Frank Reich is in his fifth season as the Colts’ head coach and calls the plays for the offense. His offense features multiple sets and personnel groupings. He runs a high percentage of two tight end sets, featuring Mo Alie-Cox and Kylen Granson, who line up all over the field.
The Colts like to establish a rhythm by spreading the field horizontally and hitting quick, short passes in a West Coast-like scheme. A staple of their passing game is triangle reads. A triangle read is when a receiver on each side of the formation both run shallow crossing routes, with one outside receiver running a slightly deeper crossing route, creating a triangle.
The goal of a triangle read is to isolate two defenders (usually linebackers and safeties) versus three receivers. The defenders have to choose in a short amount of time whether to take the deep crossing receiver, leaving the underneath receivers open, or to attack underneath, leaving the crosser behind them open.
The Colts’ receivers will look to run into the soft spots of the field when the Chiefs are in zone coverage. Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo could utilize the big nickel package, which features three safeties. Keeping two of those safeties in the box would help the Chiefs’ linebackers patrol the middle of the field in the passing game.
The Colts rushing attack doesn’t have a specific identity; they use both man and zone blocking schemes. As he does with his tight ends, Reich also lines up his running backs all over, especially Nyheim Hines, who has 220 career receptions. Jonathan Taylor is the workhorse back and is one of the best running backs in the league.
Taylor has picked up where he left off last season, averaging 5.4 yards per carry and over 100 rushing yards per game. If the Chiefs do use the big nickel package as we suggested, it could also be effective against the Colts’ running game. The key will be the K.C. defensive line clogging up space and holding its ground, letting the linebackers and safeties come in to finish.