Colts fans: still horrifying.
Back when the Chiefs were undefeated at 9-0, critics wrote it off as the result of an easy schedule (of the Chiefs’ first nine opponents, only Philly ended the season with a winning record and the Eagles didn’t exactly start the season wonderfully). Now those detractors look vindicated, though there’s a little more to it than that. The Colts also get written off as the beneficiaries of playing in the dogshit AFC South. Nevertheless, they’ve enjoyed wins over the no. 1 seed in both conference as well as two other playoff teams, including the one they play today.
The Chiefs limped into the postseason about as pathetically as a team can, having lost five of their last seven. The last loss might have come in a meaningless game against San Diego in which the Chiefs were resting starters and still only lost because of a bad non-call. Still, that means the last game that the Chiefs actually tried was the one that they lost to the Colts two weeks ago. Kansas City’s downfall really started with the injuries to Justin Houston and Tamba Hali when the team played the Chargers in Week 12. Houston is expected to play for the first time since Nov. 24 and though Hali didn’t practice all week, he appears ready to go.
Though Indy had home wins over the Broncos and Seahawks, their two home losses came to the Rams in a blowout and to the Dolphins at the beginning of the season. So while the Colts can be quite formidable at home, they don’t exactly enjoy the type of homefield advantage that, say, the Saints do. Context comes into play as well. Indy started 6-2 and lost their way for about a month – during which the ugly Rams loss occurred – losing three of five in a host of games where they’d fall behind huge early and miss the presence of Reggie Wayne. In the last three weeks, however, the Colts seem to have found their way, a one-sided win over the Chiefs two weeks ago in Kansas City being the best indicator.
That said, don’t be surprised if a “Andrew Luck can’t win in the postseason” narrative starts getting some traction in the media should Luck fail to win in his second postseason start, especially now that one of them is at home. It’d be inane and unfair, but that’s how we treat our quarterbacks. Perhaps if he stopped pointing at my screen like that.