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INDIANAPOLIS – The loss itself was stinging, considering how slim the margin for error is right now.
But the Colts (6-6) losing on Sunday was particularly crushing in that the defeat was also to a divisional/conference opponent, which negatively impacts potential tiebreaker scenarios.
With the Texans (9-3) and Chargers (9-3) continuing to win games, as those two teams try to secure a division and top Wild Card spot, respectively, the Colts are going to need some help if they want to get back into the AFC Playoff picture.
Wins from the Ravens (7-5), Dolphins (6-6), Titans (6-6) and Broncos (6-6) did not help the Colts’ situation either on Sunday.
For the Colts to have a realistic chance at the playoffs through the AFC South, they will need to win out and have the Texans go 1-3 to end the season.
For the Colts to sneak into the final Wild Card spot, they will all but need to win out and have the Ravens go 2-2 to end the season.
Here are the remaining schedules for teams in the Wild Card hunt for the 6th seed:
–Ravens (7-5): at Chiefs (9-3), Bucs (5-7), at Chargers (9-3), Browns (4-7-1)
-For the Colts to climb above the Ravens, they will likely need a pair of losses from Baltimore. Why? Because the Ravens are 6-3 in conference games and the Colts are just 5-5, which is a key tiebreaker in settling things. The Ravens have two very tough road games left, but the Colts also need to likely run the table.
–Dolphins (6-6): Pats (9-3), at Vikings (6-5-1), Jags (4-8), at Bills (4-8)
-The Dolphins beat the Bills on Sunday and are above the Colts because of conference record being used to decide a four-team tiebreaker at 6-6.
–Colts (6-6): at Texans (9-3), Cowboys (7-5), Giants (4-8), at Titans (6-6)
-The next two weeks is right up there with Weeks 4-5 (Texans, at Patriots) as the toughest back-to-back stretch in 2018. All four of the Colts remaining opponents won in Week 13.
–Broncos (6-6): at 49ers (2-10), Browns (4-6-1), at Raiders (2-9), Chargers (8-3)
-This is a very easy slate of games for a team that has now won three straight. Denver won in Cincinnati this past Sunday, as they try and backdoor their way into the playoffs.
–Titans (6-6): Jaguars (4-8), at Giants (4-8), Washington Football Team (6-5), Colts (6-6)
-It’s a short week for the Titans as they have a pretty favorable schedule down the stretch, but also aren’t on the right side of several tiebreakers.
–Bengals (5-7): at Chargers (9-3), Raiders (2-10), at Browns (4-7-1), at Steelers (7-4-1)
-Another injury to A.J. Green certainly doesn’t help the Bengals who have now lost 4 games in a row and have some tough road games remaining.
Current AFC Playoff Picture
1. Chiefs (10-2)
2. Patriots (9-3)
3. Texans (9-3)
4. Steelers (7-4-1)
5. Chargers (9-3)
6. Ravens (7-5)
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