The Indianapolis Colts enter their bye week battered, bruised and loaded with unanswered questions. Despite the negatives, head coach Chuck Pagano remains positive about the team’s playoff chances.
After a surprising road win over the Green Bay Packers, the Colts moved to 4-5 on the season. They desperately needed the victory after a disappointing performance in Week 8 against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Even with a 4-5 record, the Colts are right in the middle of the playoff race. They are currently second in the AFC South; behind the inconsistent 5-3 Houston Texans. Unfortunately, winning the division may be their only opportunity to make the playoffs.
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The Wild Card spots are currently held by the 6-2 Chiefs and the 6-3 Denver Broncos. Both will be tough to catch. Also, even if the Colts manage to tie either team’s record, they would lose the tiebreaker because they lost to both opponents earlier this season.
In spite of the slim playoff chances, head coach Chuck Pagano remains confident in his team. In fact, he likes where his team currently sits in both the AFC South standings and the AFC Playoff Picture.
"“I love where we are sitting right now. We have given ourselves an opportunity now to keep moving forward. We said this game would be a defining moment for our team and for our season. But, really, how we handle this [bye week] will also define this football team and where we go from here.”"
In Pagano’s defense, making the playoffs after a 3-5 start is not as far-fetched as it seems. Last year, three teams began the season 3-5 and ended up reaching the postseason. Those teams were the Chiefs, the Texans and the Washington Redskins.
The Colts would like to accomplish this same feat this year. However, Pagano is right. They cannot sit around and wait for their Week 11 showdown with the Tennessee Titans. They need to put the hard work in right now during their bye week.
"“It’s going to be very, very important. And I know our guys will do it because we have great veteran leadership in our locker room and we have great character guys and guys that obviously love winning and want to do that right thing.”"
The final seven games of the season will easily define the Colts’ season as a whole. The remaining slate could also determine whether or not a few individuals get to keep their jobs.
Pagano and general manager Ryan Grigson have been rumored to be on the hot seat. Also, both have endured a lot of bashing by the writers, reporters and fans.
It is great Pagano is still optimistic about the Colts’ playoff chances. However, the Colts need to start producing consistent results. Hopefully, this bye week gets them closer to that goal.