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NFL playoff picture: Who to root for in Week 15 if you are an Indianapolis Colts fan

Indianapolis controls its destiny heading into Week 15 and are in good position to claim a playoff spot. We go over rooting interests for Colts fans this week.

Gardner Minshew of the Indianapolis Colts drops back to pass in the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium on December 10, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Indianapolis Colts had a golden opportunity to take a step up in the AFC South division and tie the Jacksonville Jaguars with a win in Week 14. Instead, the Colts fell to the Cincinnati Bengals and sit at 7-6, still in control of the 7-seed in the AFC playoff picture. The Colts are one of six teams at 7-6 in the standings but have the tiebreak over four of them — the Texans, Broncos, Bengals and Bills. Here we’ll go over who the Colts need to root for this week. Indy takes on the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday this week.

Saturday result: The Colts came back from a 13-0 deficit to thump the Steelers 30-13. Gardner Minshew threw three touchdown passes to three different players in the win. The Colts will remain in seventh place regardless of Sunday’s results. The Bengals win over the Vikings moves them into sixth place and they hold the head-to-head tiebreaker against the Colts.

Lions vs. Broncos

Result: The Lions crushed the Broncos 42-17 to drop Denver to 7-7 in the playoff race. Denver drop a full game back of the Colts.

We’ll start with another Saturday game in Detroit vs. Denver. The Broncos are one of those teams directly behind the Colts in the standings. Should Indy take care of business vs. the Steelers, it would vault the Colts up to the 6-seed in the AFC. The Broncos are the 9-seed entering Saturday and a loss would help the Colts feel more secure in at least locking up a spot in the postseason. The Lions are 4-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook on the spread.

Vikings vs. Bengals

Result: The Bengals stormed back from a 17-3 deficit to beat the Vikings 27-24 in overtime. Cincinnati climbed ahead of the Colts due to the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Again, not as impactful compared to some other games for Colts fans. But the Bengals taking a loss is another team that would fall further down and out in the AFC playoff picture. Plus, the Vikings and Bengals are the early game on the Saturday slate. If the Bengals and Broncos both lose going into Sunday, the Colts can feel a bit easier as long as they beat the Steelers. The Bengals are 3-point favorites on DKSB but are in a good spot after beating Indy. Minnesota still has major issues at QB and WR Justin Jefferson wasn’t able to finish Week 14 after returning from injured reserve.

Ravens vs. Jaguars

Result: The Ravens beat the Jaguars 23-7. Jacksonville is now in a three-way tie with the Texans and Colts for the AFC South lead, but the Jaguars have beaten the Colts twice this season and hold the tiebreaker, while the Colts hold the tiebreaker over the Texans.

The Ravens beating the Jaguars is perhaps the most important game for the Colts as long as they can win on Sunday. Baltimore is facing Jacksonville at home in a big AFC matchup. The Ravens are still vying to claim the No. 1 seed in the AFC at 10-3, one game ahead of the Dolphins in the standings. A win for the Ravens gets them closer to that goal and the Jaguars have lost two in a row. Plus, QB Trevor Lawrence is playing through an ankle sprain. The Ravens are 3-point favorites on the road on DKSB.

Titans vs. Texans

Result: The Texans beat the Titans in overtime to remain tied with the Colts. Indianapolis has the head-to-head tiebreaker.

The other AFC South teams are in play against each other. The Titans have some new life after completing a comeback win over the Dolphins on MNF in Week 14. The Texans were blown out by Zach Wilson and the Jets on the road in the rain last Sunday. The Texans will be without QB C.J. Stroud. With Stroud out, Case Keenum will start. That puts the Colts in a very good position with Houston at 7-6 and right behind Indy in the standings. Tennessee is actually favored by 3 points on the spread on DraftKings Sportsbook.