The Colts had a chance to clinch a playoff berth with a victory over the Raiders on Sunday but couldn’t get it done.
Now the way to guarantee their spot in the playoffs is by beating the Jaguars in Jacksonville in Week 18.
On paper, that shouldn’t be a problem. The Jaguars are 2-14 and just got blown out by the Patriots 50-10.
But the Colts haven’t defeated their division rival in Jacksonville since 2014. Even last year, the Jaguars’ lone victory came over Indianapolis in the Week One matchup at TIAA Bank Field.
So head coach Frank Reich and the Colts aren’t taking the Jaguars lightly this week.
“The playoffs start for us this week,” Reich said Monday, via Zak Keefer of TheAthletic.com. “We’re expecting Jacksonville’s best. We know we’ve struggled down there, and this team [Jacksonville] takes a lot of pride in playing us the way they play us.”
After starting the season 1-4, the Colts have a chance to finish 10-7. If they do, they’ll be back in the postseason for the third time in Reich’s four seasons.