In order to make it to the playoffs, teams must defend their home field. With how close the NFL is in this day and age, road games are tough. So whoever can manufacture victories in their eight home games are the front runners to make the playoffs.
The Colts won the first of their eight games in Lucas Oil Stadium last Sunday and now must win the next one this weekend. They already beat the Dolphins last year and with the upgrades to the team in the offseason, there’s really no reason they shouldn’t come victorious this season.
With tough games at home next month against the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos, you must win the games that you’re supposed to win — which brings me to the next point in the must-win games. Indianapolis must take care of business on the road in Jacksonville. The Jaguars are the worst team in the NFL in only scoring two points on Sunday. They have a bad defense and even worse offense.
The Colts put a beatdown on the Jags on Thursday night football last year, and must do the same this time around. These are games they have to win. If they take care of business at home, that’s only eight wins. That’s not enough for a playoff berth. They don’t want to go backwards, especially with the talent upgrades and all the money spent in the offseason.
So to get to 11 victories in 2013 means they will have to steal at least three road games. Jacksonville is one of them. As weird as it sounds, their playoff hopes are on the line in that game.
Eric Smith is the Colts Beat Writer for Rant Sports. He’s covered the team the last four years and recognized as an accredited member of the media by the Colts. Follow him on Twitter @ericsportsguru