The Indianapolis Colts have the chance to clinch a playoff spot during Week 17.
When the Indianapolis Colts started 0-3, everyone just wanted them to get a win. They did that. When they were 1-4, the goal became battling back to 500. They did that with a Week 10 win against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
At 5-5, everyone wondered what direction Indianapolis would go. Would the team be mediocre and hover around 500 or would they continue putting wins together and become a contender. The Week 11 blowout of the Buffalo Bills made clear that Indy would be a serious threat.
Now, entering Week 17, the Colts are 9-6 and on Sunday they will have the opportunity to punch their ticket to the postseason.
Colts can clinch a playoff spot in Week 17
When this time of the year comes, there are always several different complicated scenarios for how each team can secure a playoff spot. It usually requires a lot of math, understanding of tie-breaking rules, and patience.
For Indy, who currently sits at fifth in the AFC, they have three routes into the AFC playoffs on Sunday. The most simple path is beating the Las Vegas Raiders. That is one the Colts are in full control over, no scoreboard watching or rooting for rivals, just win and they’re in.
The other two ways Indy can clinch require the team to tie with the Raiders. Considering the number of ties in the NFL the past few years, that isn’t out of the realm of possibilities.
Here’s the specific layout of each three scenarios:
Scenario 1: Colts win
Scenario 2: Colts tie and Ravens lose and Patriots lose or tie
Scenario 3: Colts tie and Ravens lose and Dolphins lose or tie
Obviously, the most simple and likely outcome of all is Indianapolis picking up their 10th win and locking up a spot. Tying with a team in 2022 is already embarrassing, and you definitely wouldn’t want to do it when your playoff hopes are in limbo.
Additionally, an Indy loss wouldn’t eliminate the team from playoff contention, it just means that they will enter the final week of the season in a must-win situation. Better to avoid all the extra hoopla by getting a win on Sunday.