HOUSTON — We're approaching mid-December, and the Indianapolis Colts are right where they want to be: in the hunt for a spot in the postseason.
The Colts on Sunday went into Houston and promptly took care of the AFC South Division-leading Texans, 24-21, at NRG Stadium, a win that not only snapped Houston's nine-game win streak, but also put Indy, at 7-6, back into a tie for the sixth and final seed in the AFC playoff picture.
Thanks to the Kansas City Chiefs, who defeated the Baltimore Ravens, 27-24, in overtime on Sunday, the Colts entered the late-afternoon games on Sunday tied for that sixth spot with the Ravens, the Miami Dolphins and the Tennessee Titans.
After falling to the Jacksonville Jaguars last Sunday and snapping their own five-game win streak, the Colts desperately needed a victory against a talented Texans squad today to stay relevant in the playoff race.
According to ESPN's Football Power Index projections, Indianapolis entered Sunday with just a 13-percent chance at making the playoffs, but that number jumped to 32 percent with the Colts' victory in Houston coupled with the Ravens' loss to the Chiefs.
If the Colts can keep winning — their remaining games are at home against the Dallas Cowboys, at home against the New York Giants, and on the road against the Titans — then those chances, obviously, will keep creeping up.
The team will need some more help at this current pace, however, as the Ravens currently own the tiebreaker over the other 7-6 teams and would be awarded the No. 6 seed in the playoffs if the season ended today. Check out all the NFL postseason tiebreaker scenarios by clicking here.
The Colts also are still mathematically still alive when it comes to the AFC South race. The Colts and the Titans are now two games behind the division-leading Texans with three games left to go.
Colts head coach Frank Reich has been steadfast in his "week-by-week" approach with his team — after all, there's no point in focusing too far ahead if you don't take care of the business right in front of you — but he was ecstatic when talking to his team after Sunday's game.
"You guys did it, man," Reich said. "I'm so proud of you guys, the way you came out here and played, off of what we just went through. The way to come out, to keep the pressure on for four quarters — great complimentary football, the whole time, men You guys deserve a lot of credit.
"Here's what I loved the best about it," Reich continued. "We knew we were coming on the road against the hottest team in football, and I know everybody in this locker room, we expected to win this game. Because we know that's the kind of team that we have. That's what we built, that's where we're going and we're just gettin' started, alright? We're just gettin' started. So let's think about this one, right, just for a second. We know we just started our last quarter — we got No. 1, right? We knocked No. 1 down. We've got to go back to work. We've gotta get 1-0 this week, go back to work, believe in each other, believe in what we're doin' and keep this thing rollin'."