Colts Daily Headlines: December 17th Edition

Intro: Each morning will take a look at the top headlines surrounding the Indianapolis Colts from around the globe.





INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts will have an off day on Tuesday before preparations for Kansas City takes off on Wednesday. Today's news looks at the Colts playoff scenarios, the big play ability of Darius Butler and how the Chiefs are approaching this weekend.

Take a look below at the top pieces fromTuesday, December 17th.Wild weekend puts Colts back in NFL playoffs seeding mixBy: Michael Marot, Associated Press

Chuck Pagano admitted on Monday that he will be cheering a little harder for his former coach John Harbaugh over the next two weeks.

After seeing three AFC division leader lose in Week 15, AFC South champion Indianapolis moved back into contention for a first-round bye with Sunday's 25-3 win over Houston. If the Colts and Ravens each win their final two games, Indy can start prepping for a divisional round game at home.

"I always root for those guys, so I guess we'll be rooting for those guys again," Pagano said Monday. "Our focus is on us because it really won't matter if we don't take care of business, but we'll root for those guys, too."

Last Monday, after losing at Cincinnati, the Colts (9-5) appeared to be locked into the AFC's No. 4 seed and were trying to generate some momentum before hosting their first playoff game of the post-Peyton Manning era. But after losses by Denver (11-3), New England (10-4) and Cincinnati (9-5) this past week, the Colts find themselves right back in the seeding chase.

Colts DB Darius Butler: Many happy returnsBy: Phil Richards, Indy Star

When Darius Butler joined the Colts during the Week 4 bye week in 2012, he knew the time was ticking on his NFL career.

Butler liked the cut of rookie quarterback Andrew Luck. He held veterans such as safety Antoine Bethea and linebacker Robert Mathis and wide receiver Reggie Wayne in high regard. He was impressed by Pagano and general manager Ryan Grigson.

Butler knew it was time to shine. He believed this was the place to do it.

"Coming in as a high-round pick, I had a good rookie year," Butler said. "My second year was kind of shaky. My third year in Carolina was so-so. So that's why, like I said, it was kind of now or never.

"It was my third stop, my fourth year in the league. I know what I'm capable of, people knew what I was capable of. It was just a matter of me doing it and putting it all together."

Even though the current playoff scenarios have the Colts and Chiefs matching up against each other, there will be no holding back come Sunday.

"I don't think you do," said Chiefs coach Andy Reid, whose Chiefs, 11-3, clinched a playoff spot with their 56-31 victory Sunday at Oakland. "We're far enough along in the year … you have enough in the playbook that you can draw from on both sides of the ball and special teams-wise. I don't think there's any reason to do that.

"Plus, the season is still alive."

Indeed, the Chiefs are tied with Denver for first in the AFC West and for the best overall record in the conference. Because Denver swept the season series, the Broncos own the head-to-head tie breaker. So the Chiefs need to overtake the Broncos in the final two games.

The Chiefs finish the season with games against the Colts, 9-5, who have clinched the AFC South, and San Diego, 7-7, which is still mathematically alive for a wild card. Denver, 11-3, finishes with road games at Houston, 2-12, and Oakland, 4-10.

The Colts still have a chance to secure a first-round playoff bye if they beat the Chiefs and Jacksonville, and Baltimore beats Detroit and Cincinnati. So, Indianapolis coach Chuck Pagano isn't looking beyond this week.

"I think you do what you have to do to win a football game," Pagano said. "They've got a great football team. We have to go on the road and play in the elements. We all know how hard it is to play there.

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