2019 Colts Preview: Colts/Chiefs, Week 5

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INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts have one more game before their bye week, and it's a big one.

In Week 5, the Colts (2-2) have a nationally-televised rematch of last season's Divisional Round playoff loss as they take on the Kansas City Chiefs (4-0) at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday Night Football.

The Colts look to rebound after falling short of victory last week at home, while also making a statement against one of the league's best teams in the process. It also wouldn't hurt to get a little payback for the Chiefs booting the Colts out of the playoffs last season.

Here's everything you need to know heading into this primetime showdown.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

  • Sunday, Oct. 6, at 8:20 p.m. ET
  • Kansas City, Mo.; Arrowhead, Stadium
  • TV: NBC (Sunday Night Football) — Al Michaels (play-by-play), Cris Collinsworth (color) and Michele Tafoya (sideline)
  • Watch the Colts on Yahoo Sports or the Colts app, free on your phone or tablet. *Geographic and device restrictions apply. Local & primetime games only. Data charges may apply.
  • Click here for more ways to watch.
  • To find out what games will be on in your area, check here
  • Radio: WFNI “1070 The Fan” and WLHK “HANK FM” — Matt Taylor (play-by-play), Jim Sorgi (color) and Larra Overton (sideline) | Westwood One — Kevin Kugler (play-by-play) and Rod Woodson (color)

ALL-TIME SERIES

  • Colts lead, 12-9 (4-1 in the playoffs). The Chiefs have won the last two games dating back to 2016.
  • Last game — Divisional Round of 2018-19 NFL Playoffs. Chiefs won, 31-13.

COACHING STAFF

Colts:

  • HC Frank Reich
  • OC Nick Sirianni
  • DC Matt Eberflus
  • STC Bubba Ventrone

Chiefs:

  • HC Andy Reid
  • OC Eric Bieniemy
  • DC Steve Spagnuolo
  • STC Dave Toub

LAST WEEK

Colts:

  • Lost vs. Oakland Raiders (2-2), 31-24

Chiefs:

  • Won @ Detroit Lions (2-1-1), 34-30

INJURY UPDATE

Colts:

  • OUT — WR Parris Campbell (abdominal), S Clayton Geathers (concussion), Malik Hooker (knee), LB Darius Leonard (concussion), DL Tyquan Lewis (ankle)
  • DOUBTFUL — N/A
  • QUESTIONABLE — WR T.Y. Hilton (quad), RB Marlon Mack (ankle), S Rolan Milligan (knee), LB Anthony Walker (shoulder), CB Rock Ya-Sin (hip)

Chiefs:

  • OUT — OT Eric Fisher (groin), WR Tyreek Hill (shoulder), LB Dorian O'Daniel (hamstring)
  • DOUBTFUL — N/A
  • QUESTIONABLE — DE Alex Okafor (hip), WR Sammy Watkins (shoulder), RB Damien Williams (knee)

