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Colts Will Face Loser of Bengals vs. Steelers in Wild Card Round

The Indianapolis Colts are locked into the fourth seed in the AFC playoffs and will host the loser of the week seventeen game between the Bengals and Steelers in the first round of the playoffs.

Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals defeated the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football, securing a playoff spot entering next Sunday night's game against the Steelers.  What does it mean for the Colts?  It means that the Colts will host the loser of that game next week in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.  In other words - the Colts' first round opponent won't be determined until the final game of the NFL regular season, as the Bengals versus Steelers will cap it off on Sunday Night Football next week.

The Bengals' win tonight also locks the Colts into the number four seed in the AFC playoffs and means that the road to the Super Bowl goes through New England for the conference.  So it was a pretty meaningful game after all and one that will impact the Colts quite a bit.

Obviously, the Steelers are about as bad as a potential first round matchup for the Colts as there is, but the Bengals wouldn't be a bad matchup at all.  The Colts beat them earlier in the year at Lucas Oil Stadium 27-0 (though Cincy didn't have A.J. Green) and while no team is to be taken lightly in the playoffs, that would give the Colts perhaps the best chance of any potential opponent of advancing to the second round.  For the Colts, they have to really be hoping that the Bengals lose next week to send them to Indy for the wild card round, especially considering the other option is the Steelers - who beat the Colts 51-34 earlier in the year.

Basically, we can sum it up as this: the Colts are the fourth seed and will face the loser of next week's game between the Bengals and the Steelers.  So with all that said - Colts Nation will be rooting on the Steelers next Sunday night.