Just four weeks remain in the 2015 NFL regular season, and the Colts are in the unfamilar spot of having their playoff hopes uncertain at this point.
Of course, the Colts are still in first place in the AFC South thanks to a head-to-head tiebreaker and they control their own destiny, but with three of four remaining games against the division, there's still a long ways to go. So with that said, the Colts could use some help from other games to put them in the best situation possible, so here's a rooting guide for Colts fans for week 14 to know who to root for in certain games.
Firstly, Colts fans should root for the Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Kansas City Chiefs to lose. The Bills are playing the Philadelphia Eagles, the Jets are playing the Tennessee Titans, the Steelers are playing the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Chiefs are playing the San Diego Chargers. The reason Colts fans should be rooting for these teams to lose is simple: in the case the Colts lose the division, they will need some of the other teams in the wild card race to have lost. This is especially important because the Bills, Jets, and Steelers all own the head-to-head tiebreaker over Indy. So while the hope is that this isn't necessary because the Colts hopefully will win the division, Colts fans should still root for some of the other teams in the wild card race to lose until the Colts do actually lock up the AFC South.
The biggest game of the weekend for the Colts, besides for their own game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, is the Sunday Night Football matchup between the New England Patriots and the Houston Texans. And to be honest, there's no real right answer for who to root for in this game. If the Texans win, that would further hurt the Patriots' chances at earning a first round bye by handing them their third straight loss. The Patriots failing to get the bye and therefore failing to get homefield advantage would be a huge boost for other AFC teams (including the Colts), as it would make the path back to the Super Bowl much harder for New England and it would guarantee that the Colts wouldn't have to face them until the AFC Championship game (assuming, that is, that the Colts win their division). At the same time, however, if the Patriots win, it would drop the Texans to a game below the Colts and would allow Indy to clinch the AFC South with a win the following Sunday against Houston at home.
So, in other words, there's no right answer for who to root for in the Patriots vs. Texans game, as either result could help or hurt the Colts. It's mainly a matter of whether you want the Colts to have a chance at clinching next week or whether you would rather the Patriots have a harder time of getting a bye and homefield advantage. That's a tough choice, but I'd probably take the surest and most certain option: the Patriots winning to enable the Colts to clinch the division the following week.
This is all dependent upon the Colts first beating the Jaguars, of course, so that's the easiest game of the day: root for the Colts. Because as much as we talk about all of the other games, if the Colts win out, they're in the playoffs as division champions.