Colts playoffs situation: What they need to do to clinch, likely seed, possible opponents

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The Colts' playoff scenarios are clear:

► Win at Jacksonville (2-14) — where the Colts haven't won since 2014 — and they're in.

► Lose and they can still make it if the L.A. Chargers, Pittsburgh and New England also lose. Based on win probabilities using the spread, there is a 7.7% chance that happens.

(One caveat, these odds are based on Buffalo having a 98.1% chance to beat the Jets as a 16-point favorite. That seems high for a team that lost to Jacksonville so you can nudge the Patriots up a bit and Bills down a bit if you'd like. Any shift in the spreads will change these percentages.)

More: Wacky NFL playoffs scenario: If Colts lose to Jaguars, Chargers and Raiders might want to tie

More: Colts clinch a playoff berth with a victory over Jacksonville

The Colts are favored to be the sixth seed in the AFC Playoffs.
The Colts are favored to be the sixth seed in the AFC Playoffs.

Where will the Colts be seeded in the playoffs?

If the Colts make it following a loss, they're the seventh seed.

If the Colts win, they're most likely the sixth seed. I've got all the scenarios listed below but here are their odds for each seed using win probabilities based on spreads:

► Fifth: 17.1%

► Sixth: 51.1%

► Seventh: 27.3%

Who will the Colts play in the playoffs?

I have 24 scenarios listed for the top four seeds listed below (God help you if you want to look at them). Again using win probabilities based on the spread, here are the Colts odds for each possible outcome:

► Buffalo: 40.5%

► Cincinnati: 26.0%

► Kansas City: 22.8%

► Tennessee: 5.6%

► No playoffs: 4.5%

► New England: .6%

What are the scenarios for the Colts playoff seeding?

Here are the scenarios with the Colts winning:

► If New England, Buffalo and L.A. Chargers win: 39.4%

5. New England 11-6

6. Indianapolis 10-7

7. L.A. Chargers 10-7

► If New England, Buffalo and Las Vegas win: 26.9%

5. New England 11-6

6. Las Vegas 10-7

7. Indianapolis 10-7

► If L.A. Chargers win, New England loses: 16.4%

5. Indianapolis 10-7

6. New England 10-7

7. L.A. Chargers 10-7

► If Las Vegas wins, New England loses: 11.2%

5. Las Vegas 10-7

6. Indianapolis 10-7

7. New England 10-7

► If New England and the L.A. Chargers win, Buffalo loses: .8%

5. Indianapolis 10-7

6. L.A. Chargers 10-7

7. Buffalo 10-7

► If New England and Las Vegas win, Buffalo loses: .5%

5. Las Vegas 10-7

6. Indianapolis 10-7

7. Buffalo 10-7

Las Vegas (1.7%), Pittsburgh (1.6%) and Baltimore (.8%) could make the playoffs as a seventh seed with a Colts' loss. A Colts loss and a Chargers-Raiders tie put both teams in but I don't want to guess the odds of a tie.

What are all the scenarios for the top four seeds in the AFC playoffs?

Here are the 12 possible outcomes for the top four seeds with the tiebreaker in play:

► Tennessee, Buffalo win, Cincinnati loses: 58.0%

1. Tennessee 12-5: head to head

2. Kansas City 12-5

3. Buffalo 11-6

4. Cincinnati 10-7

► Tennessee, Cincinnati and Buffalo win: 24.1%

1. Tennessee 12-5: head to head

2. Kansas City 12-5

3. Cincinnati 11-6: conference record

4. Buffalo 11-6

► Buffalo wins, Tennessee, Cincinnati lose: 11.4%

Kansas City 12-5

Tennessee 11-6: head to head

Buffalo 11-6

Cincinnati, 10-7

► Cincinnati, Buffalo win, Tennessee loses: 4.7%

1. Kansas City 12-5

2. Cincinnati, 11-6: conference record

3. Tennessee 11-6: head to head

4. Buffalo 11-6

► Tennessee, New England win, Buffalo and Cincinnati lose: .8%

1. Tennessee 12-5: head to head

2. Kansas City 12-5

3. New England 11-6

4. Cincinnati 10-7

► Tennessee wins, Cincinnati, Buffalo, New England lose: .3%

1. Tennessee 12-5: head to head

2. Kansas City 12-5: head to head

3. Cincinnati 10-7: conference record

4. Buffalo 10-7

► Tennessee, New England and Cincinnati win, Buffalo loses: .3%

1. Tennessee 12-5: head to head

2. Kansas City 12-5

3. New England 11-6: common games

4. Cincinnati 11-6

► New England wins, Tennessee, Cincinnati and Buffalo lose: .2%

Kansas City 12-5

New England 11-6: head to head

Tennessee 11-6

Cincinnati, 10-7

► Tennessee and Cincinnati win, Buffalo and New England lose: .1%

1. Tennessee 12-5: head to head

2. Kansas City 12-5

3. Cincinnati 11-6

4. Buffalo 10-7

► New England, Cincinnati win, Buffalo, Tennessee lose: .06%

Kansas City 12-5, 7-5

New England 11-6, 9-3: Common games

Cincinnati, 11-6, 9-3 Conference games

Tennessee 11-6, 7-5

► Tennessee, Cincinnati, Buffalo and New England lose: .06%

Kansas City 12-5

Tennessee 11-6

Cincinnati, 10-7: conference games

Buffalo 10-7

►Cincinnati wins, Tennessee, Buffalo and New England lose: .03%

1. Kansas City 12-5

2. Cincinnati, 11-6: conference record

3. Tennessee 11-6

4. Buffalo 10-7

Contact IndyStar Deputy Sports Editor Nat Newell at (317) 444-6182 or nat.newell@indystar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NatJNewell.

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Colts playoffs: How Colts clinch, Colts seed, Colts playoff opponent