The Indianapolis Colts are looking towards the playoffs. While there may be debate on whether they will achieve that goal, after winning their last two against the Panthers and Patriots, playing for a high draft pick has been put on the back burner at least for another week. With that in mind, fans paid at least some attention to other results around the league, especially those teams for which the Colts are battling for a Wildcard spot.
I say “Wildcard spot” because it is time to put any visions of winning the AFC South to bed. The Jaguars are too far ahead in the win column and have already beaten the Colts twice meaning they hold some serious tie breakers. So, forget about the Jaguars. Take something off your plate. Look at the rest of the jumbled mess that is the AFC and start rooting against someone else.
Currently, the Colts are sitting at ninth in the conference. They need to pass at least two teams, while not being passed, to qualify for the playoffs. Last week’s games improved their overall positioning with some key teams losing such as the Raiders and Chargers. Additionally, the Bengals took a major hit to their postseason aspirations when it was revealed that Joe Burrow will miss the rest of the season with a hand injury. Also, a positive out of Sunday was the Steelers loss to the Browns. With the Browns already owning a win over the Colts, it was in the team’s best interest for the Steelers to lose that contest.
There were a few games, however, that would have been nice to have gone the other way. Buffalo beat the brakes off the Jets, which isn’t a major surprise. Unfortunately, Denver pulled out a one-point win over the Vikings which brought them from out of the picture to “into the hunt”. The worst one may have been the Texans beating the Cardinals. For some reason, the Cardinals passed on a field goal from Houston’s 23 with 12:48 left in the fourth quarter. That decision loomed large as the Cardinals could have kicked what most likely would have been the game winner with 35 seconds left. Instead, they had to go for it on fourth down and couldn’t convert.
The Colts got some overall positive results yesterday, but they truly control their own destiny. They still have games against the Bengals, Steelers, Raiders, and Texans. Those are four teams that are either in their way or are trying to catch them. Wins against those teams could go a long way in their pursuit of the playoffs. Only time will tell what the Colts will make of those opportunities.