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Colts could possibly be eliminated from playoff contention this Sunday

All the Texans need in order to win the AFC South this week is to win and have the Colts loss. If that happens, the Colts would officially be eliminated from playoff contention.

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

At this point, the Colts' playoff hopes are very slim - that much is clear.  With their 16-10 loss to the Houston Texans on Sunday the Colts fumbled away first place in the AFC South with two weeks left to go and instead now much rely on a lot of help to make the playoffs.

If they don't get that help, they'll be sitting at home in January watching the playoffs on TV like the rest of us.  And there's actually a scenario in which that fate will be sealed as soon as this weekend.  According to ESPN, all the Texans need in order to clinch the AFC South is to beat the Titans (3-11) and for the Colts to lose to the Dolphins (5-9).  If those two things happen, the Texans win the division and clinch a playoff berth.

By extension, then, a Texans win coupled with a Colts loss on Sunday would officially eliminate the Colts from the playoffs.  The Chiefs, Steelers, and Jets are all competing for two wild card spots with a 9-5 record, so the worst they can do is finish 9-7 - while the best the Colts can do is finish 8-8.  So, in other words, the Colts can't catch any of those three teams for the wild card spot, so they either must win the division or miss the playoffs.  By clinching the division on Sunday, then, the Texans would eliminate the Colts from the postseason for the first time since 2011.

In order to prevent that from happening, the Colts will need to win on Sunday on the road against the Dolphins.  It is currently unknown who will start at quarterback for the Colts in that game, but whatever sliver of hope they have of still making the playoffs depends on them taking care of business and winning their games.  That starts this weekend.

It's not guaranteed that the Colts will be eliminated from playoff contention with a week left to go, but it's entirely possible.  All it would take is a Texans win and a Colts loss to put the official exclamation mark on a disastrous 2015 season for the Colts.