The Indianapolis Colts were gifted a win in Week 3 when the San Diego Chargers blew a late fourth quarter. Well, the Chargers have helped them again nine weeks later.
Sunday, the Chargers came up with a 21-13 win over the Houston Texans; the current AFC South division leader. The result pushed the Texans to 6-5 on the season.
The Colts are currently have a 5-6 record following a disappointing 28-7 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thanksgiving. Indianapolis had its chances to keep the game competitive, but mistakes and the absence of quarterback Andrew Luck (concussion) cost them dearly.
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That loss should have put the Colts’ playoff hopes in serious peril. However, the Texans’ loss to the Chargers changes that assumption and keeps Indianapolis’ postseason dreams alive.
Unfortunately, Indianapolis might not be capable of capitalize on this gift from the Chargers. The Colts and Texans each have five games remaining and will play each other one more time in Week 14.
Obviously, the Colts need to have a better record than the Texans over that time span, but Indianapolis is struggling with injuries. T.Y. Hilton, Ryan Kelly, and Vontae Davis all left Thursday’s game with injuries. Plus, Luck and Clayton Geathers did not even dress.
At the same time, the Colts have not really solved their on-field issues either. The secondary is still getting picked apart by opposing quarterbacks, receivers are dropping passes, the front seven cannot generate an sort of pass rush, and the offensive line still cannot pass block efficiently.
To make matters worse, the Tennessee Titans also won Sunday to push their record to 6-6. That is another team the Indianapolis will have to fend off. Luckily, they hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over Tennessee (2-0).
The Colts desperately needed a Texans’ loss to stay one game back of the division lead. Now that they got it, they need to capitalize on the opportunity.
However, as mentioned before, they might not be well-equipped to do so. It is crutch time for the Indianapolis Colts, and they will need to play their best football of the year if they want to finish the season with a postseason berth.