INDIANAPOLIS – For the third straight week, the Colts will face one of the league’s premier backs with Kansas City’s Jamaal Charles opposing the Indianapolis defense this weekend.
Charles ranks second in the AFC with 1,230 rushing yards, and he is averaging 4.9 yards per attempt.
The fifth-year back has returned from a season-ending knee injury in 2011 and looks to be back in Pro Bowl form.
Charles has rushed for 100 yards in three of the last four weeks, and the highlight of the season came in Week 3 when he ran 33 times for 233 yards against New Orleans.
The Chiefs and the Colts met last year at Lucas Oil Stadium, but things look much different for both teams.
In comparison to last year’s meeting, neither team will carry the same starting quarterback, running back or head coach into Sunday’s contest.
Quarterback Brady Quinn has started the last four games and helped lead Kansas City to its second victory three weeks ago.
The Chiefs did suffer a recent loss with wide receiver Dwayne Bowe going on injured reserve. Bowe injured ribs late in the December 9 game at Cleveland.
Without Bowe in the lineup, the Chiefs only have one wide receiver with at least 19 catches on the season as the offense relies on the NFL’s seventh-best rushing attack (139.3).
Backs Shaun Draughn and Peyton Hillis each have carried the ball at least 50 times as the Chiefs have kept it on the ground 47.6 percent of the time this year.
The Chiefs implement a 3-4 defense with outside rushers Justin Houston (10 sacks) and Tamba Hali (eight sacks) pacing the pass rush.
Kansas City has had some of its closest defeats against the AFC’s top teams (9-6 to Baltimore, 16-13 to Pittsburgh in overtime, 17-9 to Denver).
2012 Record: 2-12, Fourth in the AFC West.
Head Coach: Romeo Crennel, second season as Chiefs head coach (28-53 overall) and fifth overall in the NFL.
2012 NFL Rankings: Offense – Overall, 25th (320.1); Rushing, 7th (139.3); Passing, 31st (180.9) Defense – Overall, 18th (352.0); Rushing, 27th (136.4); Passing, 7th (215.6).
2012 Leading Passer: Brady Quinn (95-159 comp., 930 yards, 59.7 pct., 2 TDs, 6 INTs, 64.7 rating). Quinn has started the last four games, replacing Matt Cassel (161-277-1,796, 6 TDs/12 ints., 66.7 rating).
2012 Leading Rusher: Jamaal Charles (249 carries, 1,230 yards, 4 TDs).
2012 Leading Receiver: Dexter McCluster (48 receptions, 417 yards, 1 TD). Dwayne Bowe (59-801, 3 TDs) is on injured reserve.
2012 Leading Sacker: Justin Houston (10.0).
2012 Turnover Breakdown: -22 (tied for 31st).
2012 NFL Draft Results: The Chiefs chose Memphis defensive tackle Dontari Poe with the 11th pick in April’s draft. Poe has started 14 games, accounting for 32 tackles in the middle of the 3-4 defense. In the second round, Kansas City picked offensive guard Jeff Allen. Allen has started the last 11 games. Offensive tackle Donald Stephenson was taken in the third round. The Oklahoma product has started five of the last seven games.
2011 Review: Coming off a playoff appearance in 2010, the Chiefs won four straight during October and were 4-3 heading into the final two months of the season. However, the Chiefs dropped five of their next six, and Head Coach Todd Haley was dismissed with three weeks to go. Romeo Crennel was named interim head coach and won two of the final three games. Kansas City finished 7-9, one game back in a crowded AFC West.
Last time in Playoffs: 2010. Lost in the Wild Card Round to the Baltimore Ravens, 30-7.
Last time in Super Bowl: 1969.
Super Bowl Championships: One. Won Super Bowl IV over the Minnesota Vikings, 23-7.
2011 Pro Bowl Selections: Tamba Hali, OLB. Derrick Johnson, ILB.