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The Indianapolis Colts had a chance to clinch a playoff berth a week early — and blew it.
That sort of seems like the Colts way ever since Peyton Manning has left. They are always pretty good, but hardly ever great. And barely ever all that reliable.
Now, they should be able to still get in. All they need to do is beat the lousy Jacksonville Jaguars at home on Sunday. The Jaguars are fighting for the No. 1 overall draft pick and currently hold it. So they don’t even really want to win.
But Colts coach Frank Reich implied none of that matters. For the Colts, the playoffs have already begun, Reich insisted.
“We’re expecting Jacksonville’s best,” he told reporters. “We know we’ve struggled down there, and this team [Jacksonville] takes a lot of pride in playing us the way they play us.”
The Colts could have guaranteed themselves a spot if they had only beaten the Las Vegas Raiders. Instead, QB Carson Wentz was inconsistent and Indianapolis dropped a 23-20 decision.
But not all this news is bad news. After all, the Colts only need to defeat an opponent that really has no reason to win to make the playoffs for the third time in Reich’s four years.
“The good news for us as a team and for Colts Nation is everything’s still in front of us,’’ Reich said. “Everything we want is still in front of us, it really is.’’