What: Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs
When: Sunday Night Football, October 6 at 8:20 pm ET
Where: Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri
How (TV): NBC
Latest point spread: Colts +10.5, Chiefs -10.5
This AFC matchup between an Indianapolis Colts team struggling to bump itself over .500 and a Kansas City Chief franchise that would love to continue its 4-0 run of perfection would be a must-watch game in Week 5 even if it wasn’t featured on Sunday Night Football.
The Colts are without the quarterback they had hoped would be under center for the 2019 season, Andrew Luck, who retired all beat up, leaving giant shoes to fill for replacement Jacoby Brissett, who is still figuring out how to get things done like a starter.
The Kansas City Chiefs didn’t look right in Week 4 as they struggled to keep up with (and eventually overcome) the Detroit Lions, and without deep threat receiver Tyreek Hill, who is out with a bad shoulder, the rest of the team has to step up and start hanging on to most of Patrick Mahomes’ look (and no look) passes.
Let’s take a quick look at how each of these two teams is set up to face each other in Week 5.
At first the Indianapolis Colts had to re-learn their offense with a new quarterback under center, Jacoby Brissett, and now they might have to do it again without deep threat receiver T.Y. Hilton, who is listed as questionable with a quadriceps injury (see below).
Running back Marlon Mack was almost a no-show in Week 4, posting just 39 yards rushing with no receptions or touchdowns, and the talented back needs has to rise above his sore ankle (see below) to show up in Week 5 against the Chiefs’ notoriously weak rushing defense.
For the last two seasons, the Colts are about 50/50 on the road, so to win they will have to take advantage of the Chiefs much weaker defense and do their best to limit Kansas City’s high-scoring Mahomes-based offense to under 30.
For more on the Colts, check out this article: Indianapolis Colts Biggest Offseason Moves
The 2019 Kansas City Chiefs are undefeated for one major reason, and that reason is second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who is currently ranked the best among his football hurling peers with 106 completions for 1,510 yards and 10 touchdowns with absolutely no interceptions thus far.
Week 4 was an odd one for Mahomes, who had no passing touchdowns, so the Chiefs had to rely more on their running game (including Mahomes) to orchestrate a late comeback to barely beat the Detroit Lions at the end of the fourth quarter, 34-30.
Without receiver Tyreek Hill, who is out with a shoulder injury (see below), the Chiefs’ offense will have to depend once again on its run game and of course tight end Travis Kelce, whose soft hands have brought him to the top of the receivers’ rankings this season.
For more on the Chiefs, check out this article: Kansas City Chiefs Biggest Offseason Moves
These two teams have met 26 total times (including 5 postseason games), with Kansas City winning 10 of those games and Indianapolis winning 16 times.
The Chiefs won their last meetup, which was also in 2019, but that was a playoff game in January last season when Kansas City cut the Indianapolis’ postseason run short by a score of 31-13 in the Divisional round.
If the Colts win this matchup, they’ll move to 3-2-0 and a remain in the hunt for first place of the AFC South, where all three other franchises are entering Week 5 with a 2-2 record.
But if the Chiefs come out the winners in this one, they’ll move to 5-0-0 and continue their dominant run to their likely fourth AFC West championship in a row.
Who’s favored to win this Week 5 Colts-Chiefs matchup?
Which team has a better offense? Defense? Special teams?
Which team’s quarterback is more likely to lead his team to victory?
We’re going to briefly compare the Colts and the Chiefs next and attempt to answer those questions and more.
Passing attack: The Indianapolis Colts have the 25th ranked passing game in the NFL right now, averaging 214.8 yards through the air per game after four weeks.
Quarterback Jacoby Brissett is no Andrew Luck, and is currently the 20th best passer in the league, completing 90-of-138 for 911 yards and 10 touchdowns with just 2 interceptions.
The Colts leading receiver in Week 4 is T.Y. Hilton, who is currently 60th in the league with 20 catches for 195 yards and 4 touchdowns, listed as questionable for this Week 5 matchup (see below).
