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Colts, Chiefs Week 3 Preview: Improvement Needed Against Toughest Opponent

The Colts are reeling after an 0-1-1 start and things don't get any easier as Patrick Mahomes and the 2-0 Chiefs come into town on Sunday.
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It's been a long week for the Indianapolis Colts, to say the least.

The team's 0-1-1 start is frustrating enough, but they've looked as flat and lifeless as they did at the end of the 2021 season, leaving fans in a fury. It was punctuated with last Sunday's 24-0 shutout loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

However, hopefully for the Colts, they will take their own frustrations and let them inspire them this Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs in their home opener at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Here is everything you need to know about Sunday's matchup.


BROADCAST INFO

  • Date/Time: Sunday, Sept. 25, at 1:00pm ET
  • Where: Indianapolis, Ind.; Lucas Oil Stadium
  • Television: CBS — Jim Nantz (play-by-play), Tony Romo (color), Tracy Wolfson (sideline)
  • Stream: FuboTV
  • To find out what games will be on in your area on Sunday, check here
  • Radio: WFNI 1070-AM The Fan, WLHK 97.1 HANK FM — Matt Taylor (play-by-play), Rick Venturi (color), Larra Overton (sideline) | Compass Media Networks — Mike Morgan (play-by-play), Chad Brown (color)
  • On-Demand: NFL+ (after the fact)

ALL-TIME SERIES

  • Colts lead, 13-9. The Chiefs have won two of the last three meetings dating back to 2016.
  • Last game: Week 5 of 2019; Colts won, 19-13.

COACHES

  • Colts: head coach Frank Reich; offensive coordinator Marcus Brady; defensive coordinator Gus Bradley; special teams Bubba Ventrone.
  • Chiefs: head coach Andy Reid; offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy; defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo; special teams Dave Toub

INJURY REPORT

Colts

  • OUT — LB Shaquille Leonard (back), OL Bernhard Raimann (ankle)

  • QUESTIONABLE — DE Yannick Ngakoue (back)

Chiefs

  • OUT — DE Michael Danna (calf), K Harrison Butker (left ankle)

STORYLINES/THINGS TO WATCH

  • Show that you're ready to play: The Colts have said that their practices this year have been intense, physical, and some of the best they've had under head coach Frank Reich but the team has come out looking completely unprepared to play. The first step in progress for the Colts is to look like they belong on the field. Honestly, people aren't even expecting a win against the Chiefs but they will have more confidence if the Colts are at least competitive.
  • Play-calling, are things working schematically?: Part of what makes the Colts look so flat at times is an approach that the opponent appears ready for. The Colts struggle to move the ball or pick up any first downs on offense while the defense allows the opponent to slice through. It would be a big positive to see the Colts move the ball early on offense, get points, and NOT turn the ball over while they have momentum. On defense, adjust to what the opponent is doing and don't pray that your plan works.
  • Lean on your good players: On each side of the ball, there are highly talented players that could be considered underutilized. On offense, running back Nyheim Hines was heavily featured on the team's first drive last week but then disappeared and barely saw the field the rest of the game. Regardless of whether fellow running back Jonathan Taylor is on the field, Hines is one of the most dangerous players on the entire roster. Defensively, cornerback Isaiah Rodgers is one of the team's best playmakers but has played zero snaps through two weeks. With Shaquille Leonard yet to play and Kenny Moore II not yet looking comfortable in Gus Bradley's defense, the Colts ought to lean on those that can make special plays, and Rodgers is one of them.

INTRIGUING MATCHUPS

  • Colts IOL vs. Chiefs DT Chris Jones: The Chiefs' best pass rusher is interior lineman Chris Jones, who is plenty capable of bullying Colts first-year right guard Danny Pinter and perhaps even Pro Bowl center Ryan Kelly. Assuming Kansas City will try and take advantage of those matchups rather than put Jones on Quenton Nelson, the Colts need to step up and keep pressure out of quarterback Matt Ryan's face.
  • Colts IDL vs. Chiefs IOL: Chiefs left guard Joe Thuney and center Creed Humphrey are elite interior linemen, and Colts tackles DeForest Buckner and Grover Stewart make up one of the best defensive interior pairings in the NFL. This'll be a fun group matchup to keep an eye on.
  • Colts CB Kenny Moore II  vs. Chiefs WR JuJu Smith-Schuster: As previously mentioned, Moore has yet to play like himself in the Colts' new defense, and he'll need to get ready quick because Smith-Schuster is a tough matchup, lining up both inside and out.
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PROJECTED WEATHER

