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Colts Playoff Scenarios, Chances, Seed Predictions: Indianapolis Eliminated After Loss to Jacksonville

Colts Playoff Scenarios, Chances, Seed Predictions: Indianapolis Eliminated After Loss to Jacksonville article feature image
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Justin Casterline/Getty Images. Pictured: Carson Wentz, Frank Reich

Sunday Afternoon Update

The Indianapolis Colts have inexplicably fumbled their opportunity to make the playoffs.

All they needed to do was beat the Jacksonville Jaguars. Yes, those Jaguars, the ones that hired Urban Meyer.

And it wasn’t even a close contest, either. The Colts scored 11 points against the second-worst defense in the NFL.

Frankly, they don’t deserve to be in the postseason.

And, justifiably, they won’t be. They could’ve snuck in even after losing to the Jaguars had the Steelers lost to the Ravens. Indianapolis also needed the Patriots to lose to the Dolphins and the Chargers to lose to the Raiders.

But, the Steelers beat the Ravens in OT and sent the Colts packing.

It’s a horrible end to a season that looked so promising just two weeks ago.

Indy’s loss to Jacksonville also tanked their win total, which was priced at 9.5 wins during the preseason.


Following a 1-4 start to the season, it appeared the Carson Wentz rejuvenation experiment would fail in Indianapolis. Yet, here the Colts are with a chance to clinch a spot in the 2022 NFL playoffs.

Wentz and the Colts dropped all three of their games to open 2021, including two at home to the Seahawks and Rams, plus on the road against the Titans. The Colts followed a road win over the Dolphins with a loss to the Ravens, but then the schedule eased up, and the Colts went on a run led by MVP candidate Jonathan Taylor,

The Colts are now 8-3 over their last 11 games, bringing a 9-7 record into a Week 18 matchup against the Jaguars. That’s a dream scenario for a team controlling its own playoff destiny.

The first — and easiest — clinching scenario for the Colts is win-and-in. If they beat the Jaguars, the Colts will clinch a playoff spot. Indianapolis will likely close as better than a two touchdown favorite (check real-time NFL odds here), so it’s a favorable matchup, to say the least.

Should Jacksonville pull off the upset, Indianapolis has a few other scenarios to clinch a playoff spot.

With a loss to the Jags, the Colts can still clinch a playoff spot with a Chargers loss to the Raiders on Sunday night and a tie between the Ravens and Steelers. 

If that doesn’t happen, the final scenario with a Colts loss is a combination of a Chargers loss, Steelers loss and Patriots loss.

According to our expert Travis Reed’s model — which helps power our NFL PRO Projections — the Colts have an 88% chance of making the playoffs. The most likely spot is the No. 6 seed. Reed’s simulations have the Colts No. 6 50% of the time.

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