It’s not looking bright, folks. I wouldn’t be surprised if many of you have already packed it in after 3 straight losses and losing 5 out of the last 6 games. Yet, despite all of this, the Colts still have a chance of making the playoffs, and while the odds are low (around 5%), their road to the playoffs isn’t an impossible one. There are essentially two scenarios that would allow the Colts to make the playoffs.
Winning the Division
The Colts can still win the division, but they must win out. Essentially the Texans and Titans would BOTH need to finish at 9-7, which means one very important thing: they both need to lose in Week 16.
The Titans play the Texans next week in Tennessee, so the winner of next week’s game must lose in the Week 17 rematch. In Week 16, the Titans must lose to the Saints (in Tennessee) and the Texans must lose to the Buccaneers (in Tampa Bay). These aren’t impossible scenarios. So in short, if all three teams finish at 9-7, the Colts would have the tiebreaker over them. The Colts would have the tiebreaker since they would have “the best record in common games”.
The chances of the Colts beating the Saints (in New Orleans), Carolina (in Indianapolis) and the Jaguars (in Jacksonville) are not very high as they’ll probably be 7 to 9 point underdogs against the Saints and small favourites against the Panthers and Jaguars. The Titans and Texans both finishing 1-2 isn’t unrealistic.
Getting the 2nd Wild Card Spot
This is the much trickier scenario for the Colts. They don’t hold tiebreakers over the Steelers or the Raiders. The following things need to happen for the Colts to win the tiebreaker:
- Colts win out (3-0)
- Steelers lose (0-3)
- Raiders go 2-1 or worse
- Titans or Texans go 1-2 or worse (doesn’t matter which team)
- Browns go 2-1 or worse
As you can see, winning the division seems like the more likely scenario.
So who are you rooting for in Week 15 if you haven’t given up already?
- Colts over Saints
- Bills over Steelers
- The winner of the Texans-Titans game losing the Week 17 matchup, so the Week 15 winner is almost irrelevant.
- Jaguars over Raiders
- Cardinals over Browns
A Colts loss would officially eliminate them from playoff contention.