The 2-0 Kansas City Chiefs come to Lucas Oil for the Indianapolis Colts’ home opener. After getting shutout 24-0 against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 2, the Colts will look to bounce back and earn their first win of the 2022 season.
It’s still very early in the season and while the Colts have started out slow before in the Chris Ballard/Frank Reich era, the next three games against Kansas City, the Tennessee Titans, and Denver Broncos will tell us whether they’ve got the ability to climb their way back into contention for an AFC South title.
Here are my bold predictions ahead of Sunday’s massive home game for the Colts:
- The Colts' defense will hold Kansas City’s offense to under 30 points
These are ‘bold predictions,’ right? Well, let’s get really bold with this first one. We know the kind of challenge Kansas City’s offense presents with quarterback Patrick Mahomes at the helm. Indianapolis’ defense will have to come prepared to defend his arsenal of weapons, which includes tight end Travis Kelce, wide receiver Mecole Hardman, and others.
Over the last two games, the Colts defense has surrendered a combined 44 points to both the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars, so stifling this red-hot Chiefs offense will be no easy task.
But I am predicting that Indianapolis finds a way to hold one of the NFL’s most explosive offenses to under 30 points on Sunday. While I don’t expect the Colts to just flip a switch and start playing like the same defense that forced the second-most turnovers in the league in 2021, their defense has multiple Pro Bowlers for a reason and might just be able to make a few crucial plays to help slow down the Chiefs’ offense.
- Jonathan Taylor will rush for over 100 yards
Jacksonville kept Colts All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor in check in Week 2, as Taylor only had a total of 54 rushing yards on nine carries. Through two games, the Chiefs have surrendered a total of 178 rushing yards on 3.9 YPC. Taylor’s averaged 5.4 YPC through the first two weeks, and I expect the Colts to get their best offensive player involved more often than they did against the Jaguars.
Part of what makes Taylor so unique is his ability to turn modest gains into big gains in fighting for extra yards after contact. Kansas City’s run defense looks to pose a challenge for the Colts’ offensive line, but I think Taylor finds a way to have success on the ground early and garner over 100 rushing yards against the Chiefs.
- The Colts find a way to squeak other their first win of 2022
Given the way the Colts have performed over the first two weeks of the season, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where they’re able to get a win against Kansas City on Sunday.
With that in mind, I think Indianapolis’ offense is able to be more productive, especially if wideouts Michael Pittman Jr. and Alec Pierce are able to return to the lineup.
Even at home, this will be perhaps the Colts’ toughest test of the season, but I think they’re able to make just enough plays to come away with their first victory of the 2022 season.