The Indianapolis Colts didn’t play in Week 11. They were away on their bye week, recuperating and preparing for a stretch run. Indy entered the bye week with a 5-5 record and that placed them in the thick of a playoff race. With a relatively easy remaining schedule, Indy could make a run and appear in the postseason this year.
With that being the case, fans have been locked in on the playoff picture. While there are a ton of games left to be played, it’s fun knowing where exactly a team stands and what needs to happen for the team’s playoff ticket to be punched. Entering Week 11, the Colts were the No. 9 team in the AFC. With just the top seven seeds making the postseason, Indy was right on the bubble. Fortunately, despite not playing a game, Indianapolis’ position improved— kind of.
Colts path to playoffs improved during bye week
Technically, the Colts are still at No. 9 in the AFC, however, a closer look shows that they benefited from the Week 11 games. Entering the Week, the team directly in front of Indy at No. 8 was the Cincinnati Bengals. Fortunately for Indy, the Bengals lost to the Ravens, dropping Cincinnati down to No. 11 in the AFC. However, the Buffalo Bills picked up a win over the New York Jets and Buffalo jumped into the No. 8 spot. That’s why Indy is still at No. 9.
It’s important to look at both teams’ record, though. The Colts are 5-5 and the Bills are 6-5. Buffalo is only ahead of Indy because it played more games. Eventually, the Bills will have a bye week and that will give Indianapolis a chance to have the same amount of games. If both teams have the same record, the Colts currently have the tiebreaker over Buffalo. Since there is no head-to-head between these two teams, the tiebreaker would be conference record. Currently, the Colts are 4-3 against AFC opponents while the Bills are 3-5.
All this means that Indy’s path to the playoffs is a little bit easier. However, the only way any of it is relevant is if the Colts win games. Sure, they have an easy schedule, and the teams in front of them will likely drop games, but it means nothing if Indy doesn’t keep adding to the win column.