The Indianapolis Colts come-from-behind victory over the Tennessee Titans yesterday, coupled with losses by Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, all but clinched a playoff berth for the Colts. Here are the scenarios that could play out over the next three weeks:
Best Case Scenario: Colts win the AFC South
Hey, it could still happen! It's not likely, but it's not out of the realm of possibility. First, the Texans have to lose in New England tonight. Then the Colts have to win out, including two victories over the Texans. In that scenario, the Colts either tie for the AFC South lead (if Houston wins against Minnesota) but wins via the tiebreaker, or wins the division outright if Houston loses out.
Other ways of qualifying:
The Colts win one of their remaining three games.
The Bengals or Steelers lose one of their remaining three games. As they play each other on December 23, the only outcome that could keep the Colts out of the playoffs would involve a tie between them and the Colts dropping all three of their final games.
The Colts players aren't looking ahead, but if you want to there's a good chance the Colts first round opponent would either be the Baltimore Ravens (that's always a good story line with the Colts going to Baltimore) or… the Denver Broncos. The media hype for Luck v. Manning in the playoffs would be off the charts.
Other observations from week 14 in the NFL:
- Teams that should be dead, but aren't : Dallas, Seattle, Minnesota, NY Jets, Washington
- Teams that should have clinched playoff spots, but can't seem to close: Cincinnati, Baltimore, Chicago
- The Arizona Cardinals started the season 4-0. They've lost nine straight, including 58-0 yesterday to Seattle. I can't see Ken Whisenhunt keeping his job much longer.
- Andy Reid and Norv Turner won't have jobs come January either, but both got road wins yesterday against teams fighting for playoff spots. Any given Sunday.
- Adrian Peterson's blood should be classified as a performance-enhancing drug. What that guy has done after TWO major knee constructions is beyond amazing.
- The Cleveland Browns are making it very hard for new owner Jimmy Haslem to clean house. They're gelling for coach-in-limbo Pat Shurmur. They've got the best young defense in the AFC.
- Robert Griffin III is special. I still think Andrew Luck is better and should win the Rookie of the Year, but the guy is a winner.
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