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Is Saturday a must win for the Colts?

The Steelers come to town with a lot riding on the line for both teams. Do the Colts have to win this game to keep their playoff hopes alive?

NFL: DEC 10 Colts at Bengals

The Indianapolis Colts are in the playoffs if the season ended today. Since they still have four more games and a pile of teams right on their tails, each week will have an elevated importance. The Steelers are one of six teams with a 7-6 record. That is a complete jumbled mess and doesn’t leave much margin of error for the Colts if they want to keep their postseason dreams alive. Because of that, is Saturday a must win?

The answer is, yes. Absolutely. Without a doubt. Of course. For sure.

The Colts must win on Saturday if they want to make the postseason. First off, the Steelers are in front of them in the standings. Beating a team you are competing with for a spot will most likely prove to be crucial. Secondly, they are at home. Losing pivotal late season games with home field advantage would be highly costly. Thirdly, there are simply too many teams waiting to take the seventh seed. Sure some of them will lose this week, but all of them won’t. Finally, a win in your conference is huge for tie-breaker scenarios. That is why the Colts are in the playoff picture to begin with. If the Colts don’t care of business on Saturday, they most likely forfeit control of their own destiny. That is somewhere no team wants to be down the home stretch.

Let’s take a moment to appreciate the fact that we are even having this debate this late in the season. If you looked at last year’s team and told me Anthony Richardson would play a handful of quarters, Jonathan Taylor would miss the first four games and then be out more due to a thumb, Grover Stewart would be suspended for six games, and insert next crazy thing, I would have said this team is jockeying for position to draft in the top three. Here we are though talking about the playoffs. That is pretty amazing.

Yes, we didn’t anticipate the playoffs when the season started, but the Colts are in the mix now. They have set higher expectations for the season which is great. Now, all they have to do is deliver on them. Beat the Steelers, move up the playoff seeding, and get ever closer to the improbable. A 4-12-1 team from 2022 without their starting quarterback isn’t supposed to be here, but they are. It is time to finish the job.