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Shane Steichen’s message to the Colts with 2 games remaining

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indianapolis Colts are 8-7 heading into Week 17, currently holding the last wildcard spot in the AFC playoffs.

Indianapolis is tied with the Texans, Bengals and Steelers for the final spot, but stand above the three other teams due to head-to-head tiebreakers and division record.

This means that the Colts just need to win their final two games to clinch a spot in the postseason, regardless of how the rest of the playoff picture shakes out.

Plus, the AFC South division title is still up in the air with the Jaguars also at 8-6. Jacksonville currently holds the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Colts, so Indianapolis would have to win one more game than the Jaguars to clinch the division crown.

“We control our own destiny,” Colts Head Coach Steichen said Wednesday. “We have a great opportunity in front of us, at home. We have to go handle business. That is the bottom line, that’s it.”

The final two games on the Colts schedule will be at Lucas Oil Stadium. On Sunday, the Las Vegas Raiders (7-8) will come to town and the aforementioned Houston Texans (8-7) will travel to Indy on Jan. 7.

“I think (playing at home) is huge,” Steichen said. “Anytime you get to play in front of a home crowd with the noise that our fans bring, it is awesome. It’s going to be huge for us.”

Colts players are excited for the opportunity to play in front of the home crowd as well.

Star linebacker Zaire Franklin on Wednesday was looking forward to the opportunity to play both of the final two games at home.

“Its amazing,” Franklin said. “After a tough slug on the road, there is nothing like getting back in front of that home crowd, feeling that embrace, know that they will be pulling for us, riding with us as we make that final playoff push.”

All-Pro running back Jonathan Taylor just returned from a three-game injury absence last week, and is expecting a big boost from the fans at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The home crowd “is going to be huge,” Taylor said Wednesday. People ask, “‘Is home field advantage a thing?’ It is, especially when you have some of the best fans in the NFL.”

Kickoff for the Colts’ New Year’s Eve game against the Raiders is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday.

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