Insider Skinny: Chiefs Are Weary of Colts Success

It got to the point that Vonnie Holliday couldn't bear to watch the conclusion of the Indianapolis Colts' 41-10 rout of Denver in last week's wild-card round of the AFC playoffs.

"I don't even know what the final score of that game was," Holliday said. "It got real ugly; everything (the Colts) were doing was working. They scored on what, their first seven drives?

"As a defensive player, you never want to see that!"

Routing the Denver team that routed them just two weeks earlier won Indianapolis a world of respect from the Chiefs, their opponent in a divisional playoff game Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.

"The Colts demonstrated their potential to play the game about as well as it can be played," said Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil, who had to watch the whole production.

Not that the Colts didn't have Kansas City's respect before kicking the Broncos, a team that kicked Kansas City 45-27 as recently as December 7.

Indy, remember, has simply owned the Chiefs in recent meetings. They won in Arrowhead as recently as October of 2001 in a Thursday night game -- the kind of nationally televised stage upon which the Chiefs usually shine. They also won in the 2000 season opener in Kansas City where the Chiefs almost always win their lid-lifter.

The Colts, in fact, have won their last six meetings with the Chiefs, with four of those wins coming at Arrowhead. The most famous of the six-pack was the 10-7 stunner they put on the highly favored and 13-3 Chiefs on a frigid January day in Kansas City in the divisional playoffs after the 1995 season.

Only three players who participated in that last playoff game -- Will Shields and Tony Richardson of the Chiefs and Marcus Pollard of the Colts -- return for this week's playoff game. That means reporters asking questions about the '95 playoff game have been getting "What? I wasn't here then!" responses all week.

"Some of these guys were in high school then," grumbled Richardson, his eternal patience finally waning. "It's time to move on."

Fair enough. But the fact remains that Peyton Manning is 3-0 in three games against KC, two at Arrowhead. Marvin Harrison is 4-0 after putting a 103-yard, 3-TD game on the Chiefs in a December '96 Colts win, also at Arrowhead.

That's why the Chiefs spent their bye week telling themselves that nothing in their distant past -- like the '95 and '97 seasons when they blew home-field advantage for the playoffs with division-round losses to Indy and Denver, respectively -- or recent past will matter when they host the Colts this week.

Conversely, playing at home -- where the Chiefs hold a 13-game winning streak -- also guarantees nothing for a team that is counting on the often deafening Arrowhead crowd to give them an edge by limiting the Colts' ability to audible.

"It's like I told the squad today -- home-field advantage is an advantage only if you make it one," Vermeil said. "It's all still in your hands. If you don't play real well, you're liable to make them mad and then they become your enemy. I've heard them boo us right here this year."

If the Chiefs' 29th-ranked defense doesn't do any better than Denver's fourth-ranked defense did, Holliday not only won't want to watch, he won't care to listen, either.

This will be the 16th meeting between Kansas City and Indianapolis. The Colts lead 9-6 in all games with an 8-6 record in regular-season and 1-0 in the playoffs. KC was 5-3 with the Colts in Baltimore, but only 1-6 after the move to Indy in 1984. Kansas City last beat the Colts in 1985, but has lost six straight meetings since then, with four of those six losses at Arrowhead. And three coming within in the last five seasons. Top Stories