The Indianapolis Colts have been one of the best stories of the NFL this season, yet they've flown largely under the radar. The sit at 9-4, holding on to the last wildcard slot of the AFC bracket, and their conference record gives them a leg up in the tie-breaking process should that become a necessity. With so much going for them, they're still not a lock for a wildcard spot just yet.
The biggest hurdle facing Indianapolis is the AFC South division leader, the Houston Texans. The Colts play the Texans twice in their last three games, and considering that the Colts have overachieved to this point, it seems unlikely they'll be able to keep pace with the Texans. The Texans are also fighting for the top seed in the playoffs, meaning they'll probably be playing their starters for their week 17 matchup with the Colts.
With two likely losses coming up, the Colts' season could hinge on beating the worst team in the league in week 16, the Kansas City Chiefs. Despite putting together a truly awful season, the Chiefs would love nothing more than to play the spoiler role to a team heading towards the postseason.
The Colts enter this week's slate of games with a two game lead over the AFC North duo of the Bengals and the Steelers. The Bengals have already won their matchup for the weekend, cutting the Colts' lead over them to just a game and a half, which could shrink to just a game if they lose against the Texans.
The Colts should be able to sneak into the playoffs regardless of a tough closing schedule, but they haven't made it to the end of the line just yet. An upset win over the Texans would give them the one win they need to get in, and this is the perfect way to test rookie quarterback Andrew Luck's ability to play well in clutch situations.