By Matt Stypulkoski | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com | Posted January 09, 2019 at 04:30 AM | Updated January 09, 2019 at 07:24 AM
By Matt Stypulkoski | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
AP Photo | Carolyn Kaster
Here’s a preview of both games, including key matchups, X-factors and picks and predictions for each game.
6-Indianapolis Colts vs. 1-Kansas City Chiefs
When: Saturday, Jan. 12
Time: 4:35 p.m.
Where: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City
Line: Chiefs -5.5
Colts’ offensive line vs. Chiefs’ front seven: The Colts dominated up front this past week, churning out 200 yards on the ground to push past the Texans. They’re going to need a similar performance this week in order to control the clock and keep the ball away from Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
Colts’ secondary vs. Chiefs TE Travis Kelce: Kelce is an absolute menace — he led the Chiefs with 1,336 receiving yards this year and added 10 TDs. The toughest part about him is that he’s deployed in a variety of ways. He’s a matchup nightmare. How will the Colts slow him down?
Colts head coach Frank Reich vs. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid: Reid is one of the better coaches in the NFL, particularly among offensive minds. He has plenty of playoff experience, too. Reich, on the other hand, is in his first year as a head coach. It’ll be interesting to see how he keeps up in this chess match.
Mahomes has been lighting it up all season long, but he’s still a first-year starter making the playoffs for the first time. How will he handle the moment when it comes? If he sticks to what he’s been doing all season, the Chiefs will be fine. But performing to an MVP level in the playoffs is no small ask.