What you need to know before Chiefs-Colts

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce catches a pass as Los Angeles Chargers linebacker...
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce catches a pass as Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Khalil Mack (52) and safety Nasir Adderley (24) defend during the first half of an NFL football Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)(Charlie Riedel | AP)
Published: Sep. 25, 2022 at 10:51 AM CDT
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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs head to Indianapolis for a Week 3 matchup with the Indianapolis Colts Sunday. Here are some key things to know about the game:

Kansas City enters as a 5.5-point favorite. The over/under for the game is set at 51.

The game can be watched right here on KCTV5 at noon CT.

CHIEFS PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Patrick Mahomes is always the first player to watch for Kansas City — especially in September. He is 13-2 as a starter with 48 touchdown passes, three interceptions and 12 games of at least three passing TDs in the opening month of the season. He also has 11 300-yard games in September.

COLTS PLAYER TO WATCH: CBs Stephon Gilmore and Kenny Moore II. Indy signed Gilmore, the NFL’s 2019 Defensive Player of the Year, to improve its pass coverage and facing Mahomes is one of the biggest challenges anyone can face. Moore, like Gilmore, is an established leader in the Colts secondary and both need to play their best football to give Indy a chance.

KEY MATCHUP: Chiefs pass rush vs. Colts offensive line. Kansas City overcame a halftime deficit last week by beating up Chargers QB Justin Herbert. They could do it again Sunday against Matt Ryan. Indy’s offensive line has played nowhere near its lofty expectations, already allowing seven sacks and far too much pressure. It’s forced Ryan into four interceptions and five fumbles.

KEY INJURIES: Chiefs K Harrison Butker is out after missing Week 2 with an injured left ankle. Matt Ammendola replaced Butker. DE Mike Danna (calf) missed Wednesday’s practice. The Colts haven’t decided whether three-time All-Pro LB Shaquille Leonard (back surgery) will make his season debut or whether WRs Michael Pittman Jr. (calf) and Alec Pierce (concussion protocol) will return after sitting out last week. Leonard and Pierce missed no time Wednesday while Pittman did limited work. An ankle injury prevented backup LT Bernhard Raimann from practicing Wednesday.

SERIES NOTES: The Colts have won four of the past six and six of the past nine against Kansas City. Indy is 4-1 all time in playoff games against Kansas City with two of them quite memorable — the Colts’ 28-point comeback in January 2014 and a surprise 23-8 victory in January 2007 at the start of Indy’s Super Bowl title run. Chiefs coach Andy Reid and Colts general manager Chris Ballard worked together for four seasons in Kansas City.

STATS AND STUFF: The Chiefs have made at least one field goal in 15 straight games. One more will tie the second-longest streak in franchise history. Mahomes’ only win over the Colts came in a playoff game in January 2019. It was the first of Kansas City’s four straight AFC championship game appearances.

Mahomes needs 414 yards passing over the next five games to become the fastest in NFL history with 19,000. The Chiefs are 45-1 with Mahomes when holding opponents to fewer than 27 points.

Chiefs TE Travis Kelce needs one game with 100 yards receiving to tie Tony Gonzalez (31) for the second most by a tight end in NFL history and two to tie Rob Gronkowski’s record. Kelce has caught a pass in 129 straight games, two behind Gonzalez’s franchise mark.

Indy’s defense leads the league in three-and-outs (eight) and three-and-out rate (32.0 percent). It also is tied for sixth in plays of 20 or more yards allowed (five). The Colts have allowed the second-fewest 100-yard rushers (six) since 2018.

BETTER INDOORS OR OUTDOORS?

Mahomes has done just about everything since taking over as Kansas City’s full-time starting quarterback in 2018. He’s won a Super Bowl ring, been the league’s MVP and the Super Bowl MVP, selected to four straight Pro Bowls and continued to amass historic numbers.

And he’s done most of it while playing in a home stadium that can be susceptible to rain, snow and wind.

And while it’s unclear whether the Colts will open their retractable roof or keep it closed, Mahomes was asked this week about posting better stats indoors than outdoors.

“I think most quarterbacks are usually better in indoors,” he said. “But I think you just go out there and play the game. I never really notice it. I try to be better outdoors because that’s where we play, and I want the playoffs to be in GEHA Field at Arrowhead.”

READ MORE: Butker, Danna ruled out for Chiefs’ matchup with Colts

MISSING OUT

The Chiefs will not be at full strength. It was announced this week Chiefs starting linebacker Willie Gay had been suspended for four games because he violated the league’s personal conduct policy. He’s expected to be replaced by Darrius Harris on a defense that has played well.

“He’s smart, he’s instinctive, he’s tough. He’s got a good grasp of the defense,” Reid said, referring to Harris. “(Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo) does quite a few things within the scheme, so he’s got to be able to process all of that and he does a good job of that.”