INDIANAPOLIS — A dinged up Indianapolis Colts’ defense will face a Kansas City squad that could provide a good test Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.
Yes, the Chiefs are 2-12 and failed to score in last week’s 15-0 AFC West road loss to Oakland. But Kansas City does have a pretty good running back trio in Jamaal Charles, Shaun Draughn and Peyton Hillis.
Indianapolis’ run defense gave up over 160 yards to Houston’s Arian Foster last Sunday. Most of those yards came in the second half as the Texans continued to soften up the Colts’ defensive front.
“Every week you’ve got somebody that’s a challenge and he’s the next guy out,” Colts defensive coordinator Greg Manusky said of the speedy Charles.
“[The Chiefs] have a very good stretch cut scheme. He has great vision as a running back, good sight lines, tough runner, hard runner and he sets up his running lanes with the offensive line in front of him. They work well together as a unit.”
Inside linebacker Pat Angerer likens the Kansas City running attack to what the Texans do best.
“Yeah, they’re good. They run a lot of stretch, like we just played, a lot of cutback. Then you put in [Hillis] and he’s a big, power guy. It’ll be a good challenge, but it’ll be fun.”
What will really be fun is if the Colts can come away from the game with a win. Indianapolis can clinch a spot in the AFC playoffs with a victory over Kansas City.
That’s been the goal since early in the season since coach Chuck Pagano was forced to take a leave of absence as he was treated for a form of leukemia.
Pagano, though, has been cleared to return to work by his doctors. There’s a pretty good chance that he will return to his duties next week, just in time for next week’s regular-season finale with AFC South rival Houston.