Posted on October 7, 2019, by Travis Pulver
Some would say that the Colts have always been legit; that their win over the formerly undefeated Chiefs isn’t proof of anything. For long-time, dedicated fans of the team, that is probably true. But for the rest of us who lost interest after Andrew Luck’s sudden retirement, this comes as news.
Other teams may not have been too concerned about the Colts before, but they should be now after Sunday night’s big win over the Chiefs,
On the outside looking in, it may look like the Colts are just a 3-2 team. Good? Yes, but in the NFL, that’s nothing special. So, why should anyone be concerned about them?
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Despite losing their starting quarterback just a couple weeks before the start of the regular season, the offense looks good. Yes, Brissett has started before but he hasn’t played in a while (preseason and training camp doesn’t count).
However, even though he was thrust into the starter’s role late in the preseason, the offense has been good. It hasn’t been great because there has been a learning curve as he acclimates to his new role and the offense discovers what works best for Brissett.
But it has been good enough to beat the Falcons and Titans and was competitive against the Chargers in Week One and versus the Raiders last week.
Oh—and there’s the Chiefs game.
The Chiefs were favored by 11 in a game that many expected to be another Patrick Mahomes extravaganza. If the Colts had let him have the ball more, it might have been just that. But, instead, they executed the perfect defense against Mahomes and the Chiefs passing game—a good running game.
Marlon Mack had a strong night for the Colts with 29 attempts for 132 yards. On the night, Indianapolis ran the ball 45 times for 180 yards and a single touchdown, a one-yard scamper by Brissett in the first quarter.
In the process, the Colts ended up controlling the ball for over 37 minutes giving Mahomes a little more than a quarter and a half to work his magic. Had he not been hobbled with an ankle injury, maybe he would have; he still completed 22 of 39 passes for 321 yards and a touchdown.
But with nothing coming from the running game (36 yards on 14 total carries) it wasn’t close to enough. The Colts went on to win 19-13.
Chiefs fans will want to point to the injuries, especially Mahomes and his ankle, as the reason why they lost. But if the success of a team is predicated off one or two players, then they better make sure those guys don’t get hurt.
That is not the case with the Colts. Jacoby Brissett only threw for 151 yards Sunday night, but he has been one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the NFL this season. The offensive line is doing a great job protecting him and opening holes for Marlon Mack—who is taking advantage of them.
While the defense was not relied on as much against the Chiefs, it still came through and made plays. Prior to Sunday night, Mahomes had only been sacked three times and hit on 17 occasions; the Colts sacked him four times and recorded eight hits.
The win has caused some sportsbooks to reevaluate their odds on who will win the AFC South. Houston had been a clear-cut favorite, but despite the Texans offense blowing up against the Falcons, the odds are now a lot tighter (Colts +175; Texans +145 via DraftKings).
But following their game against the Texans in Houston following the bye, that could change.