The Indianapolis Colts have had an up and down season so far, but they arrived at their bye week with a 5-5 record. Honestly, fans and the team seem pretty pleased with that. Indy has exceeded expectations and all of the team’s goals are still realistic and attainable. With an easy remaining schedule, Indianapolis making a playoff push seems possible.
With the team off for Week 11, now is a great time to look ahead at the schedule and circle the biggest remaining game. That’s exactly what ESPN did in their latest power rankings. Not only were all 32 teams ranked, but the biggest remaining game on each team’s schedule was highlighted. The Colts were ranked at No. 18, a three-spot improvement, and the Week 14 game against the Cincinnati Bengals was named as the biggest remaining game.
Bengals named biggest remaining game for Colts
Why is the game against Cincinnati expected to be a big one? Playoff implications, according to ESPN’s Stephen Holder. Holder acknowledged that Indianapolis has officially entered the race for a wild-card spot. The Bengals, who are 5-4 and fourth in a stacked AFC North, are also in that race. That means this Week 14 matchup will certainly give the winner an advantage.
As Holder points out, head-to-head matchups are the No. 1 tiebreaker. Conference record is also a tiebreaker. So a win in this game would give the winner an advantage over the loser and possibly an advantage over other AFC teams fighting for a wildcard spot. That definitely makes this a big matchup for the Colts and the Bengals.
However, with this game being three weeks away, both teams will have to keep winning for it to keep its luster. If Indianapolis returns from the bye week and loses to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 12 and the Tennessee Titans in Week 13, the Colts will enter the game against the Bengals at 5-7, likely with a very slim chance of still being relevant in the playoff race.