The Kansas City Chiefs will try to remain undefeated this week when they host the Indianapolis Colts in a rematch of last year’s Divisional Round playoff game. Kickoff is at 8:20 EST on Sunday, October 6 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. The game will be broadcast nationally on NBC.
According to our Week 5 NFL odds, the Chiefs are 11-point favorites at home. The over/under for the game is set at 56.5 points.
There’s been no sign of a letdown from Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs as they try to follow up a brilliant 2018 campaign. It’s been business as usual with Kansas City once again looking like the class of the league. In fairness, things got a little tricky last week, as the Chiefs actually trailed the Lions late in the game. But Mahomes guided the team on a 79-yard touchdown drive in just over two minutes for the game-winning score.
Kansas City is now one of the three remaining unbeaten teams in the NFL heading into Week 5. They’ve managed to start 4-0 despite playing three of their first four games on the road. The Chiefs now get to play inside the friendly confines of Arrowhead Stadium for four of their next five games, giving them a golden opportunity to build on their 2-game lead atop the AFC West standings.
Meanwhile, things have been a little up and down for the Colts, who have had to deal with Andrew Luck’s sudden retirement right before the season. Indy seemed to be trending upward after back-to-back wins over the Titans and Falcons. But the Colts will be kicking themselves after their home loss to the Raiders last week.
The good news for the Colts is that after this week’s trip to Kansas City, they get four of their next five games at home. They also play in a division in which every other team has also started the season 2-2. Even with a loss on Sunday, the Colts will be in decent shape given their upcoming schedule. But stealing a road win against the Chiefs would be massive, especially with their other two losses coming against AFC West opponents.
The Chiefs are one of the few teams that can be double-digit favorites without making you think there’s been a clerical error in Vegas. However, that doesn’t mean I’m willing to eat the points. The Colts came out flat last week and were missing a few key players due to injury. I think they’ll respond in a positive manner this week, especially against the team that ended their season last year. I don’t think Indy will win, but I like them to keep it close enough to beat the spread.
Indy’s biggest problem last week was their inability to establish the run. Marlon Mack was limited to 39 yards on 11 carries before leaving due to an ankle injury. However, the injury doesn’t appear to be anything serious and the Colts struggling to run the ball isn’t likely to become a trend. Without a running game and with T.Y. Hilton sitting out with an injury, Jacoby Brissett didn’t have much of a chance last week, even against a lackluster Oakland defense.
Things should be different this week for the Colts. Hilton isn’t a guarantee to play, but his chances are better than they were a week ago. More importantly, the Colts are facing one of the worst rush defenses in the league. The Chiefs, of course, have been able to overcome their defensive issues, as was the case last year. But they’re getting gashed on a weekly basis, giving up 186 rushing yards to the Lions last week. That was one week after the Ravens topped 200 rushing yards against them. The Colts should run the ball with success this week, which should make things easier for Brissett and help Indy stay within striking distance.
On the other side of the ball, Detroit’s defense created a mini-blueprint for defending the Chiefs last week. Keep in mind that Kansas City scored one of its touchdowns on a 100-yard fumble return that ended up being the difference in the game. The Lions were able to prevent the big play and also forced three fumbles, which is a little concerning for the Chiefs.
The Colts should be able to take a few lessons from Detroit’s game plan. They are also likely to get Darius Leonard back after he missed the last two games with a concussion. He’s a difference-maker in the middle of the Indianapolis defense. Obviously, the Colts aren’t going to keep the Chiefs from scoring. But if they can slow down the Kansas City offense down as much as Detroit’s defense did last week, covering the 11-point spread becomes a little less likely.
Ultimately, it’s the Kansas City defense that I don’t trust to pull their weight. Brissett isn’t going to out-sling Mahomes no matter what the Indy defense does. But I feel confident that the Colts will run the ball effectively, which will allow them to score points and kill the clock at the same time. This will increase the likelihood that Indianapolis beats the spread, even in a loss.