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Colts given lowest chance in AFC to win Super Bowl 53 according to ESPN’s Football Power Index

Indianapolis Colts v Tennessee Titans Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Wild Card weekend is almost here. And let’s be honest, very few of us truly gave the Indianapolis Colts a puncher’s chance of even being in this position after they started the season 1-5.

They are here, though, and they’ll travel to face their AFC South foes in the Houston Texans Saturday evening with the hopes of moving on to the Divisional round. Whether you talk to Colts’ fans, or even a fan from another base, I’d bet that you’d hear a large percentage of them giving the Colts a heavy chance to win in Houston.

Now, everything after that gets a little dicey, but the Colts are widely considered one of the league’s most dangerous teams right now as they enter the postseason winning 9 of their last 10 games, and Andrew Luck has been having a monster year, is being protected, and the Colts’ defense has been standing up throughout the season.

It’s not that the national media doesn’t feel that the Colts are dangerous, rather it seems that it’s the road they’ll have to travel in order to hoist the Lombardi trophy that is keeping their chances low.

According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, the Colts are getting a 1.8 percent chance to become Super Bowl champions this year. That is the lowest in the AFC, but they are the No. 6 seed after all.

That seems insanely low on the surface, but I think we’re forced to concede that those are fairly accurate numbers given the bigger picture. Should the Colts win in Houston Saturday, they’ll have to travel to the AFC’s top-seeded Kansas City Chiefs for their Divisional Round matchup.

After the Texans beat the Jaguars in Week 17, the Colts lost the opportunity to not only host a playoff game, but to have any chance at playing a lower seeded team the following weekend. It would have been the Patriots of all teams, who hold the No. 2 seed in the AFC, and the Colts haven’t done too well for themselves in Foxboro historically. What’s really the difference at that point?

Either way the Colts have their hands full right at the onset.

The Texans have a dangerous quarterback-receiver duo in Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins as well as one of the better defenses in the league. Should they move on, the Colts’ defense will be taking on NFL’s highest scoring offense led by the league’s leader in touchdown passes in Patrick Mahomes.

Here is what ESPN’s Kevin Seifert wrote about the Colts’ chances:

Reason for hope: Perhaps the single biggest factor in making a playoff run is quality of quarterback play. Andrew Luck is back to being one of the NFL’s best this season. Since Week 7, when the Colts began their turnaround from a 1-5 start, Luck’s QBR is second to only Drew Brees’ among all qualified quarterbacks.

Reason for concern: Receiver T.Y. Hilton struggled to get past an ankle injury during the final month of the season. His production hasn’t decreased, but can he keep that up while nursing the ankle through limited practice during the week?

X factor: All of the national discussion about Luck has overshadowed the incredible work of the Colts’ defense over the same period. Led by rookie linebacker Darius Leonard, the Colts have ranked in the top 10 in both defensive QBR and rush yards per carry. It is not easy to move the ball against this team.

It won’t be an easy road, so there really isn’t much to complain about with the chances the FPI is giving the Colts to win a championship this season. While they are being given the lowest chance in the AFC, they aren’t the team with the slimmest of chances in the postseason, however.

The Dallas Cowboys are only being given a 1.2 percent chance, and the Philadelphia Eagles are sitting at 0.5 percent chance to take the Lombardi this year.

The Colts are dangerous, and can make a run, but a lot has to go almost perfectly in order for it to be realized.