The Kansas City Chiefs travel to Lucas Oil Field to face the Colts in their first playoff berth in four years. Emotions will be high for both teams when Andrew Luck tries to prove he can win in the post-season. Here are five statistics vital for both teams success on Saturday.
No. 1: Avoiding the third quarter lapse
Head coach Andy Reid built the Chiefs as a ball-control offense with a stout defensive front, and this worked well throughout the 2013 regular season -- but the team failed to handle adjustments by their opponents.
In all five of losses the Chiefs allowed an average of nine points in the third quarter. It doesn't sound like a lot, but for an offense relying on thin margins it can be a back breaker. Compare this to just 4.1 points allowed in the third quarter in the team's 11 wins.
What difference does five points make in the grand scheme of things? A lot, especially for an organization that won three games by a touchdown or less.
No. 2: Colts can't turn the ball over
It seems dumb to say "don't turn the ball over," but the Colts can't afford to give opposing teams opportunities on a short field. Indianapolis boasted a +13 turnover ration in 2013, and needs this to hold on Saturday.
The Colts are 5-4 when they turn the ball over, 1-1 when they have more than one turnover -- and 6-1 when there are no turnovers. Hold onto that ratio and they are in good stead for a win.
No. 3: Never stop running Kansas City
Leaning on their running game is how the Chiefs win. It doesn't even matter if rushing isn't effective, it needs to keep happening.
Need more proof? The Chiefs are 1-4 when running backs average over 5.0 yards per carry and 4-1 when averaging less than 4.0. It doesn't make sense in isolation, but the difference is how often the ball is being run.
The team won eight games this year when they carries the ball more than 25 times, and went 3-4 when they carried the ball less.
No. 4: Colts need to score more than 20
Scoring more points than the opponent, it's simple. That said, there is a threshold the Colts need to pass in order to have success based on their 2013 regular season.
Indianapolis lost just one game this season when scoring more than 20 points, losing their other four when failing to hit the mark. In fact, the Colts failed to win a single game this season when they were unable to score 21 points or more.
The bad news? Kansas City allowed 21+ points only six times this season.
No. 5: Home hits and road warriors
Interesting things happen for the Colts when they stay at home, and when the Kansas City hit the road -- they both win.
Indianapolis finished 2013 with a home record of 6-2 on the year, including signature wins over the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks. This is a pretty compelling reason to believe the Colts can keep up their winning ways at Lucas Oil Field.
That is until you look at the competition. It's hard to find a team who was better on the road than the Kansas City Chiefs. They were 6-2 away from Arrowhead Stadium, and had an impressive win of their own over the Philadelphia Eagles.
One team is going to be let down on Saturday either way, but it appears any advantage is cancelled out.