Behind Enemy Lines: Colts vs. Chiefs I

Scout.com experts Eric Hartz of ColtPower.com and Nick Athan of Warpaint Illustrated break down Sunday's game between the Colts and the Chiefs. In Part I, Eric poses six questions for Nick.

Eric Hartz: "The Chiefs' quarterback situation has been in flux for over a year. Is Brodie Croyle the long-term answer there, or is it too early to tell?"

Nick Athan: "The Brodie Croyle era is alive and well in Kansas City. He'll be the first quarterback drafted by the Chiefs since 1983 to start for the team, and I've felt since the day he was drafted that Croyle could break that streak. His arm strength is already being compared to Brett Favre and some scouts I spoke with told me that Croyle had attributes of both Tom Brady and Joe Montana.

"He'll get a seven-week audition, but he is the future of the team; if the Colts take him for granted, he'll burn them deep. He has no fear and nothing rattles him. He will make mistakes but he'll also make the spectacular throw."

Hartz: "Priest Holmes' comeback has been a feel-good story in the NFL this season. With Larry Johnson out for Sunday's game, will Holmes be the focal point of the offense or will he split carries with another back, such as Kolby Smith?

Athan: "I was a bit surprised that Holmes ran the ball as many times as he did against the Denver Broncos. But the comeback is a great story and he's really looking forward to this game. It's a revenge game for him after the Colts beat the Chiefs at Arrowhead back in a 2004 playoff game.

"Holmes' path back to the NFL is amazing but he can't be an every-down back. Kolby Smith is unproven and only ran the ball a couple of times last Sunday against the Broncos, but is a skilled runner and in open spaces he can elude defenders."

Hartz: "Opponents that would normally appear to have matchup problems with the Colts this season have been able to close some of that gap by taking advantage of the Colts' poor special teams play. How have the Chiefs' special teams been playing and what should we watch for from those units?"

Athan: "The Chiefs will have a new kickoff return man on Sunday against the Colts. Second-year man Jeff Webb will take over for the ineffective Eddie Drummond who has struggled all season to get any yardage in the return game.

"If the Colts punt this week, Drummond will handle those duties, but he likely won't be a threat for chunks of yards, even against Indy's poor special teams coverage units. I don't expect too many punts on Sunday if the Colts' offense plays with the vengeance that I expect."

Hartz: "Tony Gonzalez, in his 11th year, is on pace for one of his best seasons yet. What do the Colts need to do to limit his effectiveness on Sunday?"

Athan: "The future Hall of Fame tight end is still the game's best. No offense to others, like the Colts' Dallas Clark and the Chargers' Antonio Gates, but Gonzalez is having another outstanding season, and I've never seen him run routes better.

"The Colts can't leave him alone for a second. With Croyle zinging the ball quicker than Damon Huard, a player like Gonzalez will get the ball quicker, and with his ability to break tackles, could charge down the middle of the field time after time. The key for the Colts defense will be to man him up with a player like hard-hitting safety Bob Sanders. Gonzalez will be Croyle's main target and the Colts must keep a shadow on him."

Hartz:: "Do you think the team will suffer any residual effects from the Denver game and what did that loss do to the Chiefs' division title and playoff hopes?"

Athan: "One thing I can say about Herm Edwards' bunch is that they don't seem to have any carryover from game to game. That was a staple under Dick Vermeil but not Edwards. Remember, they started the season 1-2 heading into their road game at San Diego.

"Edwards used that game to remind his team that the Chargers were beatable. That theme is no different this week. Edwards has his bunch believing that they can beat the Colts, and there isn't a man in that locker room that doesn't believe him.

"The AFC West is anything but a lock, so for the Chargers, Chiefs and Broncos, any game that they were expected to lose and end up winning will breed confidence. The Chiefs are in the exact same position they were when they faced San Diego."

Hartz: "I remember reading quite a bit last season about how Chief fans enjoyed visiting Indianapolis and interacting with Colts fans during the playoffs last season, despite the loss. Do you expect a lot of Chiefs fans to find their way to the RCA Dome Sunday?"

Athan: "I was at the RCA Dome last season and I came away very impressed with the way the Colts fans treated the Chiefs fans who showed their red colors. Despite the fact the Chiefs are 4-5 on the season, it won't shock me if they travel to Indy on Sunday.

"I've visited several NFL cities and I think the location of the RCA Dome to a thriving downtown is unique. The fans, local establishments and community are very similar to Kansas City."


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