Five nuggets of knowledge about Week 5.
Can Chiefs run by the Colts? The Colts have been beaten twice and they have given up big yardage on the ground in both games. That has to excite the Kansas City Chiefs. One of the strengths of Kansas City’s 3-0 team is the running of Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones. Houston and Jacksonville had success running the ball in wins against the Colts. Houston’s Arian Foster had 231 yards against the Colts and Jacksonville’s Maurice Jones-Drew had 105 yards. Indianapolis has the No. 29 run defense in the NFL and the Chiefs have the No. 3 run offense with an average of 160.7 rushing yards per game. Running the ball has to be Kansas City’s game plan. Not only does it exploit a Colts’ weakness, but it will also eat the clock and keep Peyton Manning off the field, which is never a bad thing.
Strong O-line play in San Diego: I was speaking to San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers after the Chargers’ win over Arizona. Rivers couldn’t stop praising his offensive line. He said the unit is a real key why San Diego is ranked No. 1 in the NFL on offense. The group is playing well in both pass and run protection. I mentioned to Rivers that people in the organization told me during training camp that I should expect to see a motivated San Diego offensive line because it was quietly upset by comments made by former San Diego running back LaDainian Tomlinson. Rivers smiled, but he didn’t touch the subject. He simply said the group is playing with tremendous focus. It will get better when left tackle Marcus McNeill is eligible to play in Week 6.
Can Oakland wear down San Diego? San Diego has beaten the Raiders 13 straight times heading into Sunday's matchup in Oakland. There are some folks in San Diego who feel fortunate the Chargers beat Oakland twice last season, especially at Oakland in Week 1. Oakland was more physical than San Diego in that game. The Chargers just made more key plays. The Raiders have had success running the ball against the Chargers. Expect Oakland to try to out-muscle the Chargers again as it tries to end the streak.
Will Ray Lewis get a chance to welcome Tim Tebow to the NFL? In the offseason, Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis said he thought Denver rookie Tim Tebow received more help than most NFL prospects on his way through the draft process. Lewis made it clear he didn’t think it was cool. Perhaps Lewis will get a chance to welcome Tebow to the NFL in his special way Sunday? The only way that happens is if Denver uses a special package that includes Tebow. He has been on the active roster in three of four games this season, but he hasn’t played since opening day.
The byproduct of no running game in Denver: Gary Horton of Scouts Inc. notes that Denver has had to get creative in the passing game because of a porous run game. Denver has the No. 32 run game in the NFL. It is averaging 2.2 yards per carry and 55 yards on the ground a game. Horton said Denver is manufacturing yards with three and four-receiver sets. Horton says Denver is using a lot of short pass plays and is using screens on running downs as a way of bringing life to the run game.