This year has been full of ups and downs for Indianapolis. Starting off 1-5 to begin the season, the Colts have managed to pull off a historic season saving comeback. Now, having won 8 of their last 9 games, the Colts control their own fate, as they travel to Tennessee to battle the Titans on Sunday Night Football.
Everything that needed to go right for the Colts in week 16, did! Last week, the Colts needed a win and a bit of help. With the Steelers falling to the Saints 31-28, the Colts got exactly the help they needed, and now face a, “win and you’re in” scenario in week 17. The Philadelphia Eagles also helped out, keeping the Colts’ divisional hopes alive, while beating the Texans 32-30 at Lincoln Financial Field. Should the Texans lose to the Jacksonville Jaguars this week, the Colts could capture the AFC South title and potentially the 3 seed. This result would give Indy a home game in the playoffs, and they would most likely host a 6th seeded Texans team.
So, in week 17, here are the games to watch:
Colts @ Titans: It’s win or go home on Sunday Night Football. A game that was originally slotted for 1pm, was flexed due to both teams battling for at least a 6th seed. The Titans are a bit banged up this week, as quarterback Marcus Mariota and defensive lineman Jurrell Casey suffered injuries in week 16. While Mariota is optimistic that he’ll start in week 17, he is still listed as questionable.
The Colts are arguably the hottest team in the NFL right now, having won 8 of their last 9 games. A week 11 trouncing of the Titans in Indianapolis, gives the Colts a lot of optimism in this road matchup. With a final score of 38-10, it was one of Indy’s more convincing wins on the season. Quarterback Andrew Luck brings a career record of 10-0 against Tennessee, and his last performance against this Titans team was one of his best. Luck finished that game 23 of 29 for 297 yards, 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. He also posted a passer rating of 143.8 (the second highest of his career). The Colts won the game so convincingly, that Luck was able to hand the reigns over to backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett for the final 10 minutes. Will it be another blowout this week, or does Tennessee have a music city miracle up their sleeves?
Houston vs Jacksonville:
Colts fans should be cheering for a Jacksonville team that shut them out just a few weeks ago. Blake Bortles is set to return to the starting lineup after somehow worse quarterback play with Cody Kessler at the helm. With any luck, Bortles will be the good version of himself this weekend, and help keep the Texans from taking AFC South crown. While it is unlikely, given the poor performances of Jacksonville this season, it’s not impossible. The Jaguars have won against the Colts, and managed to beat Tom Brady and the New England Patriots earlier this year. Perhaps Jacksonville create some of the magic that helped them in those wins, to overthrow the Texans in Houston.