COMMENTARY | The Kansas City Chiefs return home following two convincing road victories over the Washington Redskins and Oakland Raiders, for a possible opening round playoff preview with the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.
Though the rematch would be currently slated to take place in Indianapolis, the winner of this game takes a mental edge into that matchup. And with the Chiefs getting hot again after a three-game slide, this team has its sights set on a deep postseason run.
Here are a few things to follow during Sunday afternoon's contest.
When: Sunday, December 22 at 1:00 p.m. EST on CBS
Where: Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri
Key Matchup and Players to Watch: T.Y. Hilton vs. Brandon Flowers
Fun Fact: Alex Smith (384) needs just three rushing yards to become the Chiefs' single season record holder at the quarterback position. Tyler Thigpen ran for 386 yards for Kansas City back in 2008.
Colts Bold Prediction: T.Y. Hilton Notches 10 Receptions, 120 Yards and One Touchdown
The Chiefs have had trouble containing their opponents' slot receivers, and Andrew Luck knows to exploit that; so expect Hilton to have a very productive game on Sunday.
Hilton is coming off a career-high eight catches in last week's win over the Houston Texans. He chipped in 78 receiving yards, and while he did not find the end zone, the wide receiver should have plenty of chances to do so against a Chiefs defense that is vulnerable in the second level.
Though he missed practice on Thursday because of a shoulder injury, the prospects of Hilton suiting up on Sunday are positive.
Chiefs Bold Prediction and Fantasy Beast: Jamaal Charles Racks Up 200 Total Yards (again) and Scores Twice
All eyes will be on Charles on Sunday following his 215-yard, five-touchdown performance in last week's 56-31 win over the Raiders. While expectations will fall short of him duplicating those numbers, it is not a stretch to suppose the all-purpose running back will have another big game.
Charles ran for 226 yards and one touchdown in last season's loss to the Colts. And with Indianapolis ranked 27th in the league against the rush -- allowing 128.9 yards per game -- he has a chance to run wild on this defense once again.
Over his last four games, Charles has tallied 76 total touches for 650 yards and 10 touchdowns. With Kansas City looking to take its momentum through the postseason, riding their MVP candidate as much as possible would do this team well.
Fantasy Bust: Andrew Luck
More of a hunch than anything, but Luck could have a tough time gaining much traction against a Chiefs defense that is suddenly the team's weak link. With a lot to prove -- and in front of the home crowd -- expect Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson, Eric Berry and the rest of this group to turn things up a notch on Sunday.
While Kansas City did force seven turnovers against the Raiders, the team recorded no sacks and allowed 31 points to a team with virtually nothing to play for. But with the Colts being one-dimensional on offense, the Chiefs can focus most of their attention on trying to stop Luck and Co. in the passing game.
With the Chiefs expected to control the scoreboard, Indianapolis could be forced to pass more than the original game plan calls for. But with Kansas City expecting it, the pressure might get to Luck and force some uncharacteristic turnovers from the second-year quarterback.
Jeremy Sickel has successfully created and operated numerous websites. His work can be read on Yahoo and Bleacher Report, and he has also appeared on various podcasts and sports talk shows around the country. Interact with Jeremy on Twitter @JeremySickel
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