The Indianapolis Colts have the opportunity to enter the playoffs at either of the three Wild Card seeds.
It’s one week remaining in the NFL’s regular season and there’s still plenty to be decided. When the Week 18 games kick off on Saturday, three remaining playoff spots will be up for grabs. The seeding of the postseason will also be decided this weekend, as the Green Bay Packers are the only team that has clinched its positioning.
The Indianapolis Colts need to win on Sunday to guarantee that they will have a spot in the playoffs. They aren’t in a position to win the division, but they can snag one of the three AFC Wild Card spots.
Which Wild Card seed Indy gets will be decided on Sunday, but there’s a path for them to land in each one. The Colts can enter the playoffs as the fifth, sixth, or seventh seed in the AFC.
Indy isn’t in a position to possibly throw a game and try to choose its positioning. The team just has to focus on winning and observe how this weekend’s slate of games plays out.
However, seeding can be important. The seed will determine Indy’s first-round matchup, the path through the playoffs, and also the possibility of a playoff game coming to Indianapolis.
Here are the pros and cons of every potential playoff seed for the Colts.
How the Colts can be the 5th seed
For Indianapolis to enter the playoffs as the fifth seed, they must win on Sunday, the Dolphins must beat the Patriots and the Chargers have to win against the Raiders.
Fifth Seed: Colts win + Dolphins win + Chargers win
If those three things happen, Indy will play the fourth seed in the Wild Card round. Since the AFC playoff picture is so close, the fourth seed could be a couple of teams, but it’s likely the Buffalo Bills.
Pros of being the 5th seed
There are a few benefits to landing the fifth seed, one being the possibility of hosting a playoff game. It’s unlikely, but if the division champions lose, Indy will be able to play in Lucas Oil Stadium.
Additionally, if the Bills are the fourth seed, the Colts can lean on the confidence that they beat them already.
Cons of being the 5th seed
However, that’s also the downside, that Indy has already beat the Bills this season. In general, it’s hard to beat quality teams twice in a season, especially when you have to go to Buffalo in the wintertime to do it.
Buffalo will be able to analyze the film of the Week 11 matchup and craft a better game plan for Indianapolis. That doesn’t mean that Indy can’t win, it just means it will be tougher this time around.