What happens to the Colts’ playoff chances if they lose to the Texans on Saturday?

The Indianapolis Colts will secure a playoff spot with a win over the Houston Texans, but is there still a path to the postseason for Indy with a loss?
Las Vegas Raiders v Indianapolis Colts
Las Vegas Raiders v Indianapolis Colts / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

After defeating the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 17, quarterback Gardner Minshew told his Indianapolis Colts teammates that they didn’t ask for things to be easy; all they asked for was a chance. On Saturday night, a chance is exactly what Minshew and the Colts will get. Facing off against the Houston Texans for the regular-season finale, Indy has a chance to clinch a playoff spot and win the AFC South.

In order to win the division, Indianapolis will need a little help. Indy could win the division with a win + a Jacksonville Jaguars loss or tie, and the Colts could also win the AFC South with a tie on Saturday + a Jaguars loss.

The good news, though, is that Indy doesn’t need any help getting into the postseason. That path is simple: win and the Colts are in. A win over the Texans would at least guarantee Indy one of the three wild card spots. But what happens if Indy loses to Houston; is there still a path to the postseason with a loss on Saturday night?

Can Colts still make the playoffs if they lose to Texans?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. A loss to Houston on Saturday will end the season for Indianapolis. This game is pretty simple for both teams: win and in, lose and go home. There is, however, another option: a tie.

That’s something the Colts and Texans are pretty familiar with, considering the Week 1 meeting during the 2022 season between the two teams ended in a 20-20 draw. If something similar happens on Saturday, there will be major playoff implications.

While the Colts can’t get in with a loss, they will be able to make it into the postseason with a tie, as long as the Pittsburgh Steelers lose or tie in their Week 18 game. So if the Colts lose, their season is over. If they tie, they have a chance. If they win, Indianapolis will be playing postseason football for the first time since the 2020 season.