If the playoffs ended today, the Indianapolis Colts would be in the postseason while the Buffalo Bills, who are trying to claw their way back in, would be out. In Week 12 on Sunday, the two teams square off in a game that will improve one team's playoff chances.
The Colts had their four-game winning streak snapped in New England by the Patriots last week, while Buffalo used defense and special teams to upend their division rival Miami Dolphins at home last Thursday night, 19-14.
Meet the Indianapolis Colts
Despite getting blown out by the Patriots, 59-24, in Week 11, Indianapolis, at 6-4 overall, remains in the AFC's fifth playoff spot. With rookie quarterback Andrew Luck under center, the Colts have the league's eighth-best passing attack, averaging 283.0 yards per game. Luck has thrown for 2,965 yards, 12 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
Prior to New England's 59-point outburst a week ago, the Indianapolis defense had not allowed more than 20 points since Week 5 in a 30-27 win over the Green Bay Packers.
Meet the Buffalo Bills
The Bills, on the other hand, snapped a three-game losing skid with the victory over Miami in Week 11. Those previous three losses came against the likes of the Patriots, Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans.
At 4-6, Buffalo is tied with four other AFC teams in the playoff hunt. After the Colts, they will have three consecutive games at home, as they will host the Jacksonville Jaguars, St. Louis Rams and Seattle Seahawks in the coming weeks.
Local Takes: Colts
Brad Wells from Stampede Blue says the Colts' loss to the Patriots last week isn't cause for alarm:
"The point here is that even with the loss, the Colts are still in great position to make the post-season. Considering what everyone's expectations were for this team in 2012, and taking into account the absence of Chuck Pagano, that is pretty friggin' amazing."
Local Takes: Bills
Matt Warren from Buffalo Rumblings thinks the Bills are still squarely in the AFC playoff picture:
"At 4-6, the Bills are in a scrum with four other teams: they own a tiebreaker over the Miami Dolphins, but sit behind the San Diego Chargers, Tennessee Titans and New York Jets, having lost to the latter two of those teams. Buffalo's 3-5 AFC record isn't doing them any favors, either, but their upcoming schedule is markedly easier than the other four 4-6 clubs'."
Follow the Fun
Add these fine follows to your Twitter timeline:
"What's that song I like? We Will Rock You! That's what the 49ers are doing now" -Jon Gruden, poet— Brad Wells (BBS) (@StampedeBlue) November 20, 2012
@mchappell51 - Mike Chappell, Colts beat writer
Houston wraps up playoff spot with win Thurs. at Detroit and a few other variables.Running away with AFC South...could be good for #colts— Mike Chappell (@mchappell51) November 20, 2012
@ByTimGraham - Tim Graham, writer for the Buffalo News.
Teams have struggled after playing on Thursday nights bit.ly/T9cn7C— Tim Graham (@ByTimGraham) November 20, 2012
Stampede Blue is asking Colts fans not to freak out after a five touchdown blowout loss to the Patriots. A home game, where Andrew Luck excels, should get them right, and keep Indy in playoff contention.
The pick: 24-17, Colts
The Colts opened the week as 3½-point favorites, according to OddsShark, but the line has since moved to favoring Indianapolis by an even three points. The over/under point total for the contest was 52 at the beginning of the week, but now sits at 51.
Indianapolis travels to Detroit to take on the Lions on Sunday afternoon of Week 13. Meanwhile, the Bills return home to host the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 13.