INDIANAPOLIS – For a second straight time this season, the Colts have lost three consecutive games.
The themes from Sunday’s loss were very similar to what the Colts have experienced the past two weeks.
The Colts (6-8) will next travel down to Miami (5-9) for a Sunday afternoon matchup in Week 16.
Here are FIVE THINGS LEARNED.
PLAYOFF CONTROL GONE – After setting an NFL-record with 16 straight divisional wins, the Colts have now lost two AFC South games in the past two weeks. The latest one has sent the AFC South control over to the Houston Texans with two games remaining in the regular season.
HASSELBECK EXITS AGAIN – For a third straight game, an injury sent Matt Hasselbeck to the bench during the fourth quarter. A jaw injury forced Hasselbeck to the sidelines for four plays before the 40-year-old quarterback re-entered to finish the game. With Andrew Luck’s status still up in the air, the starting quarterback for the Colts in Week 16 remains a mystery.
SQUANDERED CHANCES – Just like they did in Pittsburgh and Jacksonville, the Colts defense provided the offense with some terrific early scoring chances. The Colts could not completely capitalize on them, leading just 10-3 at halftime despite an astonishing 34-yard advantage of drive start.
BRAY PROVIDES SPARK – After years of trial and error, the Colts appear to have found their return man. Quan Bray, a 2015 undrafted free agent, had four punt returns of 67 yards on Sunday. His 33-yard punt return in the second quarter was the longest for a Colts player in two years. Bray has been a spark since debuting as the team’s returner in late October.
SCOREBOARD WATCHING – With their playoff control out of their hands, the Colts will be scoreboard watching of the Houston Texans the next two weeks. For the Colts to earn a playoff berth, they will likely need to have Houston lose their final two games (at Tennessee, vs. Jacksonville) and have the Colts win their regular season finale against Miami.
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