The Colts were on the outside looking in at the playoffs at this time last week, but their positioning looks a lot better after Week 11.
They beat the Jaguars on Sunday while the Texans lost to the Ravens, which led to Indianapolis leapfrogging Houston into first place in the AFC South. They’ll get a chance to solidify that placement on Thursday night when they travel to face the Texans in a game that will also impact the way the Wild Card race shapes up.
Here’s how the overall playoff picture looks this week:
1. Patriots (9-1) It wasn’t the prettiest offensive performance against the Eagles, but the win keeps them clear of the Ravens.
2. Ravens (8-2) The division is firmly in hand and they still have that tiebreaker over the Patriots.
3. Chiefs (7-4) Week 13 against the Raiders could be for first place in the AFC West.
4. Colts (6-4) A win on Thursday would mean a sweep of the Texans and a clear path to the division title.
5. Bills (7-3) The schedule gets tougher after this week’s Broncos visit, but banking another win would leave the Bills in good position.
6. Texans (6-4) Losing Thursday would make for a much murkier playoff outlook in Houston.
OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
7. Raiders (6-4) Extending their winning streak to four games would set up quite the finish in the AFC West.
8. Steelers (5-5) Last Thursday’s loss was a helmet to the face of their playoff hopes.
9. Titans (5-5) With two games against the Texans and one against the Colts, the Titans can still make noise in the AFC South.
10. Browns (4-6) The schedule’s fairly forgiving, but no Myles Garrett will make life difficult for Cleveland.
11. Jaguars (4-6) Losing to the Titans this week will leave the Jaguars with very long postseason odds.
12. Chargers (4-7) Head coach Anthony Lynn said his team needed to win on Monday night, but they failed to do so and winning out might not even help them now.
13. Broncos (3-7) Blowing a 20-point halftime lead in Minnesota effectively snuffed any lingering playoff hopes.
14. Jets (3-7) A two-game winning streak has dialed down the heat without doing much for the Jets’ postseason chances.
15. Dolphins (2-8) With the Browns and Eagles next up on the schedule, the Dolphins can still spoil things for other teams.
16. Bengals (0-10) The Bengals were unofficially eliminated from the playoffs in September, but it didn’t become official until this week.