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Saturday's wild-card game between the Chiefs and Colts in Indianapolis is a rematch of Week 16, when the two teams battled in Kansas City. In that contest, the Colts surprisingly handled the Chiefs, 23-7, part of their three-game win streak to close out the season. Not surprisingly, their recent run of success has the Colts feeling very good about themselves heading into Saturday.
Indianapolis linebacker Robert Mathis, who led the NFL with 19.5 sacks, said this week, "I think if you check the last six Super Bowl winners, they got hot at the right time. That's what it's all about, getting hot at the right time," per Michael Marot of the Associated Press via the Miami Herald.
Conversely, the Chiefs skidded into the playoffs after having lost five of their final seven games following a 9-0 start.
When reviewing the facts, it appears as if the Colts are in a fantastic position to win and advance, especially considering they're playing at home.
But that isn't going to happen. The Chiefs are going to rise to the occasion and claim victory on the road.
Despite the poor finish, Kansas City was the better team for much of the season, and possesses the ultimate weapon in running back Jamaal Charles. In the Week 16 loss to Indianapolis, Charles ran the ball 13 times for 106 yards, an average of 8.2 yards per carry, and finished the season averaging a ludicrous five yards per carry. When you couple that with the fact that the Colts possess the league's 26th ranked run defense, you get a recipe for a huge game from Charles.
Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is tremendous, but he can't do it by himself. His wide receiving corps is average at best without the injured Reggie Wayne, and it's hard to imagine running back Donald Brown gouging the Chiefs defense for eight yards per carry like he did in Week 16.
Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith won't make the crucial mistake, and coach Andy Reid will force-feed Charles the ball. Plus, the Chiefs will finally have their full complement of pass-rushers in tow, making life difficult for Luck.
When it's all said and done, the Chiefs will win and advance to the divisional round, where they'll travel to Denver for a third matchup this season against the Broncos.