REFEREE ASSIGNMENT

BETTING LINE

SEASON LEADERS

Colts

  • Passing: QB Matt Ryan (547 yards)
  • Rushing: RB Jonathan Taylor (215 yards)
  • Receiving: WR Ashton Dulin (125 yards)
  • Touchdowns: WR Michael Pittman Jr., RB Jonathan Taylor (1)
  • Tackles: LB Zaire Franklin, LB Bobby Okerke (18)
  • Sacks: DE Kwity Paye (2.0)
  • Interceptions: N/A

Chiefs

  • Passing: QB Patrick Mahomes (595 yards)
  • Rushing: RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (116 yards)
  • Receiving: TE Travis Kelce (172 yards)
  • Touchdowns: RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (2)
  • Tackles: LB Nick Bolton (20)
  • Sacks: DT Chris Jones (2.0)
  • Interceptions: CB Jaylen Watson (1)

TEAM STATS

Colts

  • Total offense: 13th (367.5 YPG)
  • Scoring: 32nd (10.0 PPG)
  • Passing offense: 10th (252.0 YPG)
  • Sacks allowed: Tied-26th (7)
  • Rushing offense: 12th (115.5 YPG)
  • Third down offense: Tied-23rd (32.0%)
  • Red zone offense: Tied-28th (28.6%)
  • Total defense: 11th (315.0 YPG)
  • Scoring defense: Tied-16th (22.0 PPG)
  • Passing defense: 15th (228.5 YPG)
  • Sacks: Tied-23rd (3)
  • Rushing defense: 10th (86.5 YPG)
  • Third down defense: 14th (36.7%)
  • Red zone defense: 32nd (100.0%)
  • Turnover differential: Tied-31st (-4)

Chiefs

  • Total offense: 5th (403.5 YPG)
  • Scoring: Tied-2nd (35.5 PPG)
  • Passing offense: 6th (293.0 YPG)
  • Sacks allowed: 1st (1)
  • Rushing offense: 16th (110.5 YPG)
  • Third down offense: 10th (45.0%)
  • Red zone offense: 6th (77.8%)
  • Total defense: 19th (341.5 YPG)
  • Scoring defense: Tied-18th (22.5 PPG)
  • Passing defense: 23rd (252.5 YPG)
  • Sacks: Tied-12th (5)
  • Rushing defense: 11th (89.0 YPG)
  • Third down defense: 6th (28.6%)
  • Red zone defense: Tied-25th (75.0%)
  • Turnover differential: Tied-16th (0)

NOTES

  • Ryan needs one game-winning drive to pass Matthew Stafford (42) and tie Brett Favre (43) for the sixth-most in NFL history.
  • Taylor needs one point to pass Marshall Faulk (198) for the sixth-most by a Colts player in their first three seasons, and seven to pass Lenny Moore (204) for the fifth-most. Taylor needs one total touchdown to pass Faulk (33) and tie Moore (34) for the second-most by a Colts player in their first three seasons. Taylor needs two total touchdowns to pass Moore (34) for the second-most by a Colts player in their first three seasons. Taylor needs one 100-yard rushing game to pass Faulk (14) for the fourth-most in franchise history. Taylor needs one game with 100-plus rushing yards and at least one rushing touchdown to pass Eric Dickerson (13) for the second-most such games in franchise history.
  • Hines needs one receiving touchdown to tie Albert Bentley and Curtis Dickey (eight) for the 10th-most by a running back in franchise history.
  • The Colts made the following roster moves this week: elevated kicker Chase McLaughlin to the active roster from the practice squad. Signed tight end Nakia Griffin-Stewart and guard Arlington Hambright to the practice squad. Released kicker Lucas Havrisik and tight end Jared Scott from the practice squad.

CATCH BEFORE THE GAME


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