First Look: Chiefs vs. Colts

Of all the potential AFC Playoff matchups that Indianapolis could draw, the one they surely didn't want to face was the Kansas City Chiefs. Now, their worst nightmare, Larry Johnson, is heading to town.

This game is bigger than the strange twist of fate that allowed the Chiefs to back into the playoffs. It's about payback, redemption and playing for the memory of Founder Lamar Hunt.

You can throw out everything that happened to this point in 2006. The regular season is over and, ironically, the two wildcard teams (the Chiefs and the New York Jets) have a common thread. Neither team was really expected to make it to the playoffs.

Kansas City is in largely to an unlikely scenario that had the Tennessee Titans, Cincinnati Bengals and Denver Broncos all losing home games. The Chiefs held serve at home and now focus soley on stopping Peyton Manning and the Colts high-octane offense.

Manning probably isn't too thrilled to face cornerback Ty Law, who has always been a thorn in his side. This is why the Chiefs signed Law.

On Sunday the Colts went into their season finale against the Miami Dolphins telling themselves it was a playoff game. Manning did his part by throwing for a pair of touchdowns and running in another. The defense held the Dolphins to five field goals and a touchdown.

The good news for Chiefs fans is Kansas City has an offense that put up 28 points against the second-rated Jacksonville defense. That could spell doom for the Colts, who don't run the ball that well and have been worse at stopping the run all season long. In fact, every NFL team who lined up against the Colts in 2006 ran for more than 100 yards.

What the Colts face is a potential disaster, because wins were scarce after they started the season 10-0. They went 2-3 down the stretch. Not exactly playoff caliber football. They were a lock to get AFC Home Field Advantage but they lost focus.

The Chiefs weren't much better. They went 2-3 in December but won their final two games of the season. Trent Green hasn't found his mojo back since returning to the starting lineup.

Much of that can be attributed to the offensive line that will head to Indy without all-world blocking tight end Jason Dunn and right tackle Kyle Turley, who were put on injured reserve prior to the Jaguars game.

The Colts don't possess the same front seven as the Jaguars so the Chiefs should be able to run the ball with ease against Indianapolis. Miami's Ronnie Brown only carried 15 times and ran for 115 yards. Johnson should be able to double that.

The Chiefs did a solid job stopping the Jaguars running duo of Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor. That tag team is far better than Indy's tandem of Joseph Addai and Dominic Rhodes.

But for me, the best part of this game will be Herm Edwards, the pupil, going up against his coaching mentor, Tony Dungy. Both are great motivators, but the Chiefs have zero pressure to win. It's all on the Colts.

In the end, the Chiefs have a great chance to upset the Colts on Saturday. If Johnson, Green and company can get touchdowns on offense and don't turn the ball over, Kansas City's defense has more than enough to stop Manning a few times. That could be just enough to get a victory and move onto the second round of the playoffs.

Who would have thought we'd be talking about that today?

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