Rushing attack: The Colts’ rushing attack is the ranked 7th after averaging 132.52 yards on the ground per game.
Running back Marlon Mack is averaging 4.7 yards per carry, ranked 5th among backs so far with 72 attempts for 338 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Indianapolis has scored 94 total points this season, or 23.5 per game, which is the 12h best total in the NFL.
Listed as questionable for Week 5: running back Marlon Mack (ankle), wide receivers Parris Campbell (abdomen) and T.Y. Hilton (quadriceps).
Injury notes: wide receivers Daurice Fountain (ankle), Devin Funchess (collarbone) and Steve Ishmael (knee), tight end Billy Brown (undisclosed) and guard Javon Patterson (knee – ACL) have been placed on injured reserve.
Passing attack: Kansas City has the best passing attack in the league right now (1st overall) after averaging 373.0 yards through the air every game.
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes has been stellar once again this season, and in four games he has completed 106-of-157 passes for 1,510 yards and 10 touchdowns with no interceptions and a completion percentage of 67.9.
With Tyreek Hill out due to a shoulder injury, the Chiefs’ best receiver is tight end Travis Kelce, who has caught 24 passes for 369 yards and 1 touchdown in four games, ranked 4th among NFL receivers right now, tied for 4th best with Zach Ertz among tight ends.
Rushing attack: Kansas City has the 20th ranked rushing attack, averaging 101.8 rushing yards per game.
LeSean ‘Shady’ McCoy is the Chiefs’ best runner and he is currently the 21st best in the NFL with 40 carries for 214 yards and 2 touchdowns, averaging an impressive 5.4 yards per carry, also with 9 catches for 71 yards and a touchdown on the season.
Kansas City has scored 135 points in 2019, averaging 33.8 per game, which is tied with the Baltimore Ravens for the best total in the NFL.
Listed as questionable for Week 5: running back Damien Williams (knee).
Injury notes: wide receiver Tyreek Hill (shoulder) and offensive tackle Eric Fisher (groin) are listed as out, while quarterback Chad Henne (ankle), wide receivers Felton Davis (shoulder), Davon Grayson (knee) and Marcus Kemp (knee) and tight end David Wells (undisclosed) have been placed on injured reserve.
The Kansas City Chiefs are a point-scoring machine and will have the definitive advantage over these Colts in Week 5 as Indianapolis still works to gel with Brissett under center.
Pass coverage: The Colts have the 13th best pass defense this year so far, allowing opponents to throw for 230.5 yards through the air per game.
Indianapolis’s defense has 2 team picks and they have 9 total sacks.
Run coverage: Defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus’ Colts are the 25th best team against the run right now after allowing opponents to run for 132.5 yards per game.
The Indianapolis Colts have allowed their opponents to score 102 total points, or 25.5 per game, which is tied for 24th least (or 9th most) in the NFL.
Watch for Colts middle linebacker Anthony Walker, who is tied for the 17th most tackles right now with 33 of them, plus a sack.
Defensive tackle Denico Autry is rough on quarterbacks, so far with 2.5 sacks and 11 tackles with a forced fumble thrown in.
Gotta look for Indianapolis strong safety Clayton Geathers, he’s been busy this season with an interception and 2 passes defended plus 20 tackles.
Listed as questionable for Week 5: defensive tackle Tyquan Lewis (ankle), linebacker Darius Leonard (concussion) and safety Clayton Geathers (concussion).
Injury notes: safety Malik Hooker is listed as out, while defensive end Jegs Jegede (undisclosed) and safeties Isaiah Johnson (undisclosed) and Kai Nacua (undisclosed) have been placed on injured reserve.
Pass coverage: The Chiefs’ defense is 20th against the pass, allowing their opponents to throw for an average of 258.8 yards per game.
Kansas City’ defense has 3 interceptions on opposing quarterbacks and they have 11 total sacks after four weeks.
Run coverage: The Chiefs are 31st best against a rushing attack (or 2nd worst behind the Miami Dolphins), allowing opponents to run for an average of 149.8 yards per game.
Kansas City has allowed their opponents to score 94 total points this season, or 23.5 per matchup, which is 19th fewest in the NFL.
Kansas City may be relatively weak on defense, but cornerback Kendall Fuller is not at all weak on tackling, already with 29 of them (3 for a loss) plus a sack and a quarterback hit with 2 passes defended.
The Chiefs have a fierce quarterback hunter now in Emmanuel Ogbah, who has already posted 2.5 sacks and 10 tackles plus a forced fumble, so keep an eye out.
Kansas City has a defensive back that has been working hard in the secondary – so far Bashaud Breeland has posted an interception, 4 passes defended, 2 fumble recoveries (one of those for a touchdown) and 14 tackles.
Listed as questionable for Week 5: defensive end Alex Okafor (hip) and linebacker Damien Wilson (concussion).
Injury notes: defensive end Tim Ward (knee – ACL) and linebacker Darius Harris (undisclosed) are listed as NFI, while defensive end Breeland Speaks (knee – MCL), cornerbacks Michael Hunter (groin) and Keith Reaser (Achilles) have been placed on injured reserve.
The Indianapolis Colts (and every other team in the NFL except the Miami Dolphins and the Arizona Cardinals) have a defensive advantage over the Kansas City Chiefs.
Indianapolis’s punter, Rigoberto Sanchez, is in his third NFL season, all with the Colts, and in 2019 he has punted 13 times for a net average of 41.2 yards per punt, 22nd best in the league.
Kansas City’s veteran punter, Dustin Colquitt, is in his fifteenth NFL season, all with the Chiefs, and this season he has punted 10 times for a net average of 37.7 yards per punt, which was the 33rd best in the league.
Indianapolis’s placekicker Adam Vinatieri, in his 24th NFL season (his 14th with the Colts).
Vinatieri has gone 4-for-7 this season, his longest a 49-yarder, and he has missed 3 extra point attempts (8/11).
Kansas City’s placekicker, Harrison Butker, is in his third NFL season, all with the Chiefs.
Butker has made 8-of-9 field goals this season, his longest a 46 yarder, and so far, he has missed one extra point attempt (15/16).
Kansas City’s punt returner, wide receiver Chester Rogers, is ranked 9th in punt return average in 2019.
So far this year, Rogers has returned 8 punts for 82 yards and 0 touchdowns, averaging 19 yards per return.
Kansas City’s punt returner, wide receiver Mecole Hardman, is ranked 1st in punt return average this year.
Hardman has returned 1 punt for 20 yards, averaging 20 yards per return.
The Colts have a veteran placekicker who has been struggling to make field goals and extra points, so in Week 5 the special teams advantage goes to the Chiefs.
The Indianapolis Colts will win this game because their offense will finally start humming under Brissett and their superior defense will do the rest of the work to slow down Kansas City.
The obvious way to beat the Chiefs is to get out ahead early in the game and then limit the damage that Mahomes can do by keeping a dedicated ghost on him and simultaneously neutralizing Kelce as a go to target.
Indianapolis needs to put pressure on Mahomes on passing downs and shut down the Chiefs’ rushing attack when they’re running while taking full advantage of Kansas City’s clueless rush defense with a big Marlon Mack day at the office.
The Kansas City Chiefs will win this game because they are the better offensive team and no matter how many points you can always score, they can score more.
It doesn’t matter that Tyreek Hill is out, quarterback Patrick Mahomes can turn anyone into an effective target (and a hero) and he will poke holes in the Colts’ middling defense.
If running backs Damien Williams and LeSean McCoy can rise up, the Chiefs will take this one at home easily.
The Kansas City Chiefs by 8, Mahomes and company will simply outscore the Colts for the entire sixty minutes.
John Breech of CBS Sports predicts the score as Chiefs 37, Colts 23.
My prediction for the final score is Chiefs 34, Colts 26.
|Sportsbook||Colts +11||Chiefs -11|
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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