There are only two National Football League teams that won four games this year without a loss. The San Francisco 49ers, who host the Cleveland Browns tomorrow night, could become the third.
Who are the other two?
A couple likely suspects; the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs. The Patriots extended their win streak to five games with a victory in Washington today, 33-7, with a result that could be the nail in the coffin for Jay Gruden’s coaching job with the Redskins. Gruden has worked for Daniel Snyder for six seasons, longer than any of the other seven head coaches that have served in that role since Snyder bought the franchise in 1999.
This year, the Redskins are the only team in the NFL that currently appear capable of challenging the Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals for being the worst team in the league. Today, Colt McCoy got the start at quarterback for the Redskins, replacing opening day starter Case Keenum who was winless in his four starts. On the Redskins bench, is what Washington fans hope will be the long-term answer at quarterback, first round draft choice Dwayne Haskins.
The only other undefeated team with four wins hosts the Indianapolis Colts tonight at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs eliminated the Colts from the playoffs last January in Kansas City, and off a loss the Colts appear in a good spot to gain revenge.
The Colts and their fans were shocked when expected starting quarterback Andrew Luck retired in August. One-time third round draft choice of the Patriots, Jacoby Brissett, inherited the Colts starting job. What he has around him is a very good football team with a talented offensive line Indianapolis built to protect Luck.
Talent on both sides of the ball, a solid running game, and a team that had its season spiked motivationally with the loss of Luck, all bode well for Indianapolis. On opening day, the Colts took the Los Angeles Chargers to overtime before losing by six points. In second and third week action, Indianapolis won both their games and the point spread decisions with wins over the Tennessee Titans and Atlanta Falcons.
At home, last Sunday, the Colts lost against the point spread for the first time this season, upset at Lucas Oil Stadium by the Oakland Raiders, 31-24. When a team is in a motivated pattern, the best time to back their chances is after a loss.
But, this is Kansas City, right? Who wants to bet against the Chiefs in prime time and then watch Patrick Mahomes drive his offense to scores that just seem to come easier for him than they do for other teams?
If we are going to bet against the Chiefs, we better have some pretty good reasons.
Well, here’s one, not only are the Colts in a good situation with a revenge mode, but the Chiefs are in a traditionally tough predicament. Kansas City is 4-0 straight-up this season, but lost last week against the point spread in Detroit. The Lions surrendered a first-and-goal offensive possession from the one-yard line that turned into a touchdown the other way when a fumble was recovered by the Chiefs and returned 100 yards. The Lions lost to Kansas City by four points, but that play was a 14 point turnaround, evidence that the Chiefs may be more vulnerable than most think.
When a team is on a winning streak, like the Chiefs, and then first lose a game against the point spread, history shows us that this team is much more likely to lose straight-up before they cover another favorite role. In other words, the Chiefs might win tonight, but that possibility is dwarfed by the more likely scenario that the Colts will either win straight-up or get the money based on the generous point spread.
So, you have a choice tonight; bet on Kansas City and expect to see Mahomes score a bunch of points, or bet on the Colts, and have a ticket worth visiting the payout window with after the game.
Qoxhi Picks: Indianapolis Colts (+10½) over Kansas City Chiefs