AFC Wild Card Round: Chiefs vs Colts

Kansas City Chiefs vs Indianapolis Colts Wild Card preview

1/3/14 in NFL   |   jakeryanbrown   |   28 respect

(5) Chiefs (11-5) @ (4) Colts (11-5) – Saturday, 4:35PM at Lucas Oil Stadium (dome)
Dec 22, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) congratulates Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) after the game at Arrowhead Stadium. The Colts won 23-7. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY SportsThe Chiefs had last week to rest most of their starters in a game that did not matter for their playoff seeding.  The Colts come into this matchup winners of three straight, giving up just 20 total points during the win streak.  They have been in cruise control for most of the second half, wrapping up the AFC South in early December.  Their decision was an embarrassment this season.  The Chiefs could not catch the sizzling Broncos and secured a Wild Card spot.  The Colts handled the Chiefs with ease in Kansas City two weeks ago with a 23-7 win.  This should be a completely different story Sunday as the Chiefs now come into the playoffs with their key players returning from injury. 
Kansas City expects to have wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, linebacker Justin Houston, left tackle Braden Dec 15, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) catches a 71 yard touchdown pass against the Oakland Raiders in the third quarter at Coliseum. The Chiefs defeated the Raiders 56-31. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY SportsAlbert, and possibly linebacker Tamba Hali back.  The Chiefs defense has struggled after their 9-0 start to the season.  Saturday, they get their top receiver and their best pass rushers back against a Colts offensive line that was a disaster in the 2013 regular season.  The Colts running game has been awful since acquiring Trent Richardson, who has turned out to be a major bust since Indy traded a first-round pick to get him from the Browns.  January is the start of a new season, and Richardson still has a chance to write the ship against the 22nd ranked defense against the run. 
Alex Smith has been incredible on the road this season, going 6-1 with 11 TDs and one pick in those games.  Smith will now get his chance at redemption at the Colts defense that has forced eight turnovers during their three-game win streak.  He now gets Bowe back on the field, which will complement Jamaal Charles, who has been a MVP candidate this season.  Charles had a career year, rushing for 1,287 yards and 12 TDs to go along with 70 catches for 693 yards and seven TDs.  Nearly 2,000 total yards and 19 TDs is almost unheard out of a running back.  Charles led the NFL in rushing TDs and led NFL running backs for receiving TDs.  That will spell trouble against a Colts defense that is ranked 26th in the NFL against the run, giving up more than 125 yards on the ground a game. 
Dec 8, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali (91) celebrates after sacking Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (not shown) during the second quarter at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY SportsThe Chiefs are healthy at the perfect time heading into January.  They also get the benefit of avoiding the cold and playing in the dome in Indianapolis.  After their 23-8 loss a couple weeks ago at home, Andy Reid’s squad is ready to get their revenge.  With Houston and Hali making their returns, the Chiefs defense will attack Andrew Luck all day long and make the sophomore star QB have nightmares.  Luck has done a remarkable job with a bad offensive line all season, but it all comes to an end in front of their home crowd Saturday.  Ryan Succop will knock down a late field goal to propel the Chiefs to the AFC Divisional round next weekend.   

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