A couple of weeks ago, coming off a brutal loss to the Tennessee Titans many Colts fans would say the division was lost and hopes for the playoffs were somewhere between slim and none. Fast-forward two weeks later and while the division does seem to be a pipedream, the playoffs are very much in play for the Colts. Their wins over the lowly New York Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars combined with Week 10 results that saw the likes of the Baltimore Ravens, Los Angeles Chargers, Las Vegas Raiders, Denver Broncos and Cleveland Browns all lose and the Pittsburgh Steelers settle for a tie with the Detroit Lions means the 5-5 Colts are far from out of it. The Colts had a murderer’s row of a schedule to open the season and while their last seven games are far from layups, a cluttered AFC shows that anything can be possible, as the Titans are the only team with 8 wins and no other team has more than 6.
The Colts will get a huge test on Sunday when the have an AFC Wild Card rematch with Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills. Since their last meeting, the Colts have replaced Philip Rivers with Carson Wentz and have seen the emergence of Jonathan Taylor who could realistically lead the league in rushing by season’s end. Meanwhile, the Bills continue to have a high-powered offense led by Allen and now have an equally dominant defense that leads the league in turnovers (14) and allow a league-low 274.1 yards of offense per game.
After that, the schedule doesn’t lighten up as Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers come to town. Outside of division matchups against the Houston Texans (Week 13) and the Jacksonville Jaguars (Week 18), the Colts will have five of their final seven games against teams in the running for the playoffs with three of those five against the Bills, New England Patriots and Las Vegas Raiders, who will be vying for playoff seeding as well.
Does it sound like a tall task? Sure. Did the Colts do themselves any favors with their 1-4 start to the season? Of course not. But a chance at the playoffs isn’t as bleak as it appeared to be with so much parity in the AFC. The Colts will have to beat some tough teams, something they’ve struggled to do this season as they’re 0-8 against teams above .500. But they have a chance and at this point of the season that’s all they can ask for.
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