STORYLINES/THINGS TO WATCH

  • The Toll Of Injuries — As you can see, there are a handful of very important players on the Colts' injury report this week. It's never good to go into this type of matchup while not at full strength, but that's the nature of the NFL. With the bye being next week, will there be anyone who the Colts keep out of this matchup so they can gain an extra week of rest?
  • Defending The Run — The Colts are currently 25th against the run and have given up some gashing plays to opposing running backs. The Chiefs have a talented group of tailbacks led by LeSean McCoy and Damien Williams who are more than capable of making big plays. The Colts were mostly outstanding against the run last year, so we'll see if this is the week they begin to settle in and improve. "When you look at run defense it’s all about gap control. It’s all about gap control," head coach Frank Reich said this week. "So you’ve just got to be disciplined in that and you’ve got to play your technique and assignment right. You look at it with a very critical eye – like most times it’s one guy here, one guy there. It’s usually never the same guy. It’s a collective whole. So that’s why it’s a great team game and we’ve got to tighten up and I am confident we will. It wasn’t always clean last year, but we found a way I think to get better as the year went on in all phases and I am confident we are going to continue to do that this year.”
  • Getting A Pass Rush — Like stopping the run, the Colts' pass rush has tailed off in recent weeks, coming away with just one sack in the last two games. They've gotten some pressure on quarterbacks but haven't been able to bring them down. If the Colts have any hope of holding Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes in check then they'll need to make sure they rattle his cage a little bit with their pass rush.
  • Bouncing Back — The Colts were gaining momentum going into last week's game, winning two games in a row before some self-inflicted wounds led to a loss at home against the Oakland Raiders. Can they clean up the errors and leave Arrowhead with a huge underdog win?
  • Redemption — As previously mentioned, the Colts were sent home by the Chiefs in last year's playoffs, and that's sure to be in the minds of many Colts players in this matchup. A win by the Colts here would also put them back over .500 and would go a long way toward building an entertaining rivalry in the AFC.
  • The Next Chapter In A New Rivalry? — Continuing on the last point, 10 years from now, we could look back at this game as a memorable piece in a long rivalry similar to what the Colts shared with the New England Patriots in the 2000s. Both Jacoby Brissett and Mahomes are young quarterbacks who are just scratching the surface of what they're capable of and could be leading these squads for years to come.

INTRIGUING MATCHUPS

  • Colts RB Nyheim Hines/TE Eric Ebron vs. Chiefs S Tyrann Mathieu — When Mathieu was a member of the division-rival Houston Texans in 2018, both Hines and Ebron had their successes against him in the passing game, scoring a few touchdowns with him in coverage. Mathieu is one of the league's top defensive backs, but if the Colts know a way to exploit the field in his area, then they'll take advantage of it.
  • Colts LT Anthony Castonzo vs. Chiefs DE Frank Clark — The Chiefs did part ways with current Colts defensive end Justin Houston and Dee Ford this offseason, but acquiring Clark from the Seattle Seahawks was a big deal. He may be a 10-plus sack defender, so Castonzo will have his hands full, but the Colts are fortunate to have a left tackle who can handle those duties. Castonzo was recently named to Pro Football Focus' "First-Quarter NFL All-Pro Team."
  • Colts DE Justin Houston vs. Chiefs OTs — There's probably no tackle that Houston knows better in this league than Chiefs left tackle Eric Fisher, and vice versa. However, Fisher has been on the shelf all week with a groin injury and has been declared out of this matchup. Cam Erving is expected to start in his place. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid is very familiar with the challenges his offensive linemen will face in Houston: “He’s one of the best players I’ve ever had an opportunity to coach and he’s a great guy," Reid told Indianapolis-area media this week in a conference call. "He was one of my leaders here and he was a leader here before I got here. It’ll be different. I’ve been watching tape on him, so it’s different seeing him in that uniform, but it’s the same player. He plays his heart out and he’s a tough kid. Great player though.”
  • Colts HC Frank Reich vs. Chiefs HC Andy Reid — One of the most intriguing battles in this one won't take place on the field, rather it will be on the sidelines between the two head coaches. While both Reich and Reid are their respective teams' offensive playcallers, this will be a football nerd's dream to watch the things these two cook up on offense.

REFEREE ASSIGNMENT

BETTING LINE

REGULAR SEASON LEADERS

Colts:

  • Passing — QB Jacoby Brissett (911 yards)
  • Rushing — RB Marlon Mack (338 yards)
  • Receiving — WR T.Y. Hilton (195 yards)
  • Touchdowns — WR T.Y. Hilton (4)
  • Tackles — LB Anthony Walker (32)
  • Sacks — DT Denico Autry (2.5)
  • Interceptions — S Clayton Geathers, S Malik Hooker (1)

Chiefs:

  • Passing — QB Patrick Mahomes (1,510 yards)
  • Rushing — RB LeSean McCoy (214 yards)
  • Receiving — TE Travis Kelce (369)
  • Touchdowns — RB LeSean McCoy, WR Demarcus Robinson, WR Sammy Watkins (3)
  • Tackles — CB Kendall Fuller (29)
  • Sacks — DE Emmanuel Ogbah (2.5)
  • Interceptions — CB Bashaud Breeland, DE Frank Clark, CB Charvarius Ward (1)

