The Chiefs look every bit the part of a team that has been to the AFC Championship Game in four consecutive years, as Patrick Mahomes continues to lead one of the best offenses in football.
Kansas City visits Indianapolis this weekend, and the Colts look every bit the part of a team that missed the playoffs last season because they couldn’t win at Jacksonville. In fact, now that they’ve been shutout in Jacksonville in the rematch, the Colts look even worse than last season.
Kansas City Chiefs Overview
We were supposed to be worried about the Chiefs’ offense this season. That is always a foolish take when the combo of Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes are still together. Minus Tyreek Hill, the Chiefs have developed a balanced attack, with Mahomes’ seven touchdown passes going to six different receivers.
In Week 1 Mahomes threw five touchdowns to four receivers, and then in Week 2 he added two new receivers to the mix, with touchdowns to Jerick McKinnon and Justin Watson.
This is a more complete Chiefs offense, even as Hill blows up in Miami, and this might be a better team than the one that hosted the AFC Championship Game every year since 2018. Not only is the offense harder to defend, the Kansas City defense is younger and faster than ever before.
They did take a small hit this week with the suspension of linebacker Willie Gay. He’s now gone for the next four weeks, and without his sideline-to-sideline pursuit in the run game, the Chiefs defense does drop a bit. But rookie defensive end George Karlaftis is for real, new safety Justin Reid is making up for the loss of Tyrann Mathieu, and rookie seventh-round pick cornerback Jaylen Watson just won AFC Defensive Player of the Week.
Indianapolis Colts Overview
There isn’t much to say about the Colts. This team under-delivered the year Philip Rivers was the quarterback. They under-delivered the next year with Carson Wentz at quarterback. And now, with Matt Ryan at quarterback, they look even worse.
Jonathan Taylor is a star, Michael Pittman is a fine player when healthy, but there really are no other playmakers on this offense, and that includes Ryan, who is a former MVP. When an aging quarterback hits the wall, it can hit hard and unexpectedly.
On paper, the offensive line is good, but that’s mostly limited to the middle of the line. The team is rotating at left tackle to no success, none of the receivers can get open, and that has Ryan struggling to the point that he and the Colts were shutout in Jacksonville.
The Jags seem to have the number of the Colts. On Sunday, Indianapolis was shut out for the first time since 2018, when they were also shutout in Jacksonville. But to go in looking for revenge and instead get run out of the building is unforgivable.
The Jaguars are better, but they are only 4-15 going back to last season, and two of those wins have come against the Colts.
Last season there were seven teams that began 0-2, and all seven missed the playoffs. At 0-3, it becomes a historic task to make the playoffs. Only six times has it ever happened.
The Colts need a win.
Chiefs at Colts Prediction
Line: Chiefs (-5.5), total points 50.5
The Chiefs haven’t shut out anyone since the Texans in the 2015 Wild Card. Their last regular season shutout came in 2011 against the Raiders. So we can safely assume that the Colts will score at least some points this week.
It’s really hard to see how they could possibly score enough to keep up with the Chiefs, who will pick apart this defense if the pass rush remains dormant. Mahomes had some struggles against the Chargers because of Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa. Indianapolis has Kwity Paye and Yannick Ngakoue, and they are not doing much.
Taylor may find some success against the Chiefs’ defense, but countering the power of Mahomes with a running back, even a great one, isn’t the path to success.
The Colts are almost assuredly on their way to a third straight loss, and the Chiefs should win this game by a touchdown or more. Look for Mahomes to throw three or four touchdowns, the Chiefs to salt this game away late with an improved running game, and win 34-20.