Texans' Sweep Major Reason Why Colts Miss Playoffs

Intro: With playoff hopes finished entering Week 17, the Colts can look at four specific losses (three in the division) as to why they are missing the playoffs for a second straight season.

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INDIANAPOLIS – Looking big picture at the 2016 season for the Colts and the inability to protect home field, along with no longer having a stranglehold on the AFC South has them at this point.

With one week remaining in the regular season, what lies ahead in the off-season for the Colts (7-8) is more pressing than a final game with the Jacksonville Jaguars (3-12).

Four homes losses and three AFC South defeats are why the Colts will be postseason spectators in 2016.

Specifically, players point to being swept by Houston, the division champs, as to the reason for no playoff football.

"We got swept by Houston," safety Mike Adams said after the Colts' playoff chances ended in Oakland over the weekend.

"We had an opportunity to control our own destiny and did not do that."

Here's a look back on four losses that led to the Colts being in the 7-8 position they are with one week left in 2016:

Week One, September 11: 39-35 Loss vs. Detroit


Almost every time Jim Irsay spoke this past off-season, he made it a point that the Colts must get off to a better start, and control home field. Starting 0-2 in 2014 and 2015 put the Colts in a position of catch up all season long.

This Week One contest against former coach Jim Caldwell saw the Colts fall behind 21-3 late in the first half. Behind Andrew Luck's 385 yards and four touchdowns, the Colts' comeback was full throttle.

Luck's final touchdown pass to Jack Doyle with 37 seconds left gave the Colts a 35-34 lead.

One stop was needed for a rare season-opening victory. It didn't happen.

Detroit moved 50 yards in 33 seconds, with Matt Prater's 43-yard field goal giving the Colts their fourth season-opening loss in five seasons.**

Week Four, October 2: 30-27 Loss vs. Jacksonville

**Coming off their first win of 2016, the Colts had three divisional games in the next four weeks. London was the destination to take on the Jaguars.

Andrew Luck's first AFC South loss since December of his 2012 rookie campaign certainly gave the rest of the division hope that even with their franchise quarterback under center, the Colts were no longer dominating things in the division.

Playing behind three rookie offensive linemen at Wembley Stadium, Luck was sacked a season-high six times and hit a total of 14 times.

The Jags had a 23-6 lead to start the fourth quarter, and held off another furious Indianapolis' rally. The Colts were 1-3 after the first quarter of the season.**

Week Six, October 16: 26-23 Loss at Houston

**Despite the sluggish start to 2016, a lot was at stake in Week Six. Down just one game in the AFC South, the 2-3 Colts could tie for the division lead with a win over the Texans.

It was arguably the team's best performance of the season through three and a half quarters on that Sunday night in Houston.

Leading 23-9 midway through the fourth, the train derailed for the Colts. Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler led two fourth-quarter touchdown drives to send the game into overtime.

A final scoring drive in OT from Houston gave the Colts a historic defeat. The loss was the team's first in more than 30 years when leading by at least 14 points in the fourth quarter.**

Week 14, December 11: 22-17 Loss vs. Houston

**Clawing back from a 2-4 start to the season, the Colts had a much-needed rematch with the Texans a few weeks ago at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The winner had control of the AFC South with three games to go in 2016.

But the Colts could not seize the opportunity. Andrew Luck's first AFC South home loss in more than four years came with the offense not doing its part in the season's most important game.

Houston's win, which gave the Texans their first ever season sweep over the Colts, pushed Indianapolis to the brink of playoff elimination, dropping their postseason chances to less than 10 percent with three weeks left in the season.

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