INDIANAPOLIS — Let’s settle this thing in primetime.
A spot in the postseason will be on the line next Sunday when the Indianapolis Colts travel to take on the Tennessee Titans in Nashville, a fact recognized by the NFL today when it announced that the game has been flexed to Sunday Night Football on NBC.
The new kickoff time is 8:20 p.m. ET next Sunday at Nissan Stadium.
Here’s what’s on line for the Colts:
• By defeating the New York Giants, 28-27, today, Indy improved its record to 9-6 on the season. The Colts have to defeat the Titans, who are also 9-6, if they want a chance at a postseason spot for the first time since the 2014 season.
• That can happen with two routes for the Colts: winning the AFC South Division title, or being the sixth-seed and earning the final Wild Card spot. If the Houston Texans fall to the Jacksonville Jaguars at NRG Stadium and the Colts win against the Titans, then Indy is the AFC South champs. But even if the Texans defeat the Jaguars, the Colts can earn a Wild Card berth with a win over Tennessee.
• The Titans, meanwhile, face the exact same path to the postseason as the Colts. If the Texans lose to the Jaguars and Tennessee wins against Indy, then the Titans are division champs; if Houston beats Jacksonville but the Titans still win against the Colts, then Tennessee is in via the Wild Card.
Next Sunday's game for the Colts will be their second primetime game of the season. They fell on the road to the New England Patriots, 38-24, back in Week 5 on Thursday Night Football. The Titans, meanwhile, will be playing in their fourth primetime matchup in 2018; they're 2-1 in their three previous games under the lights.
The Colts will also be looking to sweep the season series against the Titans, having defeated Tennessee, 38-10, back in Week 11 at Lucas Oil Stadium. Colts quarterback Andrew Luck enters next Sunday's game having compiled a 10-0 career record against the division rival Titans.
Luck is 5-0 in his career in games played in Nashville; he's completed 104-of-159 passes (65.4 percent) for 1,302 yards and eight touchdowns to three interceptions in those contests.