10 Outcomes That Must Happen for the Indianapolis Colts to Make the Playoffs
Believe it or not, despite how abysmal of a season it has been for the Indianapolis Colts, there is a still a razor-thin chance they make the playoffs for a chance at Super Bowl 50.
By team and fan, standards, the 2015-16 campaign has been a dumpster fire full of tires and hair. Questionable free agent signings and draft picks, a porous offensive line, a defensive that contain much of anything, injuries to key players (the biggest being Andrew Luck, of course), and overall poor play have put the Colts in a situation where they no longer control their own destiny. The Week 15 loss to division rival, the Houston Texans sealed that up.
Now then, had the Colts won and the Texans lost on Sunday, this scenario would be much easier. Indy would need to win at home against Tennessee and Houston would need to lose against Jacksonville this Sunday. But that's not the way it happened (and with the way this season has gone, why make things easy now?). The Colts beat Miami, and Houston took care of Tennessee relatively easily, which leaves us with this scenario:
I won't bore you with the tedious details of why the following teams need to win (tiebreakers, head-to-head matchups, etc.), just know that if you're hoping to see the Colts play in the post season, this is what needs to happen this weekend. Ready? Deep breath — and here we go.
- Denver beats Cincinnati tonight (December 28th)
- Indianapolis beats Tennessee
- Jacksonville beats Houston
- Pittsburgh beats Cleveland
- Denver beats San Diego (January 3rd)
- Atlanta beats New Orleans
- Buffalo beats New York (Jets)
- Dolphins beat Patriots
- Baltimore beats Cincinnati (January 3rd)
- Oakland beats Kansas City
[Source: Jeremy Mills / ESPN]
The moment one of these needed outcomes don't happen, the Colts are done, making the regular season finale at home against Tennessee this Sunday is nothing more than a game to determine their pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.
Truth be told, and I've been saying this for the last half of the season, I hope they don't make it. I love the Colts, they're my team, and I'll watch Sunday's game regardless of it's meaning, but this season has just been painful to watch (and I watched every game of the 2011 season), and I'd rather see it come to an end so they begin the process of trying to fix at least some of the problems.
Don't get me wrong, I know that anything's possible. The New York Giants have won two championships in the past decade after limping into the playoffs, but this Colts team has been flat embarrassed by teams considered contenders this year, and a Wild Card game at home against either the New York Jets, the Kansas City Chiefs, or the Pittsburgh Steelers will just prolong the misery.
But then again, if, by the grace of <insert higher power of choice here>, the stars align and every scenario that needs to happen happens, then maybe luck will be on their side, regardless of whether or not Luck is on the field.