The AFC top-seeded Kansas City Chiefs look to end an embarrassing home playoff streak when they host the No. 6 Indianapolis Colts in the Divisional Round on Saturday.
NFL Point Spread and Betting Analysis
Andy Reid is one of the best regular-season coaches of our time, but Reid’s teams at Philadelphia and now Kansas City have had their issues in the post-season. Last year, for example, the Chiefs were also AFC West champions and heavy home favourites in the Divisional Round. They led a mediocre Tennessee Titans team 21-3 at the half, but then the Chiefs lost their aggressiveness on offence and went into a second-half shell. They would be stunned 22-21.
Matt Nagy was that team’s offensive coordinator, but the Chicago Bears didn’t hold it against Nagy as he’s now their head coach. Alex Smith was the Chiefs’ QB that day, but he’s now with the Washington Redskins. Almost impossibly, it was Kansas City’s sixth straight home playoff loss. Their last post-season victory at Arrowhead was the Wild-Card Round following the 1993 season vs. Pittsburgh. That was the last Chiefs team to reach the AFC title game.
Kansas City is 0-4 all-time vs. the Colts in the playoffs. The teams last met in the post-season on Jan. 4, 2014, and Chiefs fans will never forget it for the wrong reasons as their team blew a 28-point lead in a 45-44 loss. Andrew Luck threw for 443 yards and four scores but was picked off three times. Alex Smith, now with Washington, had 378 yards and four scores for the Chiefs. The last regular-season meeting was Week 8 in 2016 in Indianapolis, with the Chiefs winning 30-14. Smith left that one injured and was replaced by Nick Foles, who is now working his magic with the Eagles.
While the Chiefs are the AFC’s top seed, no club is hotter than the Colts as they are 10-1 since starting 1-5 – just the third team in the Super Bowl era to make the playoffs after starting 1-5. Indy was a short underdog Saturday in Houston but won 21-7. Luck threw for 222 yards and two scores, while Marlon Mack rushed for 148 yards and a score. He has been a monster in the second half of the season. The offensive line has been terrific all year and didn’t allow Luck to be sacked yet again. Per usual, the defence was led by likely Defensive Rookie of the Year Darius Leonard as the linebacker had a game-high 13 tackles. That unit did suffer one potentially key injury in safety Mike Mitchell (calf strain). His status is TBD for Kansas City.
Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City led the NFL easily in scoring this season at 35.3 points per game and scored at least 26 in every game. Their second-year quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, is the brightest young star in the NFL and the reason Smith was traded. Mahomes led the NFL by a mile with 50 touchdown passes and was second with 5,097 yards passing. He joined Peyton Manning as the only QBs with a 5,000/50 season and Mahomes is all but a lock to win the league MVP Award. Even after releasing top tailback Kareem Hunt due to an off-field incident, this offence is basically unstoppable. The problem is the defence is not good. In Kansas City’s four losses, the team allowed 43, 54, 29 and 38 points. The Chiefs ranked 31st in yards allowed and 24th in points. You have to have some defence to win a Super Bowl.