Underdogs?

It's not often that a team boasting the best record in the NFL also has the title of biggest underdog of the week. But the Chiefs are eight point underdogs but that's the label the Chiefs will carry into Indianapolis on Sunday - when they attempt to knock off a familiar nemesis.

In the last two decades, the Colts have owned the Chiefs. That fact paints a dark picture of doubt for a Kansas City win on Sunday. In ten meetings, the Chiefs are just 1-9 - three of those loses came in the post season. Over the past three seasons, while Peyton Manning's Colts have been a perennial Super Bowl contender, the Chiefs have made a name for themselves one of the biggest pushovers in the NFL.

But given the Chiefs recent resurgence, is it possible Vegas whiffed on this one?

After perusing up and down the stat sheet, it seem the oddsmakers may have missed a few glaring details.

For one, this is not the same Colts team we have seen in recent years. Although Manning is still the best quarterback in football, the Colts' offensive philosophy has changed a bit since long time head coach Tony Dungy left for the broadcast booth.

What's made the Colts so dominant in the Manning era is their balanced offensive attack. The Colts Hall of Fame quarterback has the uncanny ability to read and dissect opposing defenses. But through Week 4, the Colts' offense is anything but balanced with their paltry 75.5 rushing yards per game.

Thus far in 2010, Manning has put the Colts on his back, compiling a staggering 1,342 passing yards while his team has only accumulated 302 yards rushing. This plays right into the Chiefs hands when considering that the Chiefs' defense is only allowing 75 yards per game against the run. Although the Chiefs' passing defense has been susceptible to the long ball, overall this secondary has played very well. And with nearly two full weeks for defensive guru Romeo Crennel to prepare, the front seven should be able to keep the pressure on Manning all afternoon.

Regardless of how well the defense plays, Manning is still one of the best quarterbacks of all-time. His numbers are sick but on Sunday can the Chiefs offense keep up?

Manning has owned the Chiefs since breaking into the league back in 1998.
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Matt Cassel has not had the start everyone in Chiefs Nation was hoping to see, but he has made steady improvement. Cassel has brought his passer ratings up from 68.0 in Week 1 to 111.7 in Week 3 while outgaining his yardage in the first two weeks combined. Cassel should have a good day with the Colts allowing opposing offenses to hit on 63.3% of their passes. If Cassel can stay patient in the pocket and avoid turnovers, he should have a productive day. Considering the Chiefs' offensive line has only allowed 2 sacks on the season, Cassel's comfort level in the pocket should be much improved.

But unlike the Colts, the Chiefs have a very balanced attack that will aid in Cassel's anxiety. The Colts allowed newcomer Arian Foster to rush his way into the Texans record book with 231 rushing yards in a Week 1 loss. The Chiefs' dual rushing attack of Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles is currently good for third in the NFL with 160.7 yards per game. With this lethal combination of power and speed, the Chiefs should cover more ground than UPS, while keeping the Colts biggest threat (Manning) on the bench.

It's tough to throw out the results of the past when looking at this 2010 Chiefs squad, but they are playing with a new fire and confidence that we have not seen around Kansas City in some time. The Chiefs have improved on every side of the ball while adding multiple game changers like Dexter McCluster, Tony Moeaki, and Javier Arenas, who I expect to have a major impact on Sunday.

The Chiefs Nation, much like Vegas, is still mixed in their belief on the actual improvements of the team that resides in Kansas City. But it is time for the pessimism to end. It's tough to shake the ghosts of the past, but it's even tougher to not let it cloud our judgment in the future.

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