The Indianapolis Colts are taking on the Kansas City Chiefs this weekend in a rematch of the 2018 AFC Divisional round playoff matchup.
The Colts play the Chiefs this weekend in the Sunday Night matchup. This is a critical game for them, as they are coming off a loss to the Raiders. There are three matchups to watch for in this game specifically that could decide the game.
T.Y. Hilton vs. Chiefs Secondary
The Ghost sat out last week’s game with a quad injury that lingered in the past few games. Hilton’s absence was felt last week in Oakland as the Colts couldn’t stretch the field if their lives depended on it.
Being 6-16 on third downs last week, Indianapolis needs Hilton back if we have any chance of beating the Chiefs at Arrowhead stadium. The good news is the secondary for the Chiefs is average, at best.
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Where they excel is at pass-rushing, not pass-coverage. Charvarius Ward is a former undrafted free agent who made a starting role and came over in a trade from Dallas last season. Hilton has the skills and speed to dominate this matchup and should be able to do so.
As I said in the previous paragraph, the strength of the Kansas City defense is in his pass-rush. Frank Clark is no exception to this rule. The fifth-year pro joined the team this offseason after Seattle let him walk in free agency.
2018 was his best season as he had 13 sacks, 1 interception, 3 forced fumbles, and 16 tackles for loss. Clark knows how to play football and knows how to pass-rush. Castonzo’s play hasn’t been elite, but it hasn’t been bad either.
This week, the offensive lines’ up and down play will be put to the test. In order to beat the Chiefs, the Colts have to put up 24 points at a minimum and they can’t do that running the ball all day. They’ll have to pass the ball a lot, presumably, since the Chiefs offense can pass all over a defense in their sleep, and they’ll have to stretch the field to keep the defense honest in their pass-coverage. Costanzo, specifically, needs to be at his best this week.
Desir was a key pick up in the offseason for the Colts and it kept their secondary strong. His play has been great so far this season, but he’s facing a receiver who knows how to get open in Sammy Watkins this week.
The Colts defense needs to step up the secondary play with Hooker out for at least another 5-6 weeks with a meniscus tear repaired. The young corner signed a $25 million deal this offseason and set his roots in Indianapolis for another 3 years. While the Colts play a soft zone cover-2, Patrick Mahomes knows how to tear apart a defense. The key will be aggressive corner play and safeties that aren’t afraid to make plays.
The Chiefs are a dominant team in the AFC and the Colts need to show up prepared for a fight.