Thursday, December 26, 2013
Playoff opponent still unclear for Colts
By Mike Wells
INDIANAPOLIS -- The playoff situation for the Indianapolis Colts won't be resolved until sometime in the late afternoon or early evening on Sunday. The only thing that's for sure is that they'll be headed to the playoffs.
Their seeding and who they'll face is as murky as Florida swamp water.
The Colts can finish anywhere between the No. 2 and 4 seeds depending on what happens in their regular-season finale against Jacksonville and games involving New England and Cincinnati, the second and third seeds, respectively.
There are a number of teams the Colts could end up facing: Kansas City, Baltimore, Miami or San Diego.
Any of the four would present a different type of problem for the Colts.
The Colts will face the Chiefs if they finish with the No. 4 seed because the Chiefs are locked in at No. 5. Indianapolis went on the road and used a strong defensive performance to beat them 23-7 last weekend.
The Colts have won two of three playoff meetings against the Ravens, but Baltimore has won at least one playoff game each of the past five seasons, including last season's victory over Indianapolis.
San Diego has been a nemesis of the Colts in the playoffs lately. The Chargers have won the past two postseason matchups against Indy. They also beat them earlier this season in San Diego.
The Dolphins beat the Colts 24-20 in Week 2.
An argument could be made that the Chiefs are the best matchup for the Colts, especially based on how they dominated the game after Kansas City's opening possession last weekend.
I'm going with Baltimore. The Ravens have won four of their past five games, but they're far from the team that won the Super Bowl last season.
Here's the breakdown again on what it'll take for the Colts to finish at each seed:
No. 2 seed: Colts beat Jacksonville, New England loses to Buffalo and Cincinnati loses to Baltimore.
No. 3 seed: Colts beat Jacksonville, New England beats Buffalo and Cincinnati loses to Baltimore OR Colts beat Jacksonville, Cincinnati wins and New England loses.
No. 4 seed: Colts lose to Jacksonville OR wins by New England and Cincinnati OR Colts beat Jacksonville and Cincinnati beats Baltimore.