1-0!

Casey's Colts Zone

1-0!

It has been a fun year to watch as a Colts fan! We have seen the lows, being 1-5 and people talking about what is going to happen with this team in the draft, to now having a playoff win under their belt and heading to Kansas City for a chance to advance to the AFC Championship Game. Under first year Head Coach Frank Reich and 2nd Year GM Chris Ballard, there is a renewed sense of confidence around this team and looks like a team that will one continue to grow over the next handful of years.

Before the season I had expected the Colts to finish around the 7 to 8 win territory and set themselves up for an exciting look moving forward but I was wrong. I was very pleased seeing this team win double-digit game and reach the playoffs but I was more excited with the growth of the youth and seeing Andrew Luck get back to his old form. Seeing Quenton Nelson and Darius Leonard selected as AP 1st-Team All-Pro as rookies is incredible but also hasn’t happened in the NFL since 1965 with Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers being two rookies on the same team to be represented as a 1st-Team All-Pro.

Nelson and Leonard have made the headlines but some other deserve so much credit too with guys like Braden Smith, Right Tackle. He was selected in the 2nd Round of the NFL Draft in 2018 as a Guard but due to some injuries made the transition to Right Tackle and hasn’t missed a beat. A couple 2nd year guys have had huge impacts like LB Anthony Walker and RB Marlon Mack but also some free agent signings that weren’t under the radar like Right Guard Mark Glowinski, CB’s Pierre Desir and Kenny Moore. He also made some big free agent signings during the season following some injuries that have turned out to be huge for this team like Safety Mike Mitchell and Wide Receiver Dontrelle Inman. Mitchell was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week in his 2nd week of being with the team and Inman has scored a touchdown in three straight games. GM Chris Ballard has seemingly pulled all the right strings to this point and has this team rolling and at a legitimate chance of knocking off the highly-powered offense of the Chiefs.

I am biased since I am a Colts fan and because I work with the Colts Monday-Friday and also I am part of the crew on the One America Radio Network but I truly believe they have a real chance on Saturday. My key to the game is developing a running game. The Chiefs have struggled on the defensive side of the football all year but their offense has had a record season which has helped lead them to this 12-4 mark. The best way to attack a high-powered offense is to keep them on the sideline and that is what the Colts can do if they can establish a run game. Running the football has been very effective with the Colts and last week against Houston they ran for 200 yards as a team and Marlon Mack had career-best day rushing for 148 yards and also scored 1 touchdown. The Chiefs are allowing 5 yards per carry on the season which could be a huge recipe for success for the Colts if they can keep the Chiefs defense on the field and eat clock, it would bode well. At the end of the day, the Chiefs will move the football and more than likely score points (only team in the history of the NFL to score at least 26 points in every game during the 2018 season) but it is about how much they score and if the Colts defense can get a couple defensive stops.

My prediction is a Colts victory 31-28 and moving onto the AFC Championship Game next Sunday. What do you think?