COMPARING 2019 STATS

Colts:

  • Total offense — 19th (347.2 YPG)
  • Scoring — 12th (23.5 PPG)
  • Passing offense — 25th (214.8 YPG)
  • Sacks allowed — 6th (6)
  • Running offense — 7th (132.5 YPG)
  • Third down offense — 5th (49%)
  • Red zone offense — 4th (71.4%)
  • Total defense — 16th (363.0 YPG)
  • Scoring defense — Tied-24th (25.5 PPG)
  • Passing defense — 13th (230.5 YPG)
  • Sacks — Tied-19th (9)
  • Running defense — 25th (132.5 YPG)
  • Third down defense — 28th (49%)
  • Red zone defense — 31st (75.0%)
  • Time of possession — 17th (30:26)
  • Turnover differential — 17th (0)

Chiefs:

  • Total offense — 2nd (474.8 YPG)
  • Scoring — Tied-1st (33.8 PPG)
  • Passing offense — 1st (373.0 YPG)
  • Sacks allowed — Tied-2nd (3)
  • Running offense — 20th (101.8 YPG)
  • Third down offense — Tied-2nd (52%)
  • Red zone offense — 20th (52.9%)
  • Total defense — 30th (408.5 YPG)
  • Scoring defense — 19th (23.5 PPG)
  • Passing defense — 20th (258.8 YPG)
  • Sacks — Tied-10th (11)
  • Running defense — 31st (149.8 YPG)
  • Third down defense — 21st (42%)
  • Red zone defense — 12th (52.9%)
  • Time of possession — 22nd (29:18)
  • Turnover differential — 10th (+2)

NOTES AND QUOTES

  • Colts running back Marlon Mack needs one 100-yard rushing game to tie Curtis Dickey, Randy McMillan and Lenny Moore (six) for the seventh-most such games in franchise history.
  • Hines needs five receptions to pass Joseph Addai (81) for the third-most receptions by a Colts running back in their first two seasons in the NFL.
  • Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton needs two touchdowns to pass Dallas Clark (46) for the 11th-most total touchdowns in franchise history, and would also tie Clark for the sixth-most receiving touchdowns in franchise history.
  • Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri needs one game played to pass Rohn Stark and Jeff Saturday (197) and tie Eugene Daniel (198) for the fourth-most games played in Colts history.
  • Reich on moving past last year's Divisional Round playoff loss versus taking things away from it: “I think it’s both. In one respect we are moving past – new team (on) both sides of the ball. But you do learn from it. We have gone back and looked at it. There is a fair amount of turnover on personnel in some areas, but you still can learn a lot from it.”
  • Reich on how tough it is to face a guy like Mahomes: “He’s a unique talent. He’s fun to watch – I’m not going to lie. Last week when we were playing the Raiders, I was watching a lot of Kansas City’s offense against them and he made a couple throws that you just shake your head and you say, ‘How do you do that?’ So we respect that and like I’ve said before to you guys, I also respect who he is off the field. I think it’s just great for the league when you’ve got players that are that good but also are really pros on and off the field. But make no mistake, everybody can be beat in this league. Everybody can be beat – I don’t care how good you are. He’s great, but this is a team game and it’s going to require our best team effort to beat these guys.”
  • Reid on Brissett: “I’m a big fan. I think he’s a heck of a player. I love the way he handles himself and the offense. He’s well-coached to. He’s got a good head coach there and good coordinators. He’s in a good situation there.”
  • The Colts made the following roster moves this week: signed defensive tackle Trevon Coley to the 53-man roster from the Baltimore Ravens' practice squad signed, waived defensive tackle Jihad Ward, signed wide receiver Marcus Johnson and cornerback Shakial Taylor to the practice squad, and released cornerback Jalen Collins and defensive tackle Brian Price from the practice squad.

CATCH BEFORE THE GAME

NEXT WEEK

Colts:

  • BYE

Chiefs:

  • Houston Texans (home)

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