Colts’ optimal game plan vs. Chiefs in Week 3

·3 min read

To call the start of the season a disappointment would be a Quenton Nelson-sized understatement. The 0-1-1 start has the Indianapolis Colts preseason hype falling off the rails as many fans are now calling for a slew of changes.

One way the team can get back on track and rebound in the weak AFC South is by overcoming the odds and upsetting the Kansas City Chiefs in the home opener.

The Colts have a tall task ahead of them, with the Chiefs offense continuing to provide fireworks without wide receiver Tyreek Hill. Andy Reid’s offense still has many strengths, while the defensive side of the ball has been impressive through two games.

It’s not impossible, but this should be Frank Reich’s game plan if he wants to earn his first win of 2022.

Get after Patrick Mahomes

(AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)

This is a given, right? To beat the Chiefs you have to get after No. 15 and make him uncomfortable. Mahomes has 595 yards on the year and seven touchdowns along with a 73% completion percentage. Providing pressure on the former MVP will force him to throw the ball down-field and give the Colts secondary a chance against a speedy receiving corps.

Linebackers have to step up

(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

If Shaquille Leonard can return this week, it will be much-needed against Kansas City this week. This unit has been one of the only bright spots on this defense, allowing only 2.7 yards per carry, which is second across the NFL.

They will have to go against Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who is second in the NFL with 7.7 yards per rush. The young running back has big play capability and could be an issue for the Colts if they can’t stop the run. He has also been used more in the passing game this year, totaling seven catches for 76 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is a guy for Gus Bradley to keep his eye on.

The other spot for Indy’s linebackers to really prove themselves will be in the passing game, covering All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce. As one of, if not the league’s best, he is a force for any opposing defense and can be the difference maker in a matchup like this. Look for Leonard, Bobby Okereke, and Zaire Franklin to take turns covering Kelce while the safeties also pitch in.

Chew some clock

(AP Photo/Aaron Doster)

When the Colts beat the Chiefs back in Week 5 of 2019, the winning formula was to keep Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense off the field. That was accomplished by running the football for 180 yards and sustaining long drives down the field. With Jonathan Taylor now at the helm, this should not be a huge risk for the Colts as they attempt to do the same. The offensive line also needs to step up in the run game to give the All-Pro running back the holes he needs for another massive day.

No turnovers

(Mike Carlson/Getty Images)

Among the many issues last week, Matt Ryan threw three interceptions while the Colts tried to find the endzone and get a spark going on offense. Combine that with his three botched snaps in Week 1 and you have an issue with the man under center starting to develop. Matt Ryan was brought in to be a consistent leader on and off the field, and so far he has failed to impress. He needs to be more protective with the football so Frank Reich’s offense can finally get moving in the right direction.

Story originally appeared on Colts Wire