Colts at Chiefs
The Indianapolis Colts can complete a remarkable turnaround and secure a wild card spot when they visit the reeling Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. The formula for the Colts, who went 2-14 last season, is simple: win and they're in. Indianapolis couldn't find a more comfortable landing spot than Kansas City, which is tied with Jacksonville for the league's worst record and owns the NFL's lowest-scoring offense. Rookie quarterback Andrew Luck, the No. 1 overall pick, had guided the Colts to seven wins in eight games before falling at AFC South titlist Houston last week. While Indianapolis holds a one-game lead for the No. 5 seed, it is staring at a rematch with the Texans next week and the possibility of missing the playoffs if the team loses its last two.
TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Colts -2.5, O/U 41.5
ABOUT THE COLTS (9-5): Indianapolis learned Thursday that head coach Chuck Pagano has been medically cleared to return to the sideline following his three-month battle with leukemia. No date has been determined for Pagano to come back, but the hope is he will be at the team complex on Monday and direct the team in the regular-season finale against Houston. On the field, Luck has directed the Colts to six fourth-quarter comebacks - an NFL rookie record - but he has struggled down the stretch, failing to complete 50 percent of his passes in three straight games and throwing as many interceptions as touchdowns (10) in his last six contests. Rookie Vick Ballard ran for 105 yards last week - his first 100-yard game.
ABOUT THE CHIEFS (2-12): Kansas City is coming off one of the worst offensive showings in recent memory in last week's 15-0 loss at Oakland. The Chiefs failed to register a first down in the first half and had only seven total while managing a paltry 119 yards of total offense in absorbing their 10th defeat in 11 games. The switch from Matt Cassel to Brady Quinn at quarterback has done nothing to perk up an offense that is averaging a league-worst 13.9 points and has been held to nine points or fewer in four of the past five games. Jamaal Charles, who is sixth in the league with 1,230 rushing yards, had a string of three straight 100-yard efforts snapped by rushing for only 10 yards on nine carries last week.
1. Luck needs 74 yards passing to break Cam Newton's rookie record of 4,051.
2. Kansas City won at Indianapolis 28-24 last season, but has lost seven of the last nine vs. the Colts.
3. The Colts can become the fourth team in history to win 10 games following a two-win season.