Win and they’re in: Colts head into Sunday night with playoffs on the line

NASHVILLE (Fort Wayne’s NBC) – An entire season comes to this: The Indianapolis Colts will make the NFL playoffs if — and only if — they defeat the Tennessee Titans Sunday night at Nissan Stadium in Nashville.

For the loser of the game, the off-season begins.

The most important Colts game in years will air on Fort Wayne’s NBC. Pre-game coverage begins at 7 p.m.

The importance of the contest isn’t lost on the players or the coaching staff.

“One of the things I mentioned to the team today is, I said, ‘Hey, guys, this is a playoff game. We’ve been in that mode since we were 1-5, so that’s to our advantage,'” head coach Frank Reich said. “We’ve been playing this kind of football. We’ve been having this kind of mentality, we were forced into it. That was the bad thing, but the good that comes out of it is we had to embrace that mindset and take hold of that mindset.”

It’s a situation that seemed highly unlikely early this season, when the Colts started 1-5 and seemed destined for a top draft pick — not the playoffs.

But a mid-season turnaround has landed the team from Indianapolis (9-6) in the playoff chase.

Quarterback Andrew Luck is a very big reason why.

“We talk about going 1-0 this week, the cycle starts over,” he said. “What happened previously, what happened in previous years, it doesn’t matter, what happened last weekend, it does not matter.”

A win at Tennessee will put the Colts in the post-season for the first time since 2014.

In their previous match-up, back in November, Indianapolis defeated Tennessee 38-10 at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Luck was 23-of-29 through the air for 297 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in that game.

Jonathan Shelley

Jonathan Shelley

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