As of this writing, Draftkings Sportsbook has the Colts at 5.5 point home dogs in their home opener against a hot Chiefs team.
That is a generous line, given what the Colts have shown on the field. The Chiefs have a dominant offense that has been extremely productive, even in the absence of Tyreek Hill — who is now with the Miami Dolphins. Last week, the Colts' offense managed to convert on only two third downs out of ten opportunities. The unit managed only three first downs in the first half and nine total — with much of the offensive production coming in garbage time or after the Jaguars defense reduced the pressure.
If the Colts' offense is anything like it was in Jacksonville and the Chiefs' offense is anything like it has been to start the season - this will be a blowout. There is no gentler way to put it.
The good news? Michael Pittman Jr. and Alec Pierce are currently expected to play. Both practiced all week, so the offensive game plan that has been installed to include those players shouldn’t be an issue or excuse for Frank Reich and Marcus Brady this week. Also, the Chiefs' defense isn’t one of the better defenses the Colts will face all season. So, arguably, if this Colts offense can look similar to what was on the field in the fourth quarter in Houston - the game can stay much closer than anyone might be predicting.
It never feels good for your team to be considered a “trap game.” The label is often a representation that your team isn’t good, nor a threat to compete for playoff contention. In other words, it’s a gimme game. The “trap” is that the far superior team will enter the game knowing this is the case and fail to perform. Whether the Colts of the first two weeks are a true representation of what the Colts will be in 2022 or not, the Chiefs have to be mindful that letting their foot off of the gas could spell disaster, especially on the road.
Here’s the other thing: I mentioned it in the game preview last week — the Colts have a history of winning and losing games that don’t make sense. The road losing streak to the Jaguars is one of the most ridiculous and hard to explain in all of the NFL. The slow starts every season are up there as well. However, a Colts team that looked dreadful at the start of the season last year went on a run and started looking like a team no opponent would want to draw in the playoffs — and it was widely assumed (and statistically likely) they would be in the playoffs.
That Colts team dominated the Bills in Buffalo 41-15 — and the Bills and Chiefs were incredibly similar in terms of talent last season. That Colts team beat a gritty Patriots team at home by ten and followed up that win by defeating the Arizona Cardinals on the road on Christmas Day with seemingly everyone out of the game due to COVID tests or injury. Carson Wentz made one of the best throws of the entire season to Dezmon Patmon in that game - if you want to relive it.
Carson Wentz remains patient to allow Dezmon Patmon to get open for the touchdown. #Colts now have a two-score lead. pic.twitter.com/unNwVPy80h— Cody Manning (@CodyTalksNFL) December 26, 2021
What does it all mean? Nothing. Not a single thing.
Also, maybe everything? Do the Colts have another rabbit to pull from their big game hat?
Hey, look on the bright side, even if the Colts lose a game they’re expected to lose to the Chiefs, they’ll be 0-2-1, and last year they were 0-3. Progress. Right?