The 2023 season was expected to be a rebuilding one for the Indianapolis Colts. They have a first-time head coach Shane Steichen leading the way on the sidelines. They were also turning the team over to a rookie quarterback.
Anthony Richardson, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, was named the team’s starter ahead of the regular season. He showed some glimpses of excellence but was struggling to stay healthy. He had to exit his first two starts of the season with injuries and missed one game with a concussion.
Unfortunately in Week 5 against the Tennessee Titans, he suffered a season-ending injury to his shoulder that required surgery. He has since been replaced by Gardner Minshew, who has helped keep the team afloat and surpass all expectations.
Heading into their Week 11 bye, the Colts are 5-5 and in the thick of the playoff race in the AFC. What are their odds of making the postseason? According to Seth Walder of ESPN, they aren’t very high, but the Colts do have a path to the playoffs for the first time in three years.
“Here’s something that really surprised me: Gardner Minshew ranked eighth in QBR entering Week 10. Obviously, he has had a smaller sample than most starting quarterbacks, but still. Indianapolis ranked 21st in FPI entering Week 10, so it would need quite a few breaks to go its way to sneak back into the playoff conversation,” Walder wrote.
Normally, having more home games left than road games would be a positive thing. But, for the Colts, who have been an anomaly this season, It may not benefit them. They are 4-1 on the road and 1-4 at home.
Getting swept in the season series by the Jacksonville Jaguars certainly makes winning the AFC South a tall task, but they already have one victory in hand over the Texans and Titans. Sweeping those series would go a long way to earning a playoff spot.
Luckily for the Colts, they essentially control their own destiny. The Texans, Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals and Las Vegas Raiders are all teams vying for spots in the AFC playoff bracket as well. If they handle business in those games, their odds of making the postseason will increase exponentially.