While New Orleans boasts one of the league’s worst defenses, the Chiefs won in nail-biter fashion last weekend, 27-21 over the Saints. Alex Smith threw for only 214 yards, but Spencer Ware rushed for nearly eighty and had a 46-yard touchdown reception on a screen pass. For the first time since Fitzpatrick’s meltdown, the defense scored as well on a second quarter pick-six by Daniel Sorensen, who later in the game recorded a sack, becoming the first Chiefs defensive back to score a TD and record a sack in the same game. Drew Brees dropped back quickly out of the shotgun, and tried to fire a pass over the middle of the defense, but it was tipped by Eric Berry, corralled by Sorensen, and the rest was history.
This weekend, they face an equally struggling unit that struggles to stop the run or pass. With that being said, Jeremy Maclin may not have a good game, as their starting cornerback Vontae Davis has been one of their few quality players and routinely shut downs the opposition’s number one option. Problem is for Indianapolis, the Chiefs have plenty of other weapons to attack with. Rookie speedster Tyreek Hill caught another touchdown last weekend, a 38 yarder on a “go” route, his third of the season. Travis Kelce, despite recording just 20 yards last weekend, is due for a big game. Alex Smith has started to play better in recent weeks, finding the open receiver rather than forcing it to Maclin or Kelce. With the offense humming more consistently, it bodes well for running back Spencer Ware. He has been unstoppable this season, accounting for over 35% of the Chiefs offensive yardage, which is second only behind Cardinals RB David Johnson for largest share of team offensive yards. He won’t break any 70-yard runs, but his consistency and authority in the hole and on the edge ensures the Chiefs balance and a dual-threat in the backfield. The Colts have been gashed by running backs all season, and it would shock me if Ware did not record at least 130 scrimmage yards (although it’s possible he does that much on the ground alone). While the Chiefs unwisely did not feed him late last weekend, which led to the Saints having numerous chances to come back, Jamaal Charles is inactive this week, leaving Ware and Charcandrick West as the only proven backs. The Chiefs must continue to spread the ball, and give Ware the football.
Defensively, the secondary may play a little better this weekend. Cornerback Phillip Gaines, who missed last weekend, fully participated in practice Friday and would be a boon to a secondary that has struggled to defend receivers not matched up with Marcus Peters. Speaking of Peters, he will not see Colts No. 1 WR T.Y Hilton every play, since Indy moves him all over the formation. Expect Andrew Luck to target whoever Peters isn’t covering, which has worked for quarterbacks this season (Michael Thomas had 10 catches for 130 yards last week, and we all remember what Big Ben did to them…). Dee Ford has been a pleasant surprise recently, and he will need to continue to do so. The Colts offensive line might be the worst in football, and if KC is going to continue their win streak they must pressure Andrew Luck. His play drops off significantly under duress, and if Bob Sutton’s unit can get in his face, I like their chances to win.
The Chiefs last trip to Indy didn’t end so well. The 2013 Wild Card game is all too memorable for their fans, and revenge may play a big part of today’s game. Andy Reid may be more aggressive as usual, and with the rest of the AFC West playing standout football, he has every right to. I think Spencer Ware goes off, and Marcus Peters makes a house call…or two. Chiefs 27, Colts 18.
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