This isn’t going to be comprehensive, but I want to cover the major scenarios for the Colts. Let’s leave ties out of it for now, ok?
Indy’s only shot at the playoffs is to win the AFC South.
They win the South with two wins.
If they lose to Oakland and beat Tennessee, they win the South with a loss by the Jags to either Washington or Houston.
If they beat Oakland and lose to Tennessee, they win the South only if Jacksonville loses to Houston
If they lose twice AND Jacksonville loses twice AND Tennessee loses to Kansas City next week, they win the South.
Now, let’s talk seeding:
- (note: this may be impossible) To get the 2 seed, the Colts need:
To win out
The Chiefs to lose 1 or more of their remaining games (TEN, OAK), the Chargers lost at least 1 of their last two (@CIN, @DEN), the Ravens to lose both of their remaining games (@CLE, CIN), the Steelers to lose out (CAR, @CLE) and for TEN, HOU, JAX, NYG, DEN, WAS and KC to win 6 or more games combined than ATL, TB, CLE, MIA, CIN, BUF and BAL over the remainder of the season (in order to beat the Steelers in the strength of victory tiebreaker).
I don’t even know that this is mathematically possible, but I think it still is. At any rate, it’s highly unlikely, so don’t waste time on it.
- To get the 3 seed, the Colts need:
To win out
The Chiefs and Chargers each to lose at least one game.
- Any other scenario that puts the Colts in the playoffs would result in the four seed.
My ideal scenario would be:
1. NE (I’m just ceding this) 2. Baltimore (Ravens win out, Pitt drops 1 game) 3. Indy (see above) 4. KC (1 loss and 1 Chargers loss) 5. Pittsburgh (1 loss, 1 Jets loss) 6. NYJ (1 or 2 losses)
This would send the Jets to Indy and force the Steelers/KC winner to play the Pats. Indy would get Baltimore in the second round.
IF the Colts get the four seed, we should hope for:
1. NE 2. Baltimore 3. KC 4. Indy 5. NYJ (1 or 2 wins) 6. Pitt (1 loss)
This would send Pitt to KC. IF they win, they would go to NE. Indy would again get the Jets and with a Pittsburgh win go to Baltimore.