The Indianapolis Colts no longer control their own destiny in the AFC playoffs.
The Indianapolis Colts had their shot. Entering the locker room at halftime, a 21-7 lead nearly cemented them as a playoff contender for the 2020 AFC picture.
Thirty minutes later, they no longer control their destiny.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) December 27, 2020
A 28-24 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers not only clinches the AFC North for the struggling Pittsburgh roster, but it also opens the door for the Tennessee Titans to secure the AFC South. If they do that, it leaves the Colts with only one final path to the postseason.
And it’s not going to be a pretty picture any way you look at it in Week 17.
Here’s how the Colts can clinch a playoff spot
For starters, now at 10-5, the Colts will need to grab a victory over the now No.1 pick team in Jacksonville. Mitchell Trubisky threw for over 250 yards and two touchdowns against this secondary. What can Rivers do with better weapons?
That’s just a fraction of the picture.
After that, they need a loss from one of the three wild card teams still in the running right now. The Steelers will travel to face the Cleveland Browns, who recently lost to the now two-win Jets club. The Baltimore Ravens should be set barring any setback against the Cincinnati Bengals.
The team that could actually be on the outside looking in would the Miami Dolphins. After their amazing comeback against the Las Vegas Raiders, a Pittsburgh win forces the Buffalo Bills to play lights out.
The Bills took care of business in Week 2 on the road. Now, they’ll have a home-field advantage against a team looking to make the postseason for the first time since 2016.
The best chance for Indianapolis would be to win and then hope Josh Allen’s potential MVP season includes one last memorable performance against Miami’s defense. They also could still win the AFC South, but Tennessee will need to lose twice, including a game to Houston.
The Colts could have been back in the AFC playoff mix. Now, they’re going to need more than a few dominoes to buck them back into the postseason conversation.