Colts Have Shot At Postseason Berth On Sunday

The Indianapolis Colts have a shot at punching their ticket to the playoffs Sunday, when they travel to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 16 action. Here’s why you should be rooting for the Las Vegas Raiders and the New York Giants this weekend.

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INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts aren't facing a "win-and-you're-in" type scenario.

Not yet, at least.

But the team does have a shot at punching its ticket to the playoffs this weekend.

A Colts win on Sunday on the road in their Week 16 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers (11-3), coupled with a loss or tie by either the Miami Dolphins on Saturday or the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, would earn Indy its second trip to the playoffs in three years under head coach Frank Reich.

The Colts — currently the No. 6 seed in the AFC playoff picture — can also earn a postseason berth with a tie against the Steelers and a loss by either Miami or Baltimore.

Also, you'll want to pay attention to the Tennessee Titans' Week 16 matchup on the road against the Green Bay Packers (11-3) on Sunday Night Football. A win for the Titans, and they at least clinch a playoff berth; a win for the Titans Sunday coupled with a Colts loss to the Steelers, meanwhile, would earn them the AFC South Division title.

So, outside of Indy's matchup in Pittsburgh, and Tennessee's Sunday night contest in Green Bay, keep a close eye on:

» 8:15 p.m. ET Saturday: Miami Dolphins (9-5) at Las Vegas Raiders (7-7)

The Dolphins are currently locked into the seventh and final seed in the AFC playoff picture, but they'll need to keep on winning to stay there.

Their first of two tests to close their season comes on Saturday evening on the road against the Raiders, who lost to the Colts, 44-27, on Dec. 13, and then fell to the Los Angeles Chargers, 30-27, in overtime last Thursday night.

The Raiders' playoff hopes are all-but dashed, but mathematically they still have a shot to make it — albeit an extremely slim one. As in, currently less than one percent, according to FiveThirtyEight.com. But one can bet head coach Jon Gruden will have his team hanging on to those hopes in this one.

The Dolphins then close out their season next Sunday on the road against the AFC East Division champion Buffalo Bills.

» 1 p.m. ET Sunday: New York Giants (5-9) at Baltimore Ravens (9-5)

Should the Dolphins prevail over the Raiders on Saturday night, you'll want to keep a close eye on the Ravens' home matchup against the Giants, which kicks off at 1 p.m. ET Sunday — the same time the Colts kick off at Heinz Field.

The Ravens are currently on the outside looking in when it comes to the AFC playoff picture; if the season ended today, they'd be the eighth seed.

The Giants have been an extremely streaky team throughout the 2020 season. They opened the year with five straight losses and seven losses in their first eight games, but then went on a four-game winning streak, including wins over the current NFC East Division leaders, Washington Football Team, and the Seattle Seahawks. But with quarterback Daniel Jones dealing with a leg injury, the team has lost its last two games to the Arizona Cardinals and Cleveland Browns.

The good news is the Giants, like the Raiders, will be a motivated opponent against the Ravens on Sunday; New York currently has a 10-percent chance of earning a playoff spot, but the unpredictability of the NFC East this year means the Giants' postseason chances could be nearing 60 percent heading into Week 17 if they can win against the Ravens and if Washington and the Philadelphia Eagles lose this weekend.

Another factor at play in this one: the Colts' Week 9 loss to the Ravens, which would hurt Indy's chances should the teams finish with the same overall record.

NFL Playoff Scenarios

Here are the entire 2020 NFL playoff scenarios for Week 16, according to NFL Communications:

AFC

— CLINCHED:

» Buffalo Bills – AFC East division title

» Kansas City Chiefs – AFC West division title

» Pittsburgh Steelers – playoff berth

— CLEVELAND BROWNS (10-4) (at New York Jets (1-13), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, CBS)​

Cleveland clinches playoff berth with:

CLE win + BAL loss or tie OR

CLE win + MIA loss or tie OR

CLE win + IND loss OR

CLE tie + BAL loss OR

CLE tie + MIA loss

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (10-4) (at Pittsburgh (11-3), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, CBS)

Indianapolis clinches playoff berth with:

IND win + BAL loss or tie OR

IND win + MIA loss or tie OR

IND tie + BAL loss OR

IND tie + MIA loss

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (13-1) (vs. Atlanta (4-10), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, FOX)

Kansas City clinches the first-round bye with:

KC win or tie OR

PIT loss or tie OR

BUF loss or tie OR

KC clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over PIT or BUF AND clinches at least a tie in strength of victory tiebreaker over the other club

— PITTSBURGH STEELERS (11-3) (vs. Indianapolis (10-4), Sunday, 1:00 PM ET, CBS)

Pittsburgh clinches AFC North division title with:

PIT win OR

CLE loss OR

PIT tie + CLE tie

— TENNESSEE TITANS (10-4) (at Green Bay (11-3), Sunday night, 8:20 PM ET, NBC)

Tennessee clinches AFC South division title with:

TEN win + IND loss​

Tennessee clinches playoff berth with:

TEN win OR

MIA loss OR

BAL loss OR

TEN tie + BAL tie

——————

NFC

CLINCHED:

» Green Bay Packers – NFC North division title

» New Orleans Saints – playoff berth

» Seattle Seahawks – playoff berth

ARIZONA CARDINALS (8-6) (vs. San Francisco (5-9), Saturday, 4:30 PM ET, Amazon)

Arizona clinches playoff berth with:

ARI win + CHI loss or tie OR

ARI tie + CHI loss

GREEN BAY PACKERS (11-3) (vs. Tennessee (10-4), Sunday night, 8:20 PM ET, NBC)

Green Bay clinches the first-round bye with:​

GB win + SEA loss or tie OR

GB tie + NO loss or tie + SEA loss or tie, as long as both NO and SEA don't tie

LOS ANGELES RAMS (9-5) (at Seattle (10-4), Sunday, 4:25 PM ET, FOX)

Los Angeles clinches playoff berth with:

LAR win or tie OR

CHI loss or tie OR

ARI win or tie

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (10-4) (vs. Minnesota (6-8), Friday, 4:30 PM ET, FOX/NFLN/Amazon)

New Orleans clinches NFC South division title with:

NO win OR

TB loss OR

NO tie + TB tie

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (10-4) (vs. Los Angeles Rams (9-5), Sunday, 4:25 PM ET, FOX)

Seattle clinches NFC West division title with:

SEA win

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (9-5) (at Detroit (5-9), Saturday, 1:00 PM ET, NFLN)​

Tampa Bay clinches playoff berth with:

TB win or tie OR

CHI loss or tie

WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM (6-8) (vs. Carolina (4-10), Sunday, 4:05 PM ET, CBS)

Washington clinches NFC East division title with:

WAS win + NYG loss or tie OR

WAS tie + NYG loss + PHI-DAL tie

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