If the Colts win on Saturday, who would they face in the playoffs?
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — With just one week left in the NFL regular season, more than half of the teams around the country will see their season come to an end this weekend.
The Indianapolis Colts could be one of those teams.
The Colts are one of four AFC teams tied at 9-7 with one week left. Pittsburgh, Houston, and Jacksonville are the other three squads.
The Colts have wins against Pittsburgh and Houston, while Jacksonville has the tiebreaker over all three teams. Indy currently holds the No. 7 seed and the Jaguars have the No. 4 seed and the AFC South lead.
Needless to say, there are plenty of games in Week 18 with enormous playoff implications, starting with Saturday’s home game against the Houston Texans.
The stakes are simple for Indianapolis. Win, and you make the playoffs. Lose and your season comes to an end.
If the Colts win on Saturday night, who would they play next week in the postseason?
The scenarios listed below don’t include the possibility of any ties. The NFL regular season has consisted of 256 games so far this season without a single tie.
First, there is a reasonable path for the Colts to host a first-round playoff game and hang their 10th AFC South banner.
Scenario: Colts win, Jags lose
If Indianapolis wins on Saturday, and Jacksonville loses, the Colts would win the division and host the Cleveland Browns in the first round of the playoffs.
The Jaguars (9-7) have a road game against the Tennessee Titans (5-11) on Sunday at 1 p.m. EST.
Scenario: Colts win, Jags win & clinch division
If the Colts beat Houston, but the Jaguars win and clinch the division, Indianapolis would be looking at a road playoff game as the No. 6 or No. 7 seed.
Baltimore already locked up the AFC’s top seed and the lone first-round bye, so the No. 7 seed would travel to the No. 2 seed (Buffalo or Miami), and the No. 6 seed would have a road trip to the AFC’s No. 3 seed (Kansas City).
Scenario: Colts win, Bills take down Dolphins
Assuming the Colts handle their business on Saturday, and the Bills defeat the Dolphins on Sunday night, the Horseshoe would own the No. 7 seed.
As in 2020, when Philip Rivers was the Colts’ quarterback, Indy would travel to Buffalo for the first round of the playoffs under this scenario.
Scenario: Colts win, Dolphins beat Bills
But if the Dolphins beat the Bills, the Colts would move up to the No. 6 seed and have a trip to Kansas City to play the defending Super Bowl champions.
The Colts kick off against the Texans at 8:15 p.m. EST on Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
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