A pair of AFC teams that entered the season with high expectations clash on the gridiron in the Hoosier State. The Kansas City Chiefs are on the road as they make the trip to face the Indianapolis Colts Sunday afternoon. Kansas City comes in off a 27-24 win over the Chargers on Thursday Night Football in their week two matchup to remain unbeaten. Indianapolis looked absolutely dismal as they followed up a 20-20 tie with Houston in their season opener by getting blanked 24-0 by Jacksonville on the road last Sunday in their week two tilt. In the all-time regular season series between the teams, the Colts own a 13-9 advantage, including a 19-13 road victory in the most recent matchup on October 6, 2019.
Kansas City Chiefs Seeking 3-0 StartKansas City had all they wanted from Los Angeles in a battle of AFC West opponents but got a big defensive play in the fourth quarter to end up with the victory. The Chiefs ran their mark to 2-0 on the year and try to make it three straight wins to open the season with a road triumph here. Against Los Angeles, Kansas City trailed 17-7 in the early stages of the third quarter before reeling off 20 straight points to take a 27-17 lead with 3:20 to play. The Chargers drew within three points with 1:11 to play but Kansas City recovered the ensuing onside kick to preserve the win. Kansas City was outgained 401-319 in total offense, lost the first down battle 21-15 and was crushed in time of possession by a 33:37 to 26:23 margin. On the plus side, the Chiefs forced the game’s lone turnover and it was a 99-yard pick-six by Jaylen Watson to give Kansas City a 24-17 lead with 10:29 to play that they wouldn’t relinquish.
On the season, the Chiefs are sixth in the league in passing offense with an average of 293 yards per contest this season. Kansas City stands 16th in the league in rushing offense as they grind out 110.5 yards per game on the year. The Chiefs are second in the league in scoring offense as they put up an average of 35.5 points per contest. Kansas City stands 18th in scoring defense by allowing 22.5 points a game this year. Patrick Mahomes is the signal caller for the Chiefs and he’s completed 54 of 74 passes for 595 yards with seven touchdowns and no interceptions on the year. In the run game, Clyde Edwards-Helaire has been the feature back with 15 carries for 116 yards this season. Isaih Pacheco (14 carries, 68 yards, TD) and Jerick McKinnon (eight carries, 34 yards) have been involved in the ground game as well . There is no shortage in targets in the passing game, highlighted by Travis Kelce’s 13 receptions for 172 yards and a score this season. JuJu Smith-Schuster (nine catches, 89 yards), Mecole Hardman (six grabs, 65 yards, TD), Edwards-Helaire (seven catches, 76 yards, two TD) and Marquez Valdes-Scantling (six catches, 57 yards) all have been good targets in the early going. Harrison Butker has hit four of four extra point attempts and his lone field goal attempt from 54 this season. Safety Eric Reid is one of two on extra points without attempting a field goal while Matt Ammendola has connected on all three extra points and both his field goal attempts with a long of 31 on the year.
On the injury front, Butker (ankle) didn’t practice Wednesday or Thursday so he could be out again. Defensive end Mike Danna (calf) missed practice Wednesday and Thursday while Mecole Hardman (heel) had limited participation both days. Keep an eye out for updates on the injury report leading into kickoff. Meanwhile, starting linebacker Willie Gay misses the first game of his four-game suspension for an offseason incident here. That could thrust rookie Leo Chenal into the fire.
Indianapolis Colts Trying to Earn First Win of 2022Indianapolis looked absolutely anemic in their loss to Jacksonville on the road, extending their misery in the northern part of the Sunshine State to eight consecutive losses. The Colts dropped to 0-1-1 on the season with the loss as they failed to put any points on the board. Against Jacksonville, Indianapolis was without their top two receivers in Michael Pittman Jr. and Alex Pierce: their absences showed. The Colts were unable to sustain drives or get running back Jonathan Taylor involved. Indianapolis was two of 10 on third down and zero of two on fourth down in the contest. The Colts lost the total yardage battle 331-218, gave up 21 first downs while recording only nine and were dominated 38:15 to 21:45 in time of possession in the contest. Indianapolis also committed three turnovers while failing to record a takeaway in the contest.
On the year, the Colts are 10th in the league in passing offense with an average of 252 yards per game through the air while they are 12th in rushing offense with 115.5 yards per contest on the ground. Indianapolis is last in the league in scoring offense with 10 points per game while they stand 17th in scoring defense by allowing 22 points per contest. Matt Ryan is 48 of 80 passing for 547 yards with one touchdown against four interceptions. He has rushed for 12 yards while getting sacked seven times. Jonathan Taylor leads the team with 40 carries for 215 yards plus a score on the ground this season. Nyheim Hines (four carries, four yards) is more of a pass-catching threat but he has seen some action on the ground as well. Michael Pittman Jr. is second on the team with nine receptions for 121 yards plus a score on the year. Hines (10 catches, 87 yards), Taylor (five receptions, 23 yards), Mike Strachan (three grabs, 59 yards), Mo-Alie Cox (three catches, 35 yards) and Parris Campbell (three receptions, 36 yards) have each been involved in the early going this season. Rodrigo Blankenship has hit two of two extra point attempts and two of three field goal attempts with a long of 45 on the year.
Defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (back) was limited in Wednesday’s practice and was downgraded to a DNP (did not practice) for Thursday’s practice. Tackle Bernhard Raimann (ankle) did not practice on Wednesday but upgraded to being a limited participant Thursday. Wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. (quad) missed last week’s game and has been a limited participant in each of the two practices this week. Check back over the next couple of days to keep an eye on updates regarding their statuses for this game.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
We’ve seen completely different performances from these teams in the opening two weeks of the season. The Chiefs have knocked off the Cardinals in blowout fashion before taking down the Chargers in their week two tilt. Indianapolis did next to nothing in the first three quarters against Houston before rallying to tie that game. That was followed by doing absolutely nothing against the Jaguars in week two. While the potential for this being a trap game for the Chiefs does linger in one’s mind, the fact remains that we have to see something from the Colts before you can have faith in them. Kansas City is the better team right now and based on what we’ve seen, you have to think that the Chiefs win this one by double figures.
Full-Game Total Pick
Kansas City comes into this game having split their first two games in relation to the total on the season. The Chiefs combined for 65 points in their win against the Cardinals in the opener before totaling 51 in the game with the Chargers. In those games, the totals were set at 54 points in the game against the Cardinals and 53 points for the contest with Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Indianapolis has stayed under the total in both their games as they had a combined 40 points in the game with Houston and 24 points in the contest with the Jaguars. The Colts saw totals of 45.5 points in the game with the Texans and 44 points in the Jacksonville contest. With the Colts looking anemic offensively, you’d have to think the Chiefs might need 35 to 38 points to push this over the mark. I don’t see them getting there and as a result, look for this total to end up short of the number.