INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts (10-4) can clinch a playoff berth in Week 16.
With a win over the Steelers on Sunday, and a loss by Baltimore (Giants), the Colts would clinch a playoff berth for just the second time since 2014. Miami’s miracle win over the Raiders on Saturday night eliminated two possible clinching scenarios for the Colts on Sunday.
As the Colts enter their final two games of the regular season, they carry a three-game win streak and that’s been needed to maintain positioning in a very top-heavy AFC.
Let’s look at both the AFC South and Wild Card races for the Colts:
Currently in the division, the Titans (10-4) still hold the tiebreaker over the Colts (10-4) thanks to a better divisional record (4-1 vs. 3-2) after both teams won in Week 15. The Colts are looking for their first AFC South title since 2014. The Titans can clinch the division with a win over the Packers this Sunday and a Colts loss to the Steelers.
So at 10-4, the Colts are now thrown into the Wild Card mix, with three of those spots available in 2020 thanks to the expanded playoffs. The Colts remain in the 6th seed with Sunday’s win. None of the top 8 teams in the AFC lost in Week 15.
According to FiveThirtyEight, the Colts have a 88 percent chance to make the playoffs and a 44 percent chance to win the AFC South. With a win on Sunday over the Steelers (11-3), those numbers would jump to 98 percent to make the playoffs and 67 percent to win the division (pending the Titans/Packers result this Sunday). With a loss, those numbers would fall to 77 percent to make the playoffs and 18 percent to win the division.
If the playoffs started today, the Chiefs (13-1) would get the 1st round bye, and these would be the matchups on Wild Card weekend:
No. 2 Bills (11-3) vs. No. 7. Dolphins (10-5)
No. 3 Steelers (11-3) vs. No. 6. Colts (10-4)
No. 4 Titans (10-4) vs. No. 5. Browns (10-4)
Here are the 2 ways the Colts can clinch a playoff berth in Week 16:
-Beat the Steelers + Ravens lose/tie to the Giants
-Colts tie + Ravens lose
To win the division, the Colts need this to happen:
-Win their final two games, and the Titans go 1-1 (at Packers, at Texans)
-Split their final two games, and the Titans go 0-2 (at Packers, at Texans)
Here’s the AFC playoff standings with 2 games remaining:
1. Chiefs (13-1): Falcons (4-10), Chargers (5-9)
2. Bills (11-3): at Patriots (6-8), Dolphins (9-5)
3. Steelers (11-3): Colts (10-4), at Browns (10-4)
4. Titans (10-4): at Packers (11-3), at Texans (4-10)
Wild Card Teams
5. Browns (10-4): at Jets (1-13), Steelers (11-3)
6. Colts (10-4): Steelers (11-3), Jaguars (1-13)
7. Dolphins (10-5): at Bills (11-3)
Outside Looking In
8. Ravens (9-5): Giants (5-9), at Bengals (3-10-1)