Colts vs. Chiefs 2012 game preview: Indianapolis looks to clinch playoff spot

USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Luck and the Colts can put themselves in the playoffs with a win against hapless Kansas City.

On Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs and Indianapolis Colts will meet in the penultimate weekend of the 2012 NFL season with much at stake at Arrowhead Stadium.

Indianapolis can clinch its first playoff appearance of the Andrew Luck era with a win. The Colts are 9-5 and, while no longer alive for the AFC South crown, could still finish as the fifth seed in the AFC.

The Chiefs have nothing of the sort on their minds. In fact, they would be helped by losing as they continue a sad quest for the No. 1 overall pick. If Kansas City loses its final two games, it's guaranteed to be on the clock.

Meet the Kansas City Chiefs

It's been an unspeakably rough year for the Chiefs. Outside of the off-field tragedy involving the late Jovan Belcher, Kansas City has been a miserable team throughout the season.

At 2-12, the Chiefs are on pace to tie the franchise-worst record of 2-14 which they achieved under Herm Edwards in 2008. This team is even even more pathetic, shattering the record for worst point differential in Kansas City's history.

Romeo Crennel has to be blamed for much of what has happened here, considering many thought this team would win the AFC West. It will be no surprise when Crennel is dismissed immediately after the season ends.

Meet the Indianapolis Colts

The picture is much more rosy for the Colts, who have found their quarterback of the future in Andrew Luck.

The youngster out of Stanford has been everything Indianapolis fans could have ever dreamed of, leading their team to the brink of the playoffs. Luck's stats aren't overwhelming in terms of touchdowns and interceptions with 20 and 18, respectively. However, he's eighth in the league with 3,978 passing yards.

Of course, you can't talk about the 2012 Colts without mentioning Chuckstrong. Head coach Chuck Pagano has been a source of incredible inspiration for his team as he battles cancer, all while interim head coach and offensive coordinator Bruce Arians keeps the team moving forward. It's been an incredible ride.

Local Takes: Kansas City Chiefs

Joel Thorman from Arrowhead Pride wonders why some think the Chiefs should consider a left tackle with the top pick in the 2013 draft:

The Chiefs have Branden Albert. His contract is expiring, but the Chiefs can re-sign him or franchise tag him. If the Chiefs aren't ready to re-sign him long-term yet, they can tag him and wait it out. There is absolutely no reason why the Chiefs shouldn't have a quality left tackle next season. Either tag Albert or, if you think Stephenson is ready, play him.

Local Takes: Indianapolis Colts

Brad Wells from Stampede Blue talks about how the Colts should clinch a playoff berth this week:

Back to the Colts, to make the playoffs, they just need to beat the crappy Chiefs in Arrowhead on Sunday. It won't be an easy game because A) the Chiefs are semi-decent at home, and B) the Colts aren't to good on the road.

Follow the Fun

Be sure to check out SB Nation's team blogs, Arrowhead Pride and Stampede Blue, for more analysis and highlights from the game.

Add these fine follows to your Twitter timeline:

@arrowheadpride

@stampedeblue

@mellinger

@mchappell51

Prediction

There is simply no way the Chiefs are going to score enough points to beat Indianapolis. Honestly, it will be an upset if Kansas City even finds the end zone once considering what a complete joke that unit is. However, Jamaal Charles is a legitimate threat every time he touches the ball, so maybe he'll go the distance on a toss play or something.

With the playoffs on the line, Luck isn't going to have much of a problem putting up enough points to win. Kansas City's defense has been better lately, but it also has zero margin for error.

Arrowhead Stadium used to be a tough place to play, but the Chiefs are a disgraceful 1-6 at home this season.

The pick: 23-10, Colts

Odds

The Colts are favored by seven-and-a-half points, according to Oddsshark.

Next Week

Indianapolis will finish the regular season against the Houston Texans at home. Kansas City's campaign will mercifully come to and end on the road against the Denver Broncos.

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