The Colts this week go up against a Chiefs team that just recorded its first win last week at home against the Minnesota Vikings. Last year the Colts beat the Chiefs in Indy, and are hoping to do it again Sunday. Here’s a couple keys to the game Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium, along with our prediction of how it’s gonna go down.
1. Back to Basics on Defense – The Colts enter Sunday a lowly 28th in both scoring defense (27.0 ppg) and against the run (133.0 ypg), and the team was gashed for 192 yards on the ground by the Buccaneers on Monday. Sure you can say that injuries have a lot to do with it, and it does, but right now no one is going to feel sorry for the Colts in that area. They have to tackle better, be in the right positions, and not give up big plays in the run game. The Chiefs don’t have Jammal Charles, but will run the ball knowing the Colts are having major issues in that department.
2. Keep Up the Momentum in the Passing Game – Finally the Colts showed signs of life throwing the football Monday night with Painter going off for 281 passing yards and 2 touchdowns. The 26-year-old did not commit a turnover against the Bucs and found Pierre Garcon (14 receptions, 295 yards, 2 TD’s) for touchdown strikes of 87 and 59 yards. Painter needs to use Garcon, along with Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark to attack the Chiefs. While Peyton Manning is out, the Colts still have threats in the pass game, and Painter needs to use them.
3. Red-zone efficiency – Both the Colts and Chiefs have been among the league’s worst in producing touchdowns in the red zone, while Kansas City’s defense has been one of the poorest in preventing the opposition from crossing the goal line in those situations. Whichever team can come up with seven points instead of three on its drives stands the best chance of winning, and the Colts need to work on that a lot this week in order to overcome the issues they have had in the red zone so far in 2011.
Prediction – Two teams in the midst of a bad season, but both had some good points a week ago, with the Chiefs winning their first game over the Vikings. The Colts played well on Monday night, but a late Bucs TD blew what was a good effort by Painter. The Colts should stick with Painter, and it’s a bad decision to go back to Kerry Collins. I think the Colts keep playing well, and at home they have a slight edge over the Chiefs. Indianapolis 16 Kansas City 12