NFL Picks: Chiefs vs. Colts AFC Wild Card

Jordan Sharp

Tuesday, December 31, 2013 5:28 PM GMT

Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013 5:28 PM GMT

It’s New Year’s Eve, and after a nice middle of the week break, the NFL playoffs will kick off with an AFC showdown between the Colts and Chiefs on Saturday. These two have already played one another very recently, so let’s start to breakdown this matchup before we handicap it later in the week. 

Week 16

The Colts went into Kansas City in Week 16 and pummeled the Chiefs 23-7. It is one of the reasons the Chiefs had no reason to play hard in Week 17, but this week I can guarantee they will come with a much harder effort than what they displayed over the last two weeks.

The Colts scored five unanswered times in that game including 20 unanswered points from the 11:40 mark in the 2nd to 12:55 in the 3rd. After that score early in the third quarter, the Chiefs had to all but abandon the running game, which is their best weapon. The Chiefs only ran the ball 20 times total in that game, and only 13 times to Jamaal Charles the whole time. He had over 100 yards on those 13 carries, and with how the Colts have played the run this season, I expect a totally different game this week, despite it being in Indianapolis.

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Charles’d

This is the new verb I’m trying to have inserted into the dictionary (apparently you can do that with any English word now) because of the performance of Jamaal Charles over the last few weeks of the regular season (Week 17 excluded). Charles single handedly kept an average offense afloat this season, and it would not surprise me to see him run through the Colts this week on the way to a road win.

Kansas City will want to control the clock by running the ball a lot, and with how well their defense can play, I think their game plan will be clear. If the Colts fall into the fantasy of thinking they are a power running team again, I think it plays right into the Chiefs’ hands. Taking the ball out of the hands of Andrew Luck will be crucial for the Chiefs, and if the Colts want to run the ball, I think the Chiefs will welcome it.  

Kansas City was without both tackle Brandon Albert, and linebacker Justin Houston when these two teams last played, and at least in the case of Houston, it’s probably why the Colts were so successful on the ground. Both of those guys practiced last week, and will likely be full goes in practice when it opens up this week.

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The Sharp Pick

Dating back to 2007, the Colts are 5-1 SU against the Chiefs, however the Peyton Manning days are long gone in Indianapolis, and even though the Colts won in Week 16, there could be a very good chance the Chiefs return the favor when it counts.

The Colts’ defense ranked 27th at home against the rush and 23rd against the pass, and either way it goes down, I expect two things to improve greatly from their meeting a couple of weeks ago, the defense and running game of the Chiefs.

Make sure you stay tuned later in the week for not only our NFL pick on the total for this game, but the spread as well.

[gameodds]16/253889/?r3=43-19-349/dec&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

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