FanPost

Have the Colts clinched a playoff spot?

With Indianapolis' win today to get to 9-4, and Pittsburgh and Cincinnati's losses to get to 7-6, the Colts may have just clinched a playoff spot. Have they?

In a worst case scenario, the Colts lose the next 3 games against Houston, Kansas City, and Houston again to go 9-7 and 6-6 in the AFC.

Pittsburgh's conference record is 4-6, while Cincinnati's conference record is 5-5. They play each other in Week 16. In order to shut the Colts out of the playoffs, Pittsburgh would have to win out to get to 10-6 (conference 6-6) and Cincinnati would have to win out except for the game at Pittsburgh, bringing them to 9-7 (conference 6-6). At that point Cincinnati would be tied with the Colts both in overall record and conference record (in the worst case scenario where the Colts lose all 3).

The next tie-breaker between Cincinnati and Indianapolis would be record in common games (minimum of 4). They will have only played 4 common opponents: Cleveland, Jacksonville, Miami, and Kansas City. Again, worst case scenario says that Cincinnati will go 3-2 against those 4 opponents (0.600), while Indianapolis would have gone 3-2 as well (assuming loss to Kansas City, 0.600).

The next tie-breaker is strength of victory - adding up the win/loss records of opponents in victories. Cincinnati's current strength of victory (assuming wins over Philadelphia and Baltimore and not including opponents' future games) is currently 0.691. Indianapolis' current strength of victory (assuming no more wins and not including opponents' future games) is 0.629.

On that basis, Cincinnati gets in over Indianapolis.

There is another possible scenario where the Colts get shut out if they lose the next 3 - a Pittsburgh and Cincinnati tie in Week 16. In that case, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati go to 9-6-1, while the Colts go 9-7.

However, put in baseball terms, the Colts' magic number is 1. Any combination of a Colts win or a Pittsburgh loss or a Cincinnati loss to any team other than Pittsburgh = playoffs.

Got it?

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors.

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