INDIANAPOLIS – Sunday’s loss to the Texans (7-6) was a big time hit to the playoff hopes for the Indianapolis Colts.
In the 22-17 loss, the Colts saw the similar type of mistakes that plagued this team during their 2-4 start this season.
The Colts (6-7) will face a must-win next weekend in a trip to Minnesota to take on the Vikings (7-6).
Here are FIVE THINGS LEARNED.
PLAYOFF CHANCES DWINDLE – According to the playoff projections, the Colts’ postseason hopes shrunk by more than 50 percent with Sunday’s loss. The odds on the Colts playing meaningful football come January is now less than 10 percent. The loss to the Texans was the first home divisional defeat the Colts have had with Andrew Luck starting since Week Three of 2012.
SLUGGISH OFFENSE – One week after a dominant performance on offense, the Colts had the opposite outing on Sunday. Andrew Luck tossed two interceptions. The Colts had more drops. And the pass protection gave up a critical strip/sack in the third quarter. The inability for the Indy receivers to gain much separation in the receiving game was an issue all night.
CAN’T CONTAIN MILLER – The two best games Houston running back Lamar Miller has had in 2016 have come against the Colts. On Sunday, Miller had 107 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown. Back in Week Six, Miller had a season-high 149 yards. Houston’s productive run game (41 carries for 185 yards) held a time of possession advantage of more than 12 minutes.
NOT DEFENDING HOME TURF – Sunday’s loss was the fourth home defeat the Colts have suffered this season. Before the start of 2016, Jim Irsay made it clear how important it was to control homefield. The Colts have not done that at all, and it’s a major reason why they are on the brink of being eliminated from the playoffs.
ANY HOPE? – For the Colts to have any chance at the postseason in 2016, they pretty much have to win out (@Minnesota, @Oakland and vs. Jacksonville). Then the scoreboard watching must begin. If the Colts win out, they need the Titans to go (at best) 2-1 and the Texans to go (at best) 1-2. In short, the Colts have to make up two games on the Texans and one game on the Titans.
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