Colts Remain In The Hunt In Chase For Postseason Spot

The Indianapolis Colts took care of business Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys, keeping them in the hunt for a playoff spot with two games to go. What are Indy’s continually-evolving chances of earning a trip to the postseason?

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INDIANAPOLIS — Just keep winning.

For the Indianapolis Colts, that's all they can do right now.

In other words, the Colts remain in the hunt.

The team, as the saying goes, still doesn't control its own destiny as it tries to earn its first postseason berth since the 2014 season, but with just two weeks left in the regular season, the Colts will hope for a little help from others while also hoping to continue taking care of their own business.

Basically, after factoring in the relevant Week 15 results, the Colts, at 8-6, remain in a three-way tie with the Baltimore Ravens and the Tennessee Titans for the second AFC Wildcard spot.

But now factoring in tiebreakers, if the season ended today, the Ravens are locked into the No. 6 seed (and the playoff berth), and the Colts (seventh seed) and the Titans (eighth) would be on the outside looking in.

The Colts actually entered Sunday's action tied with three other teams — the Ravens, the Titans and the Miami Dolphins — at 7-6.

Then some dominos started to fall.

The Dolphins? They lost to the Minnesota Vikings, 41-17.

The Colts took care of business against the Dallas Cowboys, shutting them out, 23-0, at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The Ravens, meanwhile, defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 20-12.

The Colts then needed the Steelers to fall to the New England Patriots so that the Ravens could be catapulted into the lead in the AFC North Division, which would, in turn, put Indy in the driver's seat in the No. 6 spot.

But the Patriots couldn't oblige.

The Steelers held off a late Tom Brady rally to earn a 17-10 victory, keeping them in first place in the AFC North — and, most importantly to the Colts — keeping the Ravens in that sixth seed (and keeping Indy on the outside looking in).

While the Colts have to continue winning to have a realistic shot at the playoffs — they take on the New York Giants next week at Lucas Oil Stadium, and wrap up the season on the road against the Titans — they are directly relying on two of their AFC rivals tripping up over the stretch to help give them shot.

But time is quickly running out.

The Steelers travel to take on the New Orleans Saints (11-2), while the Ravens go on the road against the Los Angeles Chargers (11-3). The Chargers are still fighting for a possible AFC West Division title, while both the Chargers and the Saints are hoping to win to nail down home-field advantage once the playoffs do get here.

A win for the Colts next week matched with either a Ravens or a Steelers loss puts Indy in the sixth spot and, then, in control of its own destiny.

But don't tell all that to guys like Andrew Luck, who remain laser focused on the immediate task at hand, and that's starting preparations for next Sunday's home game against the Giants.

"We don't live in holes, but I haven't heard talk about it all and that's not a lie," Luck said when asked if his teammates have been paying attention to the playoff races at all down the stretch. "Frank (Reich) sets the tone and it's about getting better and getting the most out of every day. That's what guys believe in. That's what we've done when we were 1-5, when we were 2-5, 3-5 – every week is just about getting better, improving as a team, getting better and focusing on the process. It'll stay that way. We believe in that, we truly do."

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