INDIANAPOLIS – While there’s talk that the Colts and Chiefs should have relatively “vanilla” game plans come Sunday, a simple look at the playoff scenarios would beg to differ.
The Chiefs (11-3) currently sit in the 5 spot in the AFC Playoff Picture but if Kansas City wins out and Denver loses just one game, it would be the Chiefs capturing the AFC West and the possible top overall seed.
And then there are the Colts (9-5), who by winning out keep their chances alive to securing a bye in the playoffs.
Perhaps no team in the NFL has been more impressive over the last two weeks than the Chiefs.
A pair of road victories by a combined 60 points has continued an offensive onslaught for Kansas City for the past month.
In the Chiefs last four games, they are averaging 42 points with one particular player carrying a heavy offensive load.
Do-it-all running back Jamaal Charles has positioned himself in the MVP race thanks to a spectacular last four games.
Charles is averaging 8.6 yards per touch (60 carries and 16 catches) and has scored 10 touchdowns over that span.
On the season, Charles has scored 18 touchdowns (11 rushing and 7 receiving) and leads the Chiefs with 65 receptions on the year.
Defensively, the Chiefs have had one of the best units all season long with an aggressive style in getting after the quarterback.
The Chiefs have 43 sacks (third most in the NFL) on the season and lead the NFL with a plus 21 turnover margin, which is a major reason they have had a 9-game turnaround.
Edge rushers Justin Houston and Tamba Hali lead the team with 11 sacks apiece but both are battling injuries.
Sunday’s matchup between the Colts and Chiefs pits teams with a combined 22-8 record, the second best game of any in Week 16.
2013 Record: 11-3, tied for first in the AFC West.
Head Coach: Andy Reid 1st season as Chiefs head coach and 15th season as NFL head coach (141-96-1 overall regular season, 10-9 playoffs).
2013 NFL Rankings: Offense – Overall, 17th (341.2); Rushing, 11th (125.6); Passing, 23rd (215.6) Defense – Overall, 22nd (365.2); Rushing, 18th (114.4); Passing, 20th (250.8).
2013 Leading Passer: Alex Smith (292-of-480 comp., 3,160 yards, 60.8 pct., 23 TDs, 6 INTs).
2013 Leading Rusher: Jamaal Charles (246 carries, 1,181 yards, 11 TDs).
2013 Leading Receiver: Jamaal Charles (65 receptions, 655 yards, 7 TDs).
2013 Leading Sacker: Tamba Hali and Justin Houston (11.0).
2013 Turnover Breakdown: Plus 21 (1st in the NFL).
2013 NFL Draft Results: With the first pick in the 2013 draft, the Chiefs chose athletic Central Michigan tackle Eric Fishers. Kansas City traded its second round pick for now starting quarterback Alex Smith. In the third round, the Chiefs had a pair of picks and stayed on the offensive side of the ball with tight end Travis Kelce and running back Knile Davis. Lately, Davis has played a lot with 42 carries for 159 yards.
2012 Review: The Chiefs had a tumultuous 2012 campaign with a 2-14 year, earning the No. 1 pick. Kansas City scored over 17 points just once over the final three months of the season and head coach Romeo Crennel was fired after the season. It was a season that virtually no one saw coming for the Chiefs considering they had six Pro Bowlers, which was three more than the playoff bound Colts had last year.
Last time in Playoffs: 2010 season. Lost to the Baltimore Ravens, 30-7, in the Wild Card Round of the Playoffs.
Last time in Super Bowl: 1969 season. Won Super Bowl IV over the Minnesota Vikings, 23-7.
Super Bowl Championships: One. Super Bowl IV over the Minnesota Vikings, 23-7.
2013 Pro Bowl Selections: S-Eric Berry, RB-Jamaal Charles, P-Dustin Colquitt, OLB-Tamba Hali, OLB-Justin Houston and ILB-Derrick Johnson.