Colts defense faces different kind of test against Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs aerial attack

A surprising and stout Indianapolis defense is getting ready to face the toughest test the NFL has to offer when the Indianapolis Colts take on the Kansas City Chiefs in the divisional round of the AFC playoffs on Saturday (4:35 p.m., WTHR 13).

Armed with the NFL’s most devastating weapon — the right arm of Patrick Mahomes — Kansas City finished first in the league in total offense, first in scoring and first in jaw-dropping highlights on ESPN and the NFL Network.

Barring something freaky, the Colts’ playoff fate will rest on the ability of its defense to slow Mahomes down enough for Andrew Luck to run by him.

With that in mind, here’s three questions the Indianapolis defense must answer for the Colts to upset the top-seeded Chiefs and reach the AFC Championship Game.

1.  Is the Colts defense comfortable playing a different kind of game?

By a quirk of the NFL schedule, the Indianapolis defense has spent two months shutting down the same kind of offense over and over again. In an otherwise pass-happy league, the Colts have faced a long line of offenses that wanted to establish the run, keep pounding away on the ground and ask their quarterbacks to land a few key punches here and there.

For months, the game plan has been to take away the run and put the ball in the quarterback’s hands.

That’s exactly where Kansas City wants the ball.

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