The Chiefs struggled to protect Alex Smith in the first matchup (USA Today Sports Images)
The Colts registered five sacks, three tackles for losses and an additional quarterback hit against Alex Smith all on only 28 pass attempts. Simply put, that was brutal and uncharacteristic for a Chiefs line that has been a bedrock, despite injuries, for most of the season.
Interestingly, injuries have been a part of the story this week, too. Right tackle Eric Fisher, the No. 1 pick in the draft who has struggled this season and gave up a strip sack to Colts pass rusher Robert Mathis, has a groin injury and might be out for the game.
Although that could compromise the depth up front, it does help that left tackle Branden Albert, who has been out since hyperextending his knee on Dec. 1, is ready to return. That would allow swing tackle Donald Stephenson, who has started seven games this season (four at left tackle, three at right), to shift into Fisher's right tackle spot if needed.
You can bet that the Chiefs have preached protection all week in their preparation. They might also have worked out a different offensive gameplan that includes more screens, draws and quick passes. It also helps that Dwayne Bowe has been cleared to play in the game after he had suffered headaches, with fears of a concussion.
Expect a different-looking game Saturday than the first matchup in Kansas City.
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- American Football
- Sports & Recreation
- Kansas City Chiefs
- Indianapolis Colts
- Eric Fisher