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Power Rankings Week 11: Colts fall out of the playoff picture with another ugly loss

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Indianapolis Colts Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Colts dropped an ugly one to the listless Miami Dolphins at home on Sunday in their third consecutive lackluster performance. Injuries have taken their toll, and this team looks like they are set to play their way right out of the playoff picture and into irrelevance unless they can find that drop of refined coaxium to add to their hyperdrive and blast out of this gravity well that is the 2019 midpoint of the season.

That’s a reference to the movie Solo, and it’s fitting, because there is a roguish hero who could swoop in and save the day at the last minute after being out of commission. T.Y. Hilton is that guy, and the offense without him is an absolute snoozer. He might be back this week, and if the Colts are going to climb their way out of the mess they’ve made, they’ll need him.

Here’s how they stack up in the rankings this week:

ESPN has the Colts dropping to 14th.

Losses to Pittsburgh and Miami in back-to-back weeks prevented the Colts from being able to head into Houston in first place in the AFC South. A victory over the Texans -- combined with a win over Jacksonville in Week 11 -- would put the Colts in a solid position in the division, because they would have swept the season series against Houston, which is likely their biggest competition to win the division and get an automatic playoff spot.

USA Today has the Colts down to 14th.

In case you hadn’t realized how capably Jacoby Brissett has filled Andrew Luck’s shoes ... welp, now you probably have pretty good idea.

NFL.com has the Colts all the way down to 17th.

The Colts played without their starting quarterback and top wide receiver on Sunday, and it showed against the Dolphins. With Jacoby Brissett sidelined by the knee injury suffered in Week 9 against the Steelers, Brian Hoyer reverted to the worst version of himself. The veteran completed less than half of his passes and threw three interceptions in his 10th straight loss as a starter. You could do worse than Hoyer as your backup, but there’s also a reason he was available after Andrew Luck suddenly retired in late August. Brissett needs to be on the field, especially as the schedule tightens up with three straight games against AFC South rivals. The big question around the team is whether Adam Vinatieri will be kicking in any of those games. The veteran missed yet another extra point, this one costly in a game decided by four points. How long can Frank Reich stick with his guy?

Yahoo! Sports has the Colts down to 17th.

That was a crushing loss. It doesn’t matter that Brian Hoyer started. The Colts can’t lose to the Dolphins at home. It’s hard to imagine that won’t end up costing them in some way when the playoff picture is sorted out.

Bleacher Report has the Colts down to 16th.

Given how he played in a Week 9 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, it wasn’t unreasonable to assume that veteran backup quarterback Brian Hoyer could lead the Indianapolis Colts to a victory over the one-win Miami Dolphins.

It was, however, incorrect.

Hoyer was miserable in a 16-12 loss, failing to complete even half his passes, throwing three interceptions and posting a passer rating south of 40. The setback moves the Houston Texans into first place in the AFC South and puts the Colts on the outside looking in of the playoff race.

”It’s fair to wonder if the Colts haven’t suffered one too many injuries at this point,” Davenport said. “The team did an excellent job of weathering Andrew Luck’s retirement, but with Jacoby Brissett and T.Y. Hilton both watching Sunday’s game, the Colts barely put up 300 yards of offense and turned it over three times. Next week’s home tilt with a Jacksonville team that’s had an extra week to prepare has become a make-or-break contest in Indianapolis.”

”Everything is falling apart quickly for the Colts,” Sobleski added. “They deserved a ton of credit for how they began the season despite adverse conditions. But Brissett’s balky knee likely cost Indianapolis two games. The team is now on a two-game losing streak after its loss to the Dolphins. Life gets much harder in the coming weeks with three straight division contests—which will likely decide Indianapolis’ season.”


AFC South Rivals

Houston Texans

ESPN: 8

USA Today: 8

NFL.com: 9

Yahoo!: 8

B/R: 8

Jacksonville Jaguars

ESPN: 22

USA Today: 20

NFL.com: 18

Yahoo!: 16

B/R: 21

Tennessee Titans

ESPN: 18

USA Today: 18

NFL.com: 19

Yahoo!: 20

B/R: 18