The AFC South division title isn't out the window despite last Thursday's loss to Houston, however it's important for the Colts to now keep an eye on the AFC Wild Card race and yesterday's action provided a decent glimpse into that. As the Bills continue to cruise, you may have five teams fighting for the sixth and final postseason slot. Here's what happened on Sunday and what it meant for Indianapolis:
Jets 34, Raiders (6-5) 3: Oakland owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Colts, so they still technically are ahead in the Wild Card pecking order, but this loss to the Jets is a positive swing in Indy's favor. The Raiders still have all three division road games remaining and a pair of home games against Tennessee and Jacksonville. While that's certainly not a murderer's row, the Jets' blowout allows the Colts to remain just a game back (tiebreaker) instead of two.
Steelers (6-5) 16, Bengals 10: Colts would've loved to have this one, but relying on the NFL's worst team tow in was probably foolish. Pittsburgh rallied behind QB3 Devlin "Duck" Hodges and stayed ahead of the Colts via ownership their head-to-head tiebreaker.
Browns (5-6) 41, Dolphins 24: Hey, don't look now, but here comes Cleveland! The Browns won their third straight game and have now thrown themselves back into the postseason mix with a massive showdown in Pittsburgh looming next week. If Cleveland can finish off the season sweep of the Steelers, they'll bring their record back level (6-6) before a pillowy soft season finish, which includes both games with the winless Bengals and one with the three-win Cardinals, in the final quarter.
NOT SURE IT MATTERS!
Titans (6-5) 42, Jaguars 20: The Titans basically shattered any faint postseason hopes that Jacksonville had and continued their surprising surge behind Ryan Tannehill. This actually is a decently talented team, it was just hard to notice with the incredibly mediocre/limited Marcus Mariota under center. If the Colts hold serve at home against Tennessee on Sunday, they'll have the head-to-head tiebreaker and be two up on the Titans with four to play, so I'm not sure today's result is relevant. The Titans' remaining schedule is very treacherous, with all winning teams left: at Colts, at Raiders, Saints, and two against the Texans. So, for all intents and purposes, Colts win next week = Titans almost certainly won't finish ahead of them.
So, after all of that, here's Chap with the updated AFC postseason picture (Baltimore will remain the #2 seed, regardless of what happens in tonight's game):