The Indianapolis Colts puked all over themselves with their season on the line Sunday, losing out on what seemed to be an easily attainable playoff berth as the Jacksonville Jaguars earned a convincing Week 18 victory by a 26-11 verdict.
The Colts entered Week 17 (not 18) needing one win over their final two games to earn a playoff berth. It followed a streak in which the Colts had won six of their last seven games including victories over playoff teams like the Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots and Arizona Cardinals.
The Colts had a 80% chance to make the playoffs after their win over the Patriots. They were the No. 5 seed as of Dec. 19.
Indianapolis, following that stretch, had the advantage of going up against two teams with interim head coaches in the Las Vegas Raiders (Week 17) and Jaguars. The Raiders entered that contest one game above .500 while the Jags were 2-14 entering the contest. Somehow, head coach Frank Reich, who was in the running for Coach of the Year at that time, and the Colts lost both games.
Sunday’s loss coupled by an overtime win by the Pittsburgh Steelers knocked Indianapolis out of the playoff picture. It’s even more stunning given the fact the Jaguars maintained the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft with their third win of the season. Fans were in the stands in Jacksonville dressed as clowns to show their frustrations with the Jaguars organization. And that is the organization that knocked the Colts out of the postseason. Unreal.
Additionally, Jacksonville was coming off a Week 17 loss to the Patriots in which they lost 50-10. Indianapolis had defeated the Patriots in Week 15.
The Athletic’s Colts reporter Zak Keefer said he could not think of a loss worse than the one that took place Sunday. Keefer has covered the team for what’s going on a decade.
The Colts now haven’t beat the Jaguars in Jacksonville since 2014. Jacksonville has one winning season during that time with an overall record of 32-81. It’s almost unfathomable how the Jags give the Colts such a hard time every time they play.
Indianapolis finished the season 9-8.