Entering the season, teams’ goals are usually to win their division, make the playoffs, and win the Super Bowl. When the Indianapolis Colts step on the field in Week 18, the final week of the regular season, they will be playing to achieve those goals. After an abysmal 4-12-1 season just a year ago, not many imagined that Indianapolis will be on the verge of going to the playoffs, but that’s exactly the case with just one game left to play.
The Colts control their own fate; there’s no better way to have it. Win and Indy is in. However, Indianapolis will be facing off against the Houston Texans and Houston will be playing for all of the exact same things. So the playoffs essentially start a week early for these two teams. The winning squad will continue their season and the losing squad will be going on vacation.
Colts and Texans will compete for a playoff spot in Week 18
Indianapolis and Houston are eerily similar teams and the last year has pretty much been identical for both teams. A year ago, the teams faced off against each other with the outcome having draft-order implications. The Texans won and ended up getting the second-overall pic, while the Colts landed the fourth-overall pick.
With those picks, Houston selected CJ Stroud and Indy drafted Anthony Richardson. Along with rookie quarterbacks, both teams added rookie head coaches: DeMeco Ryans for the Texans and Shane Steichen for the Colts. Steichen and Ryans led their respective franchises on quick turnarounds and now they’ll compete for a playoff berth.
They aren’t just competing for a wild card spot either. Houston and Indianapolis are tied with the Jacksonville Jaguars at 9-7. If Jacksonville loses to the Tennessee Titans in Week 18, the game between the Colts and Texans will not only be for a playoff spot, but for the AFC South crown. Even if the Jaguars win, the game will decide one of the wild card spots.
Both franchises have come a long way in just one season. They went from the top of the draft to battling for a division title. While both squads have a lot to be proud of, neither is ready for their season to be over. That should make for a great regular-season finale between two young teams with extremely bright futures.