The Indianapolis Colts (3-4) this Sunday will host the Kansas City Chiefs (4-2) this Sunday for the first time since their stunning comeback in the wild card round of the 2013 NFL playoffs, but it’s actually a different example with the Chiefs that Colts head coach Chuck Pagano is using as a point of comparison.
Last season, the Chiefs started the year terribly, starting with a 1-5 record. But they then completely turned their year around, won their final ten regular season games, and won the wild card game on the road against the Texans. That’s a model that the Colts are hoping to follow.
The Colts this year started 1-3 and then also 2-4, but they’re still fighting for a playoff spot and still contending for the division in the AFC South, and Pagano used last year’s Chiefs team as an example of how the Colts can get things turned around.
“This is a football team that started the season 1-5 last year and ripped off 10 straight and made it to the playoffs and went down and beat a good Houston team,” Pagano pointed out on Wednesday. “They are 4-2 this year, two game win streak, so they are 14-2 in their last 16 regular season games. I have great respect for Andy Reid and their coaching staff and how they run their program. He is a great, great coach. All three phases are well-coached and they are a balanced football team and they pose a lot of problems in all areas and we are going to have to be on point and play near flawless football in order to have a chance in this ball game.”
While the Colts are still optimistic about their season, they’ll need to completely turn things around in order to have a Chiefs-like turnaround - and odds are they’d need some new players on defense too, which isn’t happening. So while the chances are very, very slim of this team being able to put together their final nine games of the season, but it is possible for them to turn things around enough to make the playoffs.
With a weak division, the Colts actually sit in second place in the AFC South with a 3-4 record, just one game back of the Houston Texans for first. In fact, the Texans would actually be fourth in the AFC West right now behind the Raiders, Broncos, and Chiefs, yet they’re leading the AFC South. So the Colts are still very much able to win the division, in which case they’d be replicating the Chiefs’ success to a certain degree. But while it’s certainly worth pointing out by Chuck Pagano, expecting the Colts to roll to nine straight wins to close this season is unrealistic, no matter how well Andrew Luck plays.