With the Indianapolis Colts traveling to Arrowhead Stadium this week to take on the No. 1 seeded Kansas City Chiefs, it's become an increasingly popular idea that Indy needs to lean on its running game, as it did a week ago against the Texans.
The Chiefs have the NFL's most explosive offense and it may be tough for even Andrew Luck and company to keep up with them. So the idea is that the Colts should run the ball against the Chiefs' last-ranked run defense in order to play keep-away from Patrick Mahomes, and keep the Kansas City offense on the sideline.
Colts coach Frank Reich says that will not be his plan. He's not playing keep-away; he's trying to score every time the team has the ball.
"If it's running it for 200 or throwing it for 400, I'm always going to say the same thing, we are trying to score every time we touch the ball and we are going to game plan and call the game in a way to score points," Reich said on Tuesday, per 107.5 The Fan. "We are really not trying to think so much about, 'Well, let's hold the ball and keep it from them.' We want to run it. There's no secret about that. That does keep them off the field. That would be great. But at the end of the day, the primary goal is score points."
In the Chiefs' four regular-season losses, their opponents scored 43, 54, 29, and 38 points. So certainly, scoring as often as possible is paramount when attempting to defeat them. In three of those four losses, though, the Chiefs allowed their opponent to run for 119 yards or more (the Rams ran for 76 yards in their 54-51 win), while all four also won the time-of-possession battle.
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The best strategy is to run in order to keep the ball, but run well enough to dent the scoreboard as well. You're not going to stop the Chiefs from putting up crooked numbers, so you have to be able to keep pace.
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