The Chiefs didn’t have to wait until Sunday to know their divisional-round opponent.
The Indianapolis Colts, an underdog on Saturday, smacked the Houston Texans 21-7 on the road, locking in the AFC playoff bracket.
The top-seeded Chiefs will play host to the sixth-seeded Colts on Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium. Kickoff is 3:35 p.m. on NBC. ESPN reported the Chiefs opened as a 5.5-point favorite according to Westgate Superbook.
There’s a playoff matchup history between the teams, none of if favorable to the Chiefs. In fact, the Colts have handed Kansas City some of its most crushing postseason losses.
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In the 2013-14 playoffs, the Chiefs blew a 28-point third-quarter lead and fell in a wild-card game 45-44 in Indianapolis. The Colts had completed the second greatest comeback in NFL playoff history in Andy Reid’s first season with the Chiefs.
After the 2003 season, the Chiefs hosted the Colts in a divisional-round game and fell 38-31, a game in which neither team punted. The Chiefs had one of the best offensive teams in their history but couldn’t overcome Peyton Manning.
The Chiefs were the AFC’s No. 1 seed in 1995 but lost to the Colts 10-7 in a divisional-round game at Arrowhead when kicker Lin Elliott missed three field goals.
Throw in a loss in the wild-card round at Indianapolis after the 2006 season and the Colts have accounted for a disproportional amount of the organization’s postseason heartache.
But none of those teams had Patrick Mahomes, and the Chiefs will count on their quarterback who Friday was named the All-Pro quarterback by The Associated Press. The Chiefs bring the NFL’s most productive offense —35.3 points and 425.6 yards — into the game.
The Chiefs and Colts entered the playoffs with two of the lowest ranked defenses, with the Chiefs surrendering 365.1 yards per game (28th) and the Colts 367.1 (30th).
But the Colts put the clamps on Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, who engineered only one touchdown on Saturday. He completed 29 of 49 for 235 yards and an interception. Indianapolis had the NFL’s No. 16 pass defense during the regular season.
Nearly everything worked for Indianapolis down the stretch. They won nine of their final 10 games, and after a 1-5 start, reached the playoffs for the first time since 2014.
Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, who led the comeback over the Chiefs five years ago, was terrific in those final 10 games this season with 23 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Saturday, Luck threw two touchdown passes as the Colts roared to a 21-0 halftime lead.
Indianapolis had a huge edge in the running game with Marlon Mack rushing for 148 yards against the Texans. The Colts rushed for 200 as a team.
That doesn’t bode well for the Chiefs, who rank 27th in rushing defense.
“How do you win playoff games?” Colts coach Frank Reich asked him team in a postseason speech televised on ESPN. “You dominate up front. That’s playoff football.”