The Indianapolis Colts are one of the hottest teams in the NFL and they meet the high flying Kansas City Chiefs in the Divisional round of the playoffs. At this stage, the Colts, Los Angeles Chargers, and New England Patriots are the only teams standing in the Chiefs way to a Super Bowl appearance.
The Colts are on a serious run and believe they can pave their way to a Lombardi trophy. Their team is a real contender and displayed complete dominance against the Houston Texans in the Wild Card game last weekend. The Chiefs enjoyed a first-round bye week and awaited the winner from the wild card Colts versus Texans winner.
The Chiefs face the Colts in a football matchup made in heaven. Both sides have high octane offenses that will display their best-kept weapons. The Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and receiver T.Y. Hilton is one of the best tandems in the NFL.
The Chiefs’ top player is All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce. The Chiefs young phenom quarterback Patrick Mahomes always has an ace in the hole with Kelce lining up anywhere in the Chiefs offense. Mahomes has other offensive weapons with receivers Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, and Chris Conley.
The Road To NFL Stardom Starts In Cleveland
Coming out of Cleveland Heights high school in 2008, Kelce was not highly sought after to play tight end at top Division I schools. He did receive an offer from the University Of Cincinnati, for which he compiled 875 yards on 59 receptions and 10 TDs over three years. The Chiefs discovered they had a gem in the rough after drafting Kelce with the 63rd pick in the 3rd round in 2013. Since then he has displayed exceptional skill as a tight end and wideout in specific offensive packages.
In 2018, Kelce amassed 103 receptions for 1,336 yards and 10 TDs. He finished with over 1,000 yards for the last three seasons and owned a total of 5,236 career yards with 410 receptions for 32 TDs.
Matchup vs. Colts Cover 2 Defense
In Week 8 during the 2016 season, then Chiefs QB Alex Smith and Kelce torched the Colts defense. Kelce made it look easy getting open and finished the game with seven receptions for 101 yards and a score. This postseason the Colts defense ranks fifth moving into this Divisional playoff game with 322 yards allowed per game.
The biggest test for the Colts linebackers is Kelce, and the Chiefs strategy will exploit open holes in the Colts’ zone defense. Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid is a genius using Kelce to gain the edge spots and stretching the Cover 2 defense.
Kelce vs. Will Linebacker Darius Leonard
Colts weakside linebacker Darius Leonard‘s hands will be full when he covers Kelce. Leonard’s speed, lateral quickness, and aggressive tackling from sideline to sideline is his best chance to limit Kelce’s touches. Leonard compiled 146 tackles, seven sacks, four forced fumbles and an interception in 13 games.
Kelce vs. Mike Linebacker Anthony Walker
Anthony Walker is an excellent tackler and very effective against the run game. His biggest drawback is his lack of discipline in the zone Cover 2 defense. Mahomes and Kelce will take full advantage and exploit those open lanes and Walker’s weakness.
The Final Prediction
The final prediction is the Chiefs will win the game. Why? Because they have home field advantage with their crowd. Second is Reid’s gameplan to move Kelce around to get him the ball with camouflaged alignments. The third is Mahomes and the rest of the Chiefs offense making plays especially if the Colts key on Kelce. Lastly, the Chiefs defense will show up and slow down the Colts offense and be just good enough for the Chiefs to get the win.