The AFC is shaping up nicely early for the Colts to possibly earn a bye. Playoff byes, as we all know, are the name of the game. Obviously they are no guarantee for success (as the Colts have found out in ’99 and ’05) but a bye puts you one game closer to a Repeat. San Diego is a key team in the AFC. If they can get another loss today against the Pack that would put some serious space between them and the contenders.
So that leaves Pittsburgh as the most serious threat for a bye. Sure there are other teams, but most of them have a major flaw. Pittsburgh, New England, and Indy have the offense and defense to make a push. We thought San Diego did, but their offense has sputtered early against tough opponents. I think it is going to take 13 wins to get a bye in the AFC. The Colts should win their home games (10-0 last season at home), but today’s game is one of their five toughest road games.
Like most games, it should come down to turnovers against Houston. Dominic Rhodes’s early fumble last year was the difference in the game. The Colts were quickly in a big hole. Manning should once again have his way with the Houston secondary. I’m not sure anyone knows what to expect from Houston without Andre Johnson. The D should have enough to contain the leftovers, forcing the Texans to put together long drives. Here’s betting the Indy D forces a pair of turnovers along the way. Colts 31 – Texans 23.