The Indianapolis Colts are one win away from another AFC South title, as their 31-26 win over the Raiders keeps them in the division driver’s seat heading into Week 17.
So for the season finale, it’s simple: If the Colts win or tie at home against the Titans next week (or if the Jaguars lose or tie at Houston), Indianapolis wins the division.
For the Colts, today’s win wasn’t easy, just as this season hasn’t been easy. As most Colts opponents have this year, the Raiders won the special teams battle: Jacoby Ford returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown for the Raiders, and Sebastian Janikowski had field goals of 59, 38, 54 and 45 yards.
Peyton Manning struggled for much of the game, throwing two interceptions and completing just 16 of 30 passes for 179 yards. But Manning threw three interceptions, and he sealed the win with one of the best runs of his NFL career, a 27-yarder on which he had a clear path to the end zone but decided to slide, making a strategically smart play that surely angered many of his fantasy owners.
The AFC South couldn’t be won or lost this week, as the Jaguars could still win the division if they win and the Colts lose in Week 17. But the Colts are in command, and looking ready to make the playoffs for the ninth straight year.