4 Things The Chiefs Must Do To Beat Indy


  • This is the 21st meeting between these two teams that began playing each other with the merger of the AFL and NFL that was completed in 1970.
  • The Colts have a 13-7 advantage in the series, including 3 victories in the playoffs after the 1995, 2003 and 2006 seasons.
  • The last time these teams faced each other was last year, when the Colts won 19-9 at Lucas Oil Stadium. Last time the Chiefs beat the Colts was 2004, with a 45-35 victory in a shoot out between Trent Green and Peyton Manning.
  • The Chiefs are 0-5 in Indianapolis, losing in 1990, 2000, 2006 playoffs, 2007 and last season.


Make Painter Antsy

Although they have lost three in a row to the Colts, the Chiefs defense under both Gunther Cunningham and Romeo Crennel were able to do a good job keeping QB Peyton Manning under control. In those three games, Manning had one TD pass and five interceptions and averaged just 5.9 yards per attempt. KC did it by mixing coverages and throwing pressure at Manning that didn’t always get him on the ground, but got his feet moving. The same thing can happen with Curtis Painter. Crennel needs to mix his coverages with pressure up the middle that will block the vision of Painter, who is 6-4, an inch smaller than Manning. They must make him uncomfortable and hope his inexperience will give them a chance at interceptions.

Protect the ball

The turnover ratio remains one of the best gauges of team performance and success. There are 13 teams right now with a winning record in the league and they are a combined plus-42 on the take-give ratio. There are 11 teams with a losing record and they are a combined minus-31 on the ratio. Right now the Chiefs are minus-5. Defensively, the Colts have struggled but they’ve done a good job of knocking the ball out of their opponents’ hands. Indy is No. 2 in the AFC in fumbles caused with 7; they were able to recover 4 of those fumbles. The Chiefs have already lost five fumbles. To win they must button up and not provide the Colts any help.


Run, run, run

The Chiefs offense is about running the ball. That’s the way the team was built, and that’s how it will have its most offensive success. Having lost Jamaal Charles, that’s tougher to accomplish, but they have no choice. Whether it’s Thomas Jones, Dexter McCluster, Jackie Battle or Le’Ron McClain, all of them or some combination, their current 110 yards rushing per game is not good enough. Before Charles’ injury the Chiefs averaged 7.2 yards per run. Since the injury, they’ve averaged 3.5 yards per carry. They’ve had particular problems running the ball on first down, a pattern that has to be fixed.


Keep Freeney & Mathis off Cassel

If the Chiefs are going to have any hope of moving the football, they must be productive throwing the ball. That will only happen if LT Branden Albert and RT Barry Richardson can keep one of the best pass rushing duos in the league away from QB Matt Cassel. Together, Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis have six sacks this season. That’s more than the Chiefs have as a team. Over their careers, Freeney (11 seasons) and Mathis (9 seasons) have 174 total sacks and 80 forced fumbles. It’s those forced fumbles that worry most teams facing Freeney-Mathis. Last Sunday, the pass protection unit did a good job against Minnesota. They’ll have to do a better job, and do it on the road, against Indy.

One Response to “4 Things The Chiefs Must Do To Beat Indy”

  • October 8, 2011  - Blake says:

    I want to see Battle, McClain, and McCluster run the ball more than Jones. He has no explosiveness, no power, no speed, no nothing. Battle atleast has power, McCluster has moves and speed, McClain has more power and more moves that Jones. Jones is done, he just doesn’t have it anymore…

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