Although the Colts won at Arrowhead Stadium, 23-7, and host the Chiefs at home this time around, there are reasons to believe Kansas City will win.
Here are three key factors that give Kansas City the advantage in Indianapolis.
Colts' Inconsistent Passing Game
Make no mistake about it, the Indianapolis Colts miss Reggie Wayne. After the veteran wide receiver was injured in Week 7, the Colts have struggled to find a good rhythm in the passing game.
After Wayne went out, T.Y. Hilton stepped up and had 100-yard receiving games in Weeks 8 and 9, but he has not found the end zone since November. Darrius Heyward-Bey was supposed to give Andrew Luck a deep-threat option at receiver, but he only has one touchdown on the year.
When the Colts host the Kansas City Chiefs tomorrow, they will face a defense with 21 interceptions, 3rd best in the NFL.
It won’t be easy for Colts receivers, as they face a secondary who does nothing but swarm the football and create turnovers.
Bottom line is the Chiefs defense should have no problem handling Hilton and containing the passing game.
The Return of Justin Houston
After linebacker Justin Houston dislocated his elbow in Week 12, the Chiefs defense was simply not the same.
With Houston out, the Chiefs defense fell apart, as they struggled to pressure the quarterback and keep opponents out of the end zone.
Although Houston has missed the last five games, he still ranks 11th in the league with 11 sacks on the season.
Houston is expected to return to the field tomorrow, which will immediately upgrade the Kansas City defense.
With Houston on the field again, I don’t see the Colts being able to run the football.
The Chiefs win games by pressuring the quarterback and creating turnovers, which is exactly what Houston will look to do tomorrow.
Success Running the Football
The Chiefs have the 10th best rushing offense in the NFL. The Colts have the 26th worst rushing defense in the NFL. I’d say the Chiefs have a pretty good advantage here, right?
Running back Jamaal Charles has done it all for the Chiefs this year.
Charles has 1,287 rushing yards on the season and had 13 carries for 106 yards and a touchdown when Kansas City last played Indianapolis in Week 16.
We’ve seen how Charles has been a one-man offense this season. He gets roughly 17 carries a game, but look for this to increase tomorrow.
I expect Charles to have his way against a Colts defense that gives up 125.1 yards a game on the ground.