After a dominant Wild Card win in Houston, the Indianapolis Colts will travel to Arrowhead Stadium to battle the conference’s top seed, the Kansas City Chiefs, in the Divisional Round playoff.
The winner punches their ticket to the AFC Championship game, the final frontier before Super Bowl 53.
Kickoff is scheduled for Saturday, January 12th at 4:35pm EST.
The lowest seeded team left in the AFC bracket sure didn’t look the part in Houston, as the Colts systematically picked apart the Texans in a 21-7 win.
— LastWordOnNFL (@LastWordOnNFL) January 5, 2019
The most encouraging sign was Indy’s ability to run the football, racking up 200 yards on the ground – the only team to crack that threshold over the weekend.
— Bleacher Report NFL (@BR_NFL) January 5, 2019
Marlon Mack had a franchise record single-game high of 148 yards, shredding the NFL’s third-ranked unit against the run.
TY Hilton owns the Texans 🤡 pic.twitter.com/XCVDGqg49J
— Barstool Sports (@barstooltweetss) January 5, 2019
Keep that up against KC, and that keeps Patrick Mahomes off the field. The Chiefs are a woeful 27th in rush yards allowed.
— Everything Pro Heels®️ (@ProTarHeels) January 5, 2019
Of course, Indy’s main attraction is Andrew Luck, and he delivered early, before safely landing the plane to a victory with little turbulence.
Darius Leonard : 13 tackles
Kenny Moore II : 6 tackles, a sack & an INT pic.twitter.com/8D8oBfr0HA
— Lee Harvey (@MusikFan4Life25) January 6, 2019
The Colts ninth-ranked defense limited Deshaun Watson to just 235 yards passing on a whopping 49 attempts, a meager 4.8 yard average. They also phased out key cogs DeAndre Hopkins (5 rec, 37 yards) and Lamar Miller (5 rush, 18 yards).
Kenny Moore had 1 INT, 1 sack, 2 passes defensed and 2 QB hits against the Texans. In other words, he was an absolute stud in his postseason debut. pic.twitter.com/s88kAcCNFz
— Johnny Kinsley (@Brickwallblitz) January 6, 2019
Perhaps their biggest edge is that they’re the hottest thing going in the NFL. Since starting out 1-5, Indianapolis has now gone 10-1 and are on the cusp of the AFC title game.
Colts vs Chiefs Statistical Comparison
|27.1 (4th)||PPG||35.3 (1st)|
|386.2 (7th)||YPG||425.6 (1st)|
|107.4 (20th)||Rushing YPG||115.9 (16th)|
|278.8 (6th)||Passing YPG||309.7 (3rd)|
|21.5 (10th)||PPG Allowed||26.3 (24th)|
|339.4 (11th)||YPG Allowed||405.5 (31st)|
|101.6 (8th)||Rushing YPG Allowed||132.1 (27th)|
|237.8 (16th)||Passing YPG Allowed||273.4 (31st)|
|+2 (13th)||Turnover Differential||+9 (6th)|
*Stats are from the 2018 NFL regular season
Kansas City Chiefs
After starting the year at 9-1 and scorching the earth with a historic-level offense, the Chiefs limped home, going 3-3 to close out the year.
Part of that had to do with the retooling of the backfield, after Kareem Hunt got released.
All of Patrick Mahomes' touchdown passes from 2018. All 50 of them.
— Connor Peters (@chief8225) December 31, 2018
Still, they’re led by likely MVP-winner Mahomes, who became just the second QB in NFL history to toss 50 TDs and throw for 5,000+ yards in a season, joining Peyton Manning.
Every week, it seemed Mahomes had a ‘did you see that?’ moment.
A better angle of the Patrick Mahomes no-look pass from earlier today. Insane pic.twitter.com/Dmcm6bpxW8
— AMock Sports (@AMockSports) December 10, 2018
KC moves the ball down the field in chunks, with Tyreek Hill popping the top off the defense, and tight end Travis Kelce working the middle of the field.
— The 3 Point Conversion (@3ptCnvrsn) October 15, 2018
The two combined for over 2,500 receiving yards, the top tandem in the NFL.
— Yahoo Sports NFL (@YahooSportsNFL) December 30, 2018
But they are woeful on defense, sitting next to last in both yards allowed overall and passing yards per game.
🔔 Clutch play alert.
Dee Ford strip sack, Breeland Speaks fumble recovery. pic.twitter.com/vVqvEw1T7K
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) October 28, 2018
What has helped them out are their 52 sacks on the season – tied for the league lead – but that will be put to the test in this one.
The Colts have allowed a league-low 18 sacks in 17 games this year, helping an upright Andrew Luck finish second to just Mahomes with 39 TD passes.
— Gaston Millar (@gaston_millar) January 6, 2019
KC and head coach Andy Reid are trying to shake off previous playoff failures. This is a unit that crashed out of the playoffs last year, blowing an 18-point lead to the Titans at home.
Reid, for all his brilliance, is just 11-13 in his postseason career. It’s a large enough sample that it has to play a factor.
Colts and Chiefs Betting Trends
|Colts Betting Trends||Chiefs Betting Trends|
|IND was 6-3 ATS on the road in 2018||KC was 4-4 ATS at home in 2018|
|IND was 3-5 SU as underdog in 2018||KC was 10-2 SU as favorite in 2018|
|IND was 3-3 SU as road underdog in 2018||KC was 7-1 SU as home favorite in 2018|
|IND was 8-5 SU in conference games in 2018||KC was 10-2 SU in conference games in 2018|
|IND is 6-3-1 ATS following a win in 2018||KC is 6-4-1 ATS following a win in 2018|