INDIANAPOLIS – When the Colts and Chiefs meet on Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium, a total of 13 days will have spanned since the team’s first meeting in Kansas City.
While the Colts played out the final game of the regular season, the Chiefs rested virtually every significant starter in having the 5th seed in the AFC Playoffs locked up.
The last game snaps for players like Pro Bowlers Jamaal Charles, Tamba Hali and Dontari Poe came back on Dec. 23 against the Colts.
In the Colts 23-7 win over the Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium, it was a dominant performance from the visitors in controlling possession.
The Colts held the ball for 38:20 in the team’s first meeting, with controlling the time of possession for at least nine minutes in every quarter.
The vast difference in time of possession came thanks to the Colts turning the Chiefs offense into an uncharacteristically turnover prone unit.
Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith was held to a season-low 41.3 quarterback rating with the Colts defense forcing four turnovers.
Kansas City was just one-of-eight on third-down. The seven points scored by the Chiefs were the fewest they’ve produced all season long.
On Saturday though, the Chiefs will bring one of the healthiest teams in the NFL to Lucas Oil Stadium that is expected to get two Pro Bowlers back in the lineup.
Leading sacker Justin Houston did not play in the team’s first meeting and now he will be paired opposite Tamba Hali (also has 11.0 sacks) to come off the edge.
Left tackle Brandon Albert sat out the Week 16 matchup and the Colts took advantage of his absence with a season-high five sacks.
For the Colts, priority No. 1 will be trying to contain the do-it-all running back in Charles, who leads the Chiefs in rushing and receiving.
Charles had 18 touches for 144 yards back on Dec. 23 with 37 of those yards coming on the Chiefs opening touchdown drive.
Saturday’s playoff tilt pits two teams that also matched up back in the 2006 Wild Card Round when the Colts beat the Chiefs 23-8 in Indianapolis to start off their Super Bowl XLI run.
2013 Record: 11-5, second in the AFC West.
Head Coach: Andy Reid 1st season as Chiefs head coach and 15th season as NFL head coach (141-98-1 overall regular season, 10-9 playoffs).
2013 NFL Rankings: Offense – Overall, 21st (337.3); Rushing, 10th (128.5); Passing, 24th (208.8) Defense – Overall, 24th (367.8); Rushing, 22nd (120.2); Passing, 25th (247.6).
2013 Leading Passer: Alex Smith (308-of-508 comp., 3,313 yards, 60.6 pct., 23 TDs, 7 INTs).
2013 Leading Rusher: Jamaal Charles (259 carries, 1,287 yards, 12 TDs).
2013 Leading Receiver: Jamaal Charles (70 receptions, 693 yards, 7 TDs).
2013 Leading Sacker: Tamba Hali and Justin Houston (11.0).
2013 Turnover Breakdown: Plus 18 (2nd 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 70 carries for 242 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.
2014 Pro Bowl Selections: T-Brandon Albert, S-Eric Berry, RB-Jamaal Charles, CB-Brandon Flowers, OLB-Tamba Hali, OLB-Justin Houston, RB-Dexter McCluster and DT-Dontari Poe.