Through 11 games, the Indianapolis Colts find themselves sitting at 4-6-1 with little hope of climbing their way into the AFC playoff picture.
The problem for Indianapolis is that they’re competing with a loaded and crowded AFC. Half of the 16 teams in the conference have at least six wins this season, making the path to the playoffs extremely difficult for the Colts.
When you combine a crowded conference with Indy’s obvious flaws, it’s hard to see a path for the Colts where making the playoffs is possible. Indianapolis has gone through many drastic changes throughout the course of their season, including at quarterback, head coach, and offensive coordinator, and yet their offensive woes remain.
Currently, the Colts have the second-worst scoring offense in the league, averaging just 15.7 points per game. Indianapolis has scored 20 or more points in just four games this season. The Colts’ offense has plagued them for the entire season, and making drastic changes at important positions wasn’t going to magically fix the issues that have been there since the season opener.
The Colts’ remaining schedule doesn’t get any easier, either. Of Indy’s final six games, they’ll take on three of the NFC’s top teams in the 7-3 Dallas Cowboys, 8-2 Minnesota Vikings, and 7-3 New York Giants. Indy also has matchups against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Los Angeles Chargers, who, despite what their records may indicate, are still very well-coached teams with stars on each side of the ball.
Defensively, the Colts have continued to play extremely well throughout most of the season. Indy’s defense has held their last five opponents to less than 20 total points on offense, including the Philadelphia Eagles, who scored a season-low 17 points last Sunday. Despite how well the defense has performed this season, they’ve been asked to do too much because of inconsistencies with the offense, and it’s ultimately held the team back.
That’s the story of their season, and it’s one that likely won’t have a fairytale ending. Ultimately, the Colts’ margin for error is razor-thin, and if they want any sort of shot at not missing out on the playoffs for a second consecutive season, they’re going to have to prove they can hang with the NFL’s best teams over the final stretch.