The Indianapolis Colts are locked in as the fourth seed for the playoffs. This means they’ll be facing the loser of this Sunday’s matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Bengals are currently 9-4-1 and sit just above the Colts at the three spot. The Steelers, at 10-5, are the Colts current playoff opponent at the five seed.
That could easily change if the Steelers win on Sunday.
Having played both teams this season, the Colts clearly want to face the Bengals in the postseason. Luckily, everything in this game appears to favor the Steelers.
Besides home field advantage, the Steelers dominated the Bengals just three weeks ago. Pittsburgh won 42-21 and Le’Veon Bell became the Bane of the Bengals.
Bell went off for 235 total yards and three touchdowns. He’s probably just scored on the Bengals as I wrote this, putting Cincinnati in a 7-0 hole before the game even started.
Pittsburgh has all the markings of a team that could either make a Super Bowl run or flame out in the first round. That said, the Colts want no part of the Steelers, even at home.
They dominated the Colts at Heinz Field 51-34, but it wasn’t even that close of a game. Five of the Steelers first six drives went for touchdowns in that game.
It didn’t help that the Colts donated nine points to the Steelers due to offensive errors, and that was before the wheels came off the Colts offense.
Against the Bengals, the Colts fared much better. They pitched a 27-0 shutout, holding the Bengals to just 135 total yards, and to 1-for-13 on third down attempts.
The Colts have feasted against inferior quarterbacks this season (thanks AFC South!). Andy Dalton was no exception to this rule, and played beyond poorly against the Colts. Ben Roethlisberger, on the other hand, put together the best game by a quarterback in history.
Roethlisberger had his way with the Colts defense, completing 81-percent of his passes for 522 yards and six touchdowns. Basically, the Colts want no part of Roethlisberger and company (scarier still, Bell hadn’t even hit his full stride in that game and is now dominating).
The matchups say that the Colts want to face the Bengals, obviously. Anytime you can force a team into three-and-outs for an entire half, you should be favored in the rematch.
However, a win unfortunately means another trip to Foxboro to face the New England Patriots. Hope for a Steelers win this weekend, at least to let the Colts get to the divisional round of the playoffs.