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NFL: a heavy order for the Colts, against undefeated Chiefs

Michael Marot, The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts know this.

The NFL team with the fewest points this season, they snatched a draw and lost the other game.

They provided little protection for quarterback Matt Ryan and caused few turnovers.

They are preparing to launch the local portion of their calendar, they who have won only twice in their last eight such events.

And come to town Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, whose record is 2-0.

Colts fans can be forgiven for being reluctant, especially since the team has twice posted a 1-5 performance in four years.

The Colts themselves, however, exude confidence, even in the wake of the 24-0 shutout suffered in Jacksonville.

“It was very painful but it’s in the past,” said running back Nyheim Hines. We have to show what we’re warming up at home, against a very high caliber team. We have to play with pride.”

Kansas City looks like it’s on its way to the AFC Championship Game for the fifth straight year.

Mahomes completed 73 percent of his passes, although several targets changed. He had seven touchdown passes and had no interceptions.

“The Colts’ record doesn’t matter,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. It’s their first game at home, they have talent and they are well managed. Anything can happen in every game in the NFL.”

The Colts are aware of having failed in several respects against the Jaguars.

“We have guys who have done some great things in this league,” said Ryan, the NFL’s 2016 Most Valuable Player. “I’m confident we’ll bounce back.”

The Colts could count on the return of linebacker Shaquille Leonard, who had back surgery in June. He says he feels in great shape.

Against Jacksonville, the Colts were doing without their two best wide-openers, Michael Pittman and Alec Pierce. The first had a calf injury, the second had to respect the concussion protocol.

Pierce participated fully in Wednesday’s practice, while Pittman was there on a limited basis.

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