The Indianapolis Colts are hosting the Kansas City Chiefs at the Lucas Oil Dome and KC enters the game as an underdog. Each team has lost arguably their best player in Peyton Manning and Jamaal Charles so things certainly aren't perfect in Indy or KC.
Even though they're an underdog today, the Chiefs can and, frankly, should win this game. It's very winnable. Below are three keys for the Chiefs in this game.
Make Curtis Painter beat you. If we walk away from this game, and Painter completes something like 20-of-25 passes for 250 yards, a pair of touchdowns and no picks..I can handle that. If he just blows up and plays the game of his life, I can live with that. What I can't live with, however, is the Chiefs not capitalizing on the mistakes he'll make. I can't live with a game plan that doesn't try to make Painter go 80-plus yards every time (which means, yes, I'm going to be OK with some punting today). I can't live with mistakes that a bad team makes because I don't think the Chiefs are really a bad team. Make Painter be the one that makes those mistakes.
The game plan needs to be mindful of the defensive ends. I'm talking about Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney, two guys Chiefs coach Todd Haley said were as good of a pair as you'll ever see. The Colts are built in a way that 1.) Manning gets a lead and 2.) the defensive ends pin their ears back once the other team has to pass to catch up. The Chiefs shouldn't be thinking about going deep this game because that would require Matt Cassel to sit in the pocket too long. This is going to have to be some quicker passes, a few screens and some draws -- generally things we complain about when looking at the playcalling. But that's what you have to do against these guys. We don't know the quarterback treated like a rag doll.
Win the turnover battle. We've been talking about this -- the Chiefs have a shot if they win the turnover battle but, if they lose, they almost assuredly have no shot to win this game. Just win the turnover battle, OK?