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INDIANAPOLIS – Frank Reich knows the elephant in the room regarding his football team right now.

The Colts (5-5) beat bad teams and they lose to good teams.

And if the playoffs are going to be an actual possibility this season, beating multiple playoff teams down the stretch has to be there for Reich’s Colts.

“That’s what it comes down to,” the head coach said following the Colts’ loss to the Titans back on Halloween. “You have to be able to beat those good teams. You have to find ways to win, to close it out at the end. That’s a combination of coaching and playing. We have to find a way to make that breakthrough.

“We talked this year at the beginning, as a team, about having a breakthrough moment. Well, that’s a big part of having a breakthrough moment – winning a game like that. Making the right calls, making the right plays when the game is on the line. You guys all said it, we all said, (the home loss to the Titans) felt like a playoff game. We need to win those games. I believe we have the players and the coaches to do that. We haven’t been doing it so, that’s on me.”

In their last 8 chances to beat playoff teams from the 2020 season, the Colts have lost all 8 games.

Now, the Colts aren’t getting blown out of those contests.

Of those 8 contests, 7 of them have been decided by 12 points or less. And 4 of them have been by just 4 points or less.

But the end result has been the same.

While the Titans are a perfect 7-0 in their meetings against playoff teams from last season, the Colts are 1 of just 2 AFC Teams without a win over a team having a better than .500 record (the Texans are the other).

These are the names of the opposing quarterbacks the Colts have beaten this season:

-Jacoby Brissett (Dolphins)

-Davis Mills (Texans)

-Jimmy Garoppolo (49ers)

-Mike White/Josh Johnson (Jets)

-Trevor Lawrence (Jaguars)

This is reality.

And the Colts know this.

Reich’s optimism is there though, firmly believing this will get turned around. He is steadfast that the Colts will get on a run late in the season, and make real noise in the month of January.

“There’s a lot of good teams in the AFC but no one’s just taken over, so why can’t it be us?” Reich said after the Colts got back to .500 this past Sunday. “Why can’t the Indianapolis Colts take over right now? That’s our mindset. Why can’t we take over?

“So, if we’re going to do it, we got to prove it this weekend in Buffalo against a very good football team.”

That’s the storyline as the Colts enter the stretch run.

Want to be a playoff team?

Time to beat good football teams.