacked him 3 times. The only negative for the defense was it allowed the Texans to gain 105 yards on just 16 carries, which is an average of 6.6 yards per run. During the regular season, the Colts defense finished 11th with 339.4 yards allowed per game.
The Chiefs will have home field advantage and are favored by 5.5 points. They have gone 9-6-1 this season against the spread and have the added benefit of an extra week’s rest and preparation. Indianapolis has gone 9-7-1 against the spread this year and will enter this matchup with the momentum. They have won 5 games in a row and 9 of their last 10 while the Chiefs lost 2 of their last 3 regular season games. Mahomes will be making his first playoff appearance of his career while Luck has started 7 playoff games and has gone 4-3. The Chiefs defense hasn’t been nearly as good as their offense has as they rank 24th in the league in points allowed with 26.3.
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