What Must Happen For The Colts To Make The Playoffs?

Intro: The odds aren’t good at all, but the Colts still have a mathematical chance at making the playoffs. What has to happen over the final three weeks of the season for the Colts to sneak into the postseason?

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INDIANAPOLIS – Sunday's loss for the Colts has them on the brink of playoff elimination.

After being swept by the Texans (for the first time in franchise history), the Colts need a bunch of help down the stretch, while winning at least one road game over a team still in the postseason race.

Playoff projections have the Colts with a less than 10 percent chance at making the postseason.

Here's the current AFC South standings and a look at the remaining schedules with three weeks remaining:

1. Houston (7-6): Jacksonville (2-11), Cincinnati (5-7), @Tennessee (7-6)

2. Tennessee (7-6): @Kansas City (10-3), Jacksonville (2-11), Houston (7-6)

3. Indianapolis (6-7): @Minnesota (7-6), @Oakland (10-3), Jacksonville (2-11)

So what do the Colts need to do?

Let's split it up with the Texans and Titans.

  • The Colts have to make up at least two games on the Texans. With Houston securing the head-to-head tiebreaker on Sunday, the Colts have to finish the season with a better overall record than the Texans. So the Colts need to go 3-0 down the stretch, with the Texans going 1-2. Or, the Colts can go 2-1 to finish, if the Texans lose their last three games of the season. That's a LOT to ask for, when you consider the Colts have won back-to-back games just once all season. Also, Houston's schedule the final three weeks is much easier than Indianapolis' slate.
  • The Colts must make up at least one game on the Titans. Unlike with Houston, the Colts do have the head-to-head tiebreaker over Tennessee. Therefore, they don't have to finish the year with a better seasonal record against the Titans. With the Titans traveling to Kansas City this week, the Colts could make up that game on Sunday, if Indy can win in Minnesota.
  • The Colts could still get a Wild Card berth, but those possibilities are much slimmer and more complicated than the divisional ones. There are five teams currently ahead of the Colts in the Wild Card fight for two berths.
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