This isn’t the way the Indianapolis Colts wanted to win the AFC South division title, but by virtue of the Denver Broncos‘ win over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, the team won it’s first division title since 2010 despite losing to the Cincinnati Bengals 42-28.
Indianapolis can’t be too down though as this division crown has come quicker than anyone ever expected. With the division wrapped up, many Colts fans are wondering — now what?
In the past, when the Colts wrapped up the division, they usually wrapped up a top seed in the AFC playoffs. That resulted in the team resting their starters for the last few games. This is virtually all new to Colts fans. Indianapolis has clinched the division and a playoff spot which results in hosting at least one playoff game, but the regular season is far from over for them. The Colts are in a battle for a first-round bye with the Bengals and New England Patriots as they’re one game out of the no. 2 seed.
The Bengals do hold the tiebreaker over Indianapolis due to their head-to-head win on Sunday, but the Colts aren’t out yet. They have three games left on the season and will certainly play the starters in meaningful games over the next two weeks.
Now, if the Colts have their seed locked up by the season finale at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars, then expect to see some rest for the guys. That game, depending on the outcome the next two weeks, will determine who and when Indianapolis plays in January.
That’s why the next two games starting with Sunday against the Houston Texans are so critical. Indianapolis needs to build some momentum by getting the offense going and having the defense get tougher. There’s still plenty of time to get better for Indianapolis as the next two games are very beneficial. They can use these two games to get better and build a run to the Super Bowl.
Eric Smith is the Colts Beat Writer for Rant Sports. He’s covered the team the past four years and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by the Colts. Follow him on Twitter @ericsportsguru