Sunday’s game against the Colts is going to be one of the toughest tests the Kansas City Chiefs face all season. It won’t be easy to take down Peyton Manning in his own house but there are some things the Chiefs can do to improve their chances. Let’s take a look at five of them.
1. Slow Down Manning
Notice I didn’t say stop Manning. Stopping Manning isn’t really a possibility for any team.
If you look at Peyton’s numbers in the two Colts losses, they look pretty similar to his numbers in the two victories. Manning is going to get his yards and he is going to drive his team into scoring position. It is inevitable.
One thing the Chiefs defense can control is how the Colts get into scoring position. That means keeping the Colts receivers in front of them and not giving up the big play. The more FG’s the Chiefs can force the Colts to kick, the better.
2. Beware the run
If the Colts establish the run the game is over. Just ask the NY Giants.
The Chiefs front seven is going to be on their own in this one. Romeo Crennel cannot afford to have Eric Berry and Kendrick Lewis coming up too much in run support. If he does, Manning will get the young safeties to bite on a fake handoff and the result will be 6 points for the Colts. If the Chiefs do the job up front they will force the Colts to be one dimensional and that will limit Manning’s opportunities to take advantage of defensive mistakes. It will also help Tamba Hali keep the heat on.
3. Run the ball. A lot.
One way to slow down Manning is to keep him on the bench. The Colts are currently middle of the pack in pass defense but that is mainly due to the fact that they are so soft against the run that teams aren’t throwing as much on them.
The Colts are terrible against the run, giving up an average of 149.5 yards per game. The Chiefs need to enforce their will on the Chiefs defensive line and embarrass them all day. I’m talking 50 running plays. I am talking running the play clock all the way down on every single offensive snap. Run until they stop you and when they stop you, run some more.
The Chiefs should have no problem rushing for over 200 yards as a team against the Colts. If they can do that, they will score some points.
4. Score over 30 points
You never know how a football game is going to turn out. The Chiefs could very well win this game 10 to 7 but I doubt it. The Colts are probably going to score and even Herm Edwards will tell you that you have to score more points than the other team to win the game.
I think the Chiefs defense is pretty good but I think at bare minimum they need to find a way to put up 27 points. Whether they come from defense, special teams or offense.
5. Don’t even think about turning the ball over
A fumble or a pick will absolutely kill the Chiefs in this game. Alex Smith may not be able to turn a turnover in to 7 points but Peyton Manning can and he will.
The Chiefs have to protect the football.
I know a lot of these things may seem like very basic, fundamental football tips but they are especially important for the Chiefs in this game. Kansas City has no room for error against a QB like Manning.
Kansas City has to be the better fundamentally sound team on Sunday. They can’t turn it over, they can’t get stupid penalties. They just can’t because they won’t be able to overcome it.
Peyton Manning is so good that a team can do all the things I’ve listed above and still get beat by him.
That being said, Kansas City is a dangerous team. Just ask the Chargers, Browns and 49ers. They can hurt you a ton of different ways so mental mistakes will be a two way street in this game.
The Chiefs just have to be the team taking advantage of them.
What do you think Addicts? What are your keys to Sunday’s game?