The NFL released the playoff schedule for Wild Card weekend tonight, but Colts fans will have to wait a little bit longer to find out when exactly the team will play. If they host the Steelers, the game will be played on Saturday night, January 3, at 8:15 p.m. ET. If they host the Bengals, however, the game will be played on Sunday, January 4, at 1:05 p.m. ET. The opponent for next week will be determined by tonight's game, which has the Steelers leading the Bengals 20-10 at halftime. The loser of the game will travel to Indy next week. In other words, if the current score holds, the Colts will host the Bengals at 1:05 next Sunday. If they play on Saturday night, the game will be broadcast on NBC. If they play on Sunday afternoon, the game will be on CBS.
The 4:35 game next Saturday afternoon pits the Arizona Cardinals at the Carolina Panthers on ESPN. Then the night game on Saturday features the Steelers versus either the Ravens (if the Steelers win tonight) or the Colts (if the Steelers lose tonight). Then on Sunday, the 1:05 game will feature the Bengals versus either the Colts (if the Bengals lose tonight) or the Ravens (if the Bengals win tonight). At 4:40 on Sunday afternoon, FOX will broadcast the game between the Detroit Lions at the Dallas Cowboys.
Furthermore, if the Colts were to win in the Wild Card round, they would play in the Divisional Round. If they played at New England, the Colts would face the Patriots on Saturday, January 10, at 4:35 p.m. ET on NBC. If the Colts played at Denver, however, they would face the Broncos on Sunday, January 11, at 4:40 p.m. ET on CBS.
The Colts enter the playoffs with a win, as they defeated the Tennessee Titans in the regular season finale 27-10 on Sunday. Andrew Luck threw for a franchise record 4,761 yards in 2014 and became just the eighth player in NFL history to throw for 40 touchdowns in a season. Their offense has had a good season overall, but recently they have struggled - though today they got things going a bit before they sat Andrew Luck to rest him and prevent injury. The defense once again showed that they look very good against bad teams, yet last week showed us that they look very bad against good teams. They enter the playoffs with a lot of questions, but the bottom line is that they are in the playoffs and will host a game. From there, anything can happen.
Stay tuned to Stampede Blue tonight as we find out exactly who and when the Colts will be playing, but at least now we have the scenarios narrowed down.