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NFL Power Rankings Week 15: Colts hover at the edge of the playoff picture

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Indianapolis Colts v Houston Texans Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

The Colts find themselves in a tenuous position as they cling to the hope of a playoff berth with the season nearing its end. They have done just poorly enough to find themselves in position to have their own playoff destiny out of their control.

At this point, the best the team can do is win out and hope that Baltimore or Pittsburgh falters down the stretch and allows the Colts to win their way in. Given that information, they find themselves ranked just about right for once in the season. They hover right around 12th-13th, which places them solidly on that playoff bubble. The remaining weeks will show if they belong higher.

Here is what they’re saying about the Colts around the league.

ESPN has the Colts at 12th up from 13th.

Top wish list item: A postseason berth for the first time since 2014. The Colts will need Baltimore or Houston to falter, and they might have to go 3-0 in their final three games for it to happen. The Colts could be a scary team if they make the playoffs, because their offense can score (eighth in points per game) and their defense (12th in the league) might be one of the most underrated units in the NFL.

USA Today has the Colts ranked 12th up from 15th.

Among tools we might have forgotten were in Andrew Luck’s copious arsenal is a killer hard count. Jadeveon Clowney evidently forgot, too.

Yahoo! Sports has the Colts ranked 13th up from 15th.

Eric Ebron has 13 touchdowns. The single-season record for a tight end is 17 by Rob Gronkowski. Ebron might not get the record but the fact it’s even a realistic conversation means this was a great value signing by the Colts (and we have to ask how the Lions never got much of anything out of Ebron).

Bleacher Report has the Colts at 11th up from 14th.

After getting shut out by the Jacksonville Jaguars last week, the Indianapolis Colts’ chances of winning the AFC South were effectively toast. Lose to the division-leading Texans on the road in Week 14, and chances of a wild-card berth could follow.

Bust just as the Colts did in rebounding from an atrocious start to the season, Indianapolis was able to rally and get a win that puts the team squarely in the AFC’s 7-6 logjam.

Andrew Luck was outstanding in the win, passing for 399 yards against the red-hot Houston defense. Indy’s defense made plays when it had to as well, keeping Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins in check.

It was Indy’s best win of the season, but if the Colts are going to stay in the hunt next week, it’s going to take a similarly impressive effort at home against the Dallas Cowboys.

The Colts’ season finale in Tennessee may well become an elimination game.

NFL.com has the Colts ranked 11th up from 13th.

Now that was a helluva answer. Think about it: The Colts lost last week to a Jaguars team that started Cody Kessler -- and which was blasted this past Thursday in Nashville -- after failing to score a single point. In order to have a realistic chance at the AFC South, Indy merely had to then take down a Texans outfit that had put up nine straight wins. And the Colts pulled it off, handily. Andrew Luck will receive the usual praise, yet much props go to Matt Eberflus’ defensive unit, which imposed its will Sunday at NRG. They shut down the Texans running backs, then consistently got off the field on third down to make way for Luck. Notching five sacks sure didn’t hurt, either. Indy’s next three: vs. Cowboys, vs. Giants, at Titans.