Our Indianapolis Colts are at home this weekend to take on the Kansas City Chiefs. Knowing the party was coming, I sat down with Tom Childs of Arrowhead Pride, SB Nation’s Chiefs blog. Tom can be found on Twitter @tomchilds56. We swapped questions about both the Colts and the Chiefs and what follows is what I learned about this week’s enemy.
- Living in Kansas City I’ve had a front row seat to the Patrick Mahomes era and I’ve long held the opinion that it is awfully similar to the Peyton Manning era in Indianapolis (great offense, shaky defense, QB playing at a different level than everyone else), is that a fair assessment and what would Chiefs fans say about the comparison?
TC: First of all, I really hope that Patrick delivers more rings than Peyton. I didn’t mean that as a dig — but for Mahomes to win his first championship so early on in his career, it would simply be a mini-disaster if he didn’t follow it up at least once in the following 10 to 15 years.
I do think your comparison holds some weight. One thing that Mahomes has rarely been afforded in his first four seasons as a starter has been a great defense to back him up.
Yeah, there was that stretch in the middle of last season, in which the offense wasn’t up to its’ usual standards — and in fact it was the defense winning the Chiefs games. But that was against the likes of Daniel Jones, Jordan Love etc. Hardly world beating quarterbacks.
But when push comes to shove, it has been the all-world quarterback leading the way.
Although, I do want to point out that this particular year has started better than the previous four. Despite being in what many would consider a ‘transition season’, the new-look Chiefs defense appears — at least so far anyway — the best Mahomes has had to date.
Writers note: seems like my comparison is accurate and it’s important to remember Super Bowl wins aren’t a quarterback stat.
- In 2019 the Colts went to KC and beat the Chiefs at home. All it took for the Colts to win was an obviously limping Patrick Mahomes, Sammy Watkins only playing two snaps and Tyreek Hill missing the game entirely. Watkins now plays for the Packers, Hill now plays for the Dolphins, how are Mahomes ankles looking through two weeks and what do the Colts need to do to get an upset over an Andy Reid team coming off of a mini-bye week?
TC: I think they call it a miracle, right? I kid, kinda.
For the Colts to win this game, they’ll need to be efficient on offense, move the ball well, take opportunities in the red zone, and most importantly...DO NOT PLAY (OR COACH) SCARED. Unfortunately for the Colts, they’ve kinda been doing the exact opposite of that this season.
Sure, if Matt Ryan can find his 2016 form and that can be paired with Jonathan Taylor’s 2021 form, then the Colts could cause the Chiefs a lot of grief. My fear for the Colts is that they’ll probably need at least both of them things to do so.
Sorry, that was an unbelievably arrogant answer — but you know, 24-0 against the Jags.
Writers note: it’s always interesting to see what fans of other teams think from the outside, the 2022 Colts have been a lot of things but only someone unfamiliar with Frank Reich’s coaching would accuse him of being “scared”. The Colts would be 1-1 if Reich were just a little more fearful and taken an easy three in Houston.
- DraftKings Sportsbook has the Chiefs as 6.5 point favorites at the time of this question being asked, is that fair and we’re betting the over (49.5 points) right?
TC: Vegas are so good at this betting thing, right? I honestly feel that 49.5 points is the perfect line for this game. I can absolutely see the Chiefs winning this game 38-10 (why did I do that to myself?); like wise I can see a close(r) score line like 30 to 20. Either way, I am avoiding the points total.
However, I cannot believe the Chiefs are only 6.5 favorites.
I get that the home team automatically gets 3 points but come on — did anyone watch the games last week? Right now the Colts’ and the Chiefs’ offenses are miles apart and I would even argue that the Chiefs’ defense is playing better than the Colts, currently.
For me, I am hammering the Chiefs to cover and then some.
Writers note: I still don’t expect a Colts win but as a resident of Kansas City, after reading this guy’s answers, I can’t wait for the Bills to come to town in October and wipe the floor with the Chiefs.
- The Chiefs top three receivers (Travis Kelce aside) through two weeks: Marquez Valdes-Scantling- 11 targets, JuJu Smith-Schuster- 11 targets, Mecole Hardman- 10 targets. Given the even distribution of the football, is it fair to assume Mahomes doesn’t have a favorite target and the early season success is all a façade that will fall apart once Mahomes picks his favorite receiver? This feels like the Bachelor, is there a rose ceremony after each game? But seriously have you seen major differences in the offense without a clearly defined top receiving option?
TC- As you mentioned Kelce is absolutely that guy still — and rightly so.
Thanks to the way you positioned that question, all I can imagine now is the receivers all trying their best to woo Mahomes before each game.
Some may sing; some may dance; others may bribe him — It sounds like great reality TV, doesn’t it?
Now for the analysis.
Obviously losing someone like Tyreek Hill is going to be noticeable but we (I say we because it makes me feel like I have something to do with it) just get more players involved than in yesteryears.
Instead of always looking for Hill and Kelce, Patrick is more like Oprah Wimphrey(sic) by simply sharing the wealth.
“You get a touchdown, you get a touchdown. Everyone gets a touchdown!”
Writers note: seems like a loose fit for the word “analysis”
- Can you tell Colts fans an unheralded name to know on offense and one on defense? And why is the offensive player Isiah Pacheco?
On the offense, we have this touchdown receiving machine called Jody Fortson. I am using the term ‘touchdown machine’ lightly here but in the previous two games, he has seen at least one target in the end zone.
Last I checked you could get him at +900 for anytime touchdown scorer. Thank me later ;).
Defensivley, I’m interested in how much (and how well) rookie linebacker Leo Chennel plays on Sunday. With Willie Gay Jr. now suspended for four games, the first-year run stopper should see some more game time..
The physical Colts’ offensive line should provide a stern test — time will tell if Leo is up to the task.
Writers note: “touchdown receiving machine Jody Fortson” has been targeted twice this season, he has 1 catch for 1 yard and 1 touchdown. On an offense that distributes the ball via Oprah Winfrey’s suggestion, I won’t be betting anything on Fortson, but maybe you like those chances. Probably should have just told us about Isiah Pacheco.
As of this writing, DraftKings Sportsbook has the Colts as 6.5 point underdogs going into week three. If you’re betting on games, I truly hope you are using more information than just this Q&A article for research, but either way, you can find updated lines at DraftKings Sportsbook.
If you bet on this game at all, I wish you good luck. I think I’m going to sit this one out.
I would like to acknowledge Tom Childs’ participation in this exercise. Without his contribution I might have been forced to watch film and learn something.