KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 02: Defensive back Cedric Griffin #23 of the Minnesota Vikings tackles running back Thomas Jones #20 of the Kansas City Chiefs during the second quarter on October 2, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. The Chiefs defeated the Vikings 22-17. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
The Kansas City Chiefs and the Indianapolis Colts are both off to rocky starts this season. A win this weekend for either would go a long way towards saving face during what seems to be a lost season for both.
The Kansas City Chiefs are arguably off to one of the most disappointing starts of any team in the NFL, sitting at 1-3 after making the playoffs last season. Their one win came just last week against an even sorrier, for the moment, Minnesota Vikings club. The Indianapolis Colts, another playoff club last year, are still winless with Peyton Manning out indefinitely. When the Chiefs head to Indianapolis on Sunday, what should have been a marquee matchup before the season will be an afterthought for many fans.
Not only are the Colts without Manning, but Kerry Collins could be out as well. Collins was brought in to help fill the void at quarterback left by Manning, but suffered a concussion in Week 3 elevating Curtis Painter to the starting role in Week 4. Painter went just 13-for-30 passing against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, throwing two touchdowns but also losing a fumble.
Of course, the Chiefs are also struggling to find a capable replacement for the loss of their best offensive player. With Jamaal Charles on injured reserve with a torn ACL, Kansas City has had to turn to Thomas Jones and Dexter McCluster in the running game, neither of whom has gotten going in Charles' absence. The Chiefs hope that a solid second half effort last week for Matt Cassel (10-for-14 passing, 161 yards) is an indication that the offense is ready to turn around.
The outlook on this season looks grim for both of these squads, with simply saving face looking like the most realistic goal for either. While this game has very little in the way of playoff intrigue, at least fans can expect a close matchup. Oddsmakers have this as one of the tightest games of the weekend, with the Colts favored by just one point.
Game Date/Time: Sunday, October 9; 1:00pm ET
Location: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
TV Distribution Map: The506.com
Colts: AM 1070 WFNI, 97.1 HANK FM
Chiefs: KCFX-FM 101.1