Even though the most likely scenarios have the Chiefs and Colts meeting in the first round of the playoffs, this week’s not a time to hold back for strategic reasons.
Because of the tiebreakers that come into play for both teams, the Chiefs appear destined for the AFC’s top Wild Card berth, and the Colts the No. 4 seed as AFC South champions.
That makes Sunday’s matchup slightly anticlimactic, but Chiefs coach Andy Reid said they can’t approach it that way.
“I don’t think you do,” Reid said, via Randy Covitz of the Kansas City Star. “We’re far enough along in the year, . . . you have enough in the playbook that you can draw from on both sides of the ball and special teams-wise. I don’t think there’s any reason to do that.
“Plus, the season is still alive.”
The Chiefs know about quick turnarounds, playing the Broncos twice in three weeks and losing both, so they’d like to set the stage a little better this time through.
“You give it your best shot your first time, and then you come back two weeks later and give it your best shot then,” he said.
If anything, the Chiefs could lean toward giving some injured players time to get well, with their playoff berth secured.
Left tackle Branden Albert (knee), tight end Anthony Fasano (concussion) and outside linebacker Justin Houston (elbow) have missed time, and return man Dexter McCluster (ankle) missed the Oakland game.
“We’re comfortable with the guys healing up, . . . we’re not forcing anybody back in that’s in a position where they would reinjure themselves,” Reid said. “ We haven’t done that all season, so we’re not going to start doing that now or ever as long as I’m here. That’s not how we roll, but if the guys can play then they’re going to play.
“That’s what they do and they want to do that. The rest of our season is as important as the beginning. We’re not letting off on anything there. We’ll keep working the process and making sure we get guys ready to play. We’ll do our part as coaches and we’ll do our part as players. “
But the more important part would be making sure those players are well for the likely rematch with the Colts.