After missing the playoffs in 2021, the Indianapolis Colts improved both sides of the ball. However, they could still miss the playoffs this season.
What could be worse than missing the playoffs because a team lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars? Missing the playoffs two years in a row. That could be a reality if just a few things go wrong for the Indianapolis Colts in 2022.
With the additions of key players in the offseason including Matt Ryan, Yannick Ngakoue, and Stephon Gilmore, the Colts should be poised to make a playoff run. Fans are actually expecting this to be a reality this season.
Is there an alternate universe where the Colts just don’t make it the distance though? If just a few things go the other direction, the front office is back to the drawing board yet again in January.
There are several factors that will get Indy into the playoffs this year, but what are some of the major factors keeping them out of the playoffs altogether? Let’s take a look at 3 things that can cost Indy a postseason appearance.
Reason No. 1: Colts play in a tough conference
Everyone knows that the AFC South is basically a division of mediocrity. This is no different than when Peyton Manning was running the South and everything ran through Indy for the playoffs.
By being a constantly terrible division, the quality of play does not need to be as high just to make the playoffs. Generally, there are two teams fighting for just one playoff spot.
With the Tennessee Titans coming off a season that earned them the top seed in the AFC while missing Derrick Henry for half the season, they’re going to be doing everything to keep the Colts down at second in the division.
There is no question that there is an arms race in the AFC with many superstar players heading to teams in the AFC. Being a top-seven team is getting tougher when the AFC rosters Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, Joe Burrow, Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, Mac Jones, and Russell Wilson.
There are seven teams that should likely be perennial playoff contenders based solely on the quarterback position. Considering none of those teams are an AFC South team, only one team from the South will make it to the playoffs.
So can the Colts actually knock off the Titans? If not, they’re not getting into the playoffs this year.