The Indianapolis Colts entered Week 12 as the No. 9 team in the AFC. With only the top seven teams in each conference going to the playoffs, Indy was two spots out. However, with a ton of football left to be played, it was clear that the Colts were in a pretty good spot to make a playoff push. Following the Week 12 games, Indy is now in an even better spot.
If the postseason started today, Indianapolis would be a participant. The Colts currently hold the No. 7 spot in the AFC. That’s the third and final wildcard spot for the playoffs. Obviously, there are six weeks left in the season, so Indy could still move up or down. Let’s take a look at the full AFC Playoff picture, how Indy got here, and what needs to happen moving forward.
AFC Playoff picture after Week 12
1. Baltimore Ravens
2. Kansas City Chiefs
3. Jacksonville Jaguars
4. Miami Dolphins
5. Pittsburgh Steelers
6. Cleveland Browns
7. Indianapolis Colts
The first step to Indy moving up was winning its game. The Colts returned from the bye week and took care of business by defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27-20. Indianapolis benefited from a strong pass rush, an elite rushing attack, and another expensive performance from Michael Pittman Jr. Indy also received some help, though.
Indy moved up two spots. The two teams in front of Indianapolis were the Houston Texans at No. 7 and the Buffalo Bills at No. 8. Buffalo lost a thrilling overtime game to the Philadelphia Eagles and dropped all the way to No. 10. The Texans played another tight game but ultimately fell to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Houston has the same 6-5 record as Indy, but the Colts have the head-to-head tiebreaker. These teams will meet again in what could be a playoff-deciding game in Week 18.
With the current seeding, the Colts would play the No. 2 Kansas City Chiefs. But, with six weeks of regular season games remaining, the picture can change dramatically. The two wildcard teams in front of Indy are the 7-4 Pittsburgh Steelers and the 7-4 Cleveland Browns. It’s very possible that those two teams drop a few games and Indianapolis surpasses them as well. What’s most important, though, is that the Colts keep winning.