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What coach Shane Steichen’s message to the Colts is during playoff push

Head coach Shane Steichen of the Indianapolis Colts is seen during the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Lucas Oil Stadium on Nov. 26, 2023, in Indianapolis. (Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indianapolis Colts are in the midst of a four-game win streak after sweeping the Tennessee Titans with a 31-28 overtime win in Nashville on Sunday.

The Colts (7-5) are currently sitting in the seventh and final playoff spot in the AFC, but the Cincinnati Bengals (6-6) sit just a game behind them.

Indianapolis will play the Bengals at 1 p.m. Sunday at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati.

The Colts are in the driver’s seat of that wildcard spot, and if they win out, they are guaranteed a place in the playoffs.

Many Colts fans are looking ahead to winnable games against the Steelers, Falcons, Raiders and a potential win-or-go-home game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Week 17 against the Texans.

But Colts Head Coach Shane Steichen couldn’t care less about playoff seeding with still a month to go in the season.

“You focus on what you can control,” Steichen said. “The focus is on this week. Yeah, we won four in a row but no one cares anymore, it’s all about this week. That is where our focus is, it’s all Cincinnati and we have to have tunnel vision on the Cincinnati Bengals… we know that we can control our destiny, but it doesn’t matter, we just have to handle business on Sunday.”

A big reason that the Colts have found so much success of late has been a great display of complimentary football.

In previous games, the offense has found success, but the defense struggles, or vice versa.

However, over the last few weeks, all three phases have found success, and Steichen is loving what he has seen from the Horseshoe’s offense, defense, and special teams.

“It’s an ultimate team game,” Steichen said. “You want to play complimentary football in all three phases, but sometimes one side of the football doesn’t look great and the other side lifts them up. Like last week, it was our special teams coming up huge… two punt blocks in a game, that is a huge momentum changer, big-time plays.”

The games against Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and Houston might hold a little more weight than the rest of the schedule with the Bengals (6-6), Steelers (7-5), and Texans (7-5) vying for the last couple of playoff spots.

But Colts cornerback Kenny Moore II says that the team’s upcoming schedule changes nothing for their approach.

“The urgency around here has been the urgency around here [for weeks],” Moore said. “It is nothing new to us. We aren’t going to raise the stakes because they have been the stakes [for weeks]. We have to go out there and win a game and each week we’ve had the urgency to go out and win a game… it’s nothing new to us, we’ll keep everything the same. We have to go out there with a mindset to win the game.”

The Colts have little room for error in a competitive AFC, and that continues on Sunday in Cincinnati.

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