The Kansas City Chiefs will certainly have their hands full this weekend when they travel to Indianapolis to take on Peyton Manning and the Colts.
All week we have been talking about the Chiefs chances. Now I think we should get in to a little game planning. I won’t claim to know the intricacies surrounding the Chiefs’ defensive game plan for the Colts. There is obviously a lot of moving parts that we don’t know about but in general terms, there are two ways the Chiefs defense can attack the Colts.
Let’s take a look at the two basic strategies the Chiefs could use Sunday and then debate which we think will be the most effective given KC’s personnel.
The age old theory is that you can’t stop the pass if you don’t get pressure on the QB. Give a QB too much time int he pocket and he will eventually find an open receiver.
Give Peyton Manning too much time in the pocket and he will find the receiver, steal your wallet, give you a wedgie, shtoop your sister and film a cable comercial before you even know what happened.
There is always danger when blitzing or sending extra guys to rush the passer but against Peyton Manning, it can be suicide. Manning has such excellent field and accuracy that he can burn a defense on a blitz and burn them badly. He rarely takes sacks and can squeeze balls into the tightest of windows.
That being said, on the rare occasion when teams have been able to harass Manning it has been effective. He can grow frustrated and even shows signs of panic.
The problem is that teams often don’t bother trying to pressure him because he is so dangerous. There is no room for error when blitzing Peyton Manning. If try it and fail, he’ll make you pay.
The Chiefs have shown a much better pass rush this year, lead by OLB Tamba Hali but can they generate enough pressure to rattle Manning? Should they roll the dice and go in to all out attack mode and rely on their young but talented secondary to make plays?
KC ranks in the middle of the pack in sacks and has been playing with a lot of swagger on D all season long. Is now the time to pull back or should the Chiefs attack?
The other way to play Manning and the Colts and the strategy most often used against them is a containment strategy.
Most teams would rather let Manning throw for 400 yards and move up and down the field in short chunks rather than give up the big play. The thinking here is that Manning is pretty much unstoppable so why not slow him down a bit and take your chances in the red zone? Playing defense in the red zone against a team that primarily passes the ball is easier because there is simply less field for the DB’s to cover. If teams can hold the Colts to FG’s and score points themselves, they will have a shot.
The Chiefs showed pretty good use of this strategy against Philip Rivers and the Chargers in the season opener. They allowed San Diego to get their yards but tightened things up in the end zone. In the end, the Chiefs held the Chargers to only 14 points.
This strategy worked for the Chiefs in the rain but will it work for them against manning in the dome? Also, playing more of a zone-type D could keep some of the Chiefs play makers like Brandon Flowers, Derrick Johnson and Eric Berry from making the type of impact plays that could swing things in KC’s favor.
What do you think, Addicts? What method should the Chiefs use the most against the Colts? Attack or Contain?