In the months prior to the 2019 NFL season, the Indianapolis Colts were a tough team to gauge. Then, starting quarterback Andrew Luck retired and the team’s chances of a run to the NFL playoffs became a major question mark. While backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett certainly wasn’t the reason for it, a string of brutal injuries and tough losses will keep the Colts from going dancing.
Ahead of a Week 15 Monday Night Football matchup with the New Orleans Saints, the 6-7 Colts were listed with a 98 percent chance of missing the postseason, according to Playoff Status. Unfortunately for Colts fans, the team’s outlook and fate was sealed when Monday night wrapped up.
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Colts Playoff Chances Disappear With Loss to Saints
Defeating the Saints is a daunting task in itself, and doing so on the road in front of a rowdy fanbase in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome is even tougher. Over the past three seasons, including 2019 thus far, the Saints are 18-5 at home. And not surprisingly, New Orleans came out firing on all cylinders, grabbed a 20-0 halftime lead and began rolling towards the finish line.
For the Colts, Monday night was a “lose and go home” situation, as the loss eliminated their postseason chances entirely, per Playoff Status. That’s not surprising, considering that climbing out of a 6-8 hole is a tall task in any situation.
But while the Colts are now mathematically eliminated with a loss to the Saints, a victory would have increased their chances by roughly 10 percent. They would have had an estimated nine percent chance to grab the No. 6 seed and a three percent chance at the No. 4 seed. Indy was still in the mix for the AFC South title technically heading into Week 15, but it simply wasn’t in the cards this season.
Updated AFC Playoff Picture
The Buffalo Bills were the most recent team to clinch a postseason berth in the AFC after defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football in Week 15. Beyond that, both the Baltimore Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs have already locked up their divisions while the New England Patriots have a major leg-up on the Bills after an early-season 16-10 win over them.
Currently, the Steelers have an edge over the Titans for the final AFC Wild Card spot due to the conference win percentage (6-4 vs. 6-5). The final two weeks of the season appear likely to come down to a battle for the No. 6 seed or possibly the No. 4 spot (for the Titans) between Tennessee and Pittsburgh.
But while the Colts put together a strong season after being forced to replace a vital starter in Luck, another shot at the postseason will be on hold until the 2020 season.