Cincinnati, OH — I wrote earlier this week that the winner of the Indianapolis Colts and Cincinnati Bengals game would likely seal up at least the three seed in the AFC playoffs, while the loser would all but clinch the four spot. Well, that pretty much happened today in Paul Brown Stadium as the Bengals defeated the Colts 42-28.
With only three games left in the season, it’s going to be extremely difficult for the Colts to move up to anything other than the fourth seed. Indianapolis should win two of the final three games with them being at home against the Houston Texans (2-11) and the Jacksonville Jaguars (4-9). They face a tough task playing at the Kansas City Chiefs (10-3) sandwiched between.
Winning at least two of the three puts them 10-6. They would need the Bengals and Patriots to lose out to move up past either of them in order to get out of the fourth spot.
New England plays at the Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens the next two weeks before hosting the Buffalo Bills in Week 17. The Bengals, on the other hand, play at the Pittsburgh Steelers next weekend before hosting the Minnesota Vikings and the Ravens to close out the year.
I don’t see the Colts moving up anymore with what those two have left. They likely will host the Chiefs in the first round of the playoffs. That necessarily isn’t so bad as far as history goes, as their only Super Bowl title came when they hosted Kansas City in the Wildcard Round.
Eric Smith is the Colts Beat Writer for Rant Sports and has covered the team the past four seasons. He’s recognized as an accredited member of the media by the Colts. You can follow him on Twitter @ericsportsguru