Indianapolis Colts are singing “Stayin’ Alive” these days
By Julie Voigt
Special to Pro Football Guru
Last Sunday, the Indianapolis Colts last weekend cooled off the hottest team in the NFL. Just one week after a heartbreaking and devastating 6-0 loss to the Jaguars in Jacksonville, Frank Reich’s club rose to the occasion and snapped the Texans’ nine-game winning streak at Houston via a 24-21 score. And one season after finishing 4-12, the Colts are smack in the middle of the AFC playoff hunt with basically three weeks to play.
On Sunday, Indianapolis will host the Dallas Cowboys at Lucas Oil Stadium. Currently, the Cowboys have won their last five games and are sitting atop the NFC East.
Hmmm…So the