As the Kansas City Chiefs look to the Indianapolis Colts the early word is that the Chiefs should be able to run the ball. They're third in the NFL rushing the ball while the Colts are 29th against the run. Seems like a match made in heaven for the Chiefs, right?
There was a similar situation brewing on Jan. 6, 2007 when the Chiefs traveled to Indy to face the Chiefs in the wild card round of the playoffs.
At the time the Chiefs were 3rd in rushing attempts, 9th in rushing yards and 6th in rushing touchdowns. Larry Johnson was coming off of a 1,789 yard campaign and the Colts hadn't kept their opponent under 100 yards rushing all season.
We all know what happened next.
LJ rushed for 32 yards on 13 carries. The Chiefs lost the game 23-8.
Now, this doesn't mean that the Colts will all of a sudden stop the Chiefs run game this time around. The Jan. 2007 game was partly the result of Bob Sanders' return to the lineup and this year Sanders is out (again) and so is his backup, Melvin Bullitt.
But this is a cautionary tale on reading the stats to project what the Chiefs will do. Just because the stats say they should be able to run the ball, doesn't mean they will.
Of course, that won't stop us from reading too much into the stats.