Mike Wells: Colts Trying to Stay Focused this Week …

… by hiding mousetraps in their lockers. Sure, they were fake and kinda gimmicky, but according to Mike Wells, they symbolized how, when tempted with cheese, football players are often inclined to act before they realize the impending danger surround … ing …

So it's not perfect. Still, the point is there: Indy needs to beat Jacksonville for anything they've done so far to matter. Last year, an early loss to Jacksonville cost Indy the division; worse, it was a game they should have, could have, and almost did win. As my brother constantly reminds me, Indy doesn't play well against bad teams. This year, to have any chance in a much better AFC, Indy will need these wins.

The Colts are tied with Houston and Tennessee atop the AFC South at 2-1.

The Colts were in a similar situation last season. They came from behind to beat the Green Bay Packers 30-27, only to get blown out by the New York Jets the following week. Quarterback Mark Sanchez threw for only 82 yards, but running back Shonn Greene ran for 161 yards and three touchdowns in their 35-9 win.

Contenders thus far: Cincy looks like they'll have a clear run at the North, as long as Baltimore doesn't turn it around. New England and Miami will both be around for a little while yet, and their games will likely determine the divisional winner; Kansas City looks like a lock for a wild-card spot, only because Denver looks like a lock for the superbowl.

Of 16 AFC teams, 10 are 2-1 or better. Last season, only six AFC teams finished above .500 (and all made the playoffs). Currently, given schedules and what not, the AFC looks like the following:

Divisional winners:

Denver (Peyton Manning)
New England (very easy schedule)
Cincy (great except for a week one defeat in Chicago, who is surprisingly 3-0 and looking terrific)
Indy … or Tennessee … or Houston …

Wild Card:

Kansas City (second highest point differential in the AFC)
Miami (3-0, easy schedule)
Baltimore (could beat out Cincy. Looked good against Houston, bad against Cleveland … who knows?)
Indy … or Tennessee … or Houston …


My point is, Indy – at this point – almost needs to win their division to make the playoffs this year. And that all boils down to beating Jacksonville this week. Whew.