Ladies and gentlemen, Christmas came early this year! On a long Sunday afternoon, Colts fans suffered from the bye week blues. Things turned around for the Colts this bye week. The best possible outcomes happened for the Colts. The Colts didn’t play on Sunday, but they sure moved up the playoff ladder! From in the hunt to in! If the playoffs ended today, the Indianapolis Colts would be in the playoffs.
Let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. The playoffs don’t end tomorrow, but seeing the Colts go from in the hunt to in was a Christmas miracle. The Colts control their destiny now. Let’s take a look at what’s to come. The Colts may have the biggest games of the year coming up. Within two weeks, the Colts play the two number 1 seeds in each conference in the New England Patriots and the Arizona Cardinals. That’s a tough schedule for anyone. These games will be an actual test for the Indianapolis Colts. If they can win one game or both, know this team isn’t playing around anymore. We’re about to see if the Colts are pretenders or contenders.
Starting with the Patriots game coming up on Sunday. This game scares me the most. The Patriots are, in my opinion, the most dangerous team in all of football right now. Mac Jones is playing every game like his backup could take his spot at any second and avoiding that change like it’s his last thing to do on earth. He’s playing at an elite level. The Colts will have their hands tied. Mac Jones can beat you through the air, or he’s going to take any of his running backs on the depth chart and shove them down your throat and make you stop them. Our defense is going to have a tough challenge against the Patriots. It’s going to be a physical game. In both games vs. the Patriots and the Cardinals, both of these games will be won in the trenches. The game plan has to allow JT to eat. On defense, our pass rush HAS to show up and contain the run. Beating The Patriots won’t be an easy task, but a task this team is up for.
Now the Cardinals. Kyler and Kliff have this team cooking. 1st place in the NFC and no slowing down in sight. One thing I’m not worried about is Nuk Hopkins. The former Texans are no stranger to playing the Colts. I believe this defense can contain Hopkins. Now managing Hopkins is still probably around five catches and 100+ yards. But if the Colts can keep everything inside and limit big chunk plays vs. Hopkins and Kyler, I think they’re going to be set. Chase Edmonds is coming back this week vs. the Rams, so it’ll be interesting to see how that affects James Conner, who’s come alive the last few weeks of the season. Containing Kyler’s mobility has to be a focus.
If the Colts don’t win either game, don’t panic just yet. I’ve done the simulations, and it’s possible to lose both of those games. It’s not ideal, but it’s possible. A lot of extra stuff would have to happen, but it’s possible. In my opinion, the Colts go 1-1 vs. the Cardinals and Patriots. But Vegas and Jaguars are absolute must-wins to make the playoffs. As of now, the Colts control their destiny. If they don’t make the playoffs, it is on them. They can’t blame anyone but themselves.
However, if the Colts win both games in the next two weeks, I guarantee that we will see the Colts on prime time a whole lot next season. The Colts can go from “undesirable to un damn deniable” -Cody Rhodes. The ball is in the Colts Court from here on out. Christmas came early for Coltsnation. Now it’s time for our stars to take the gift and run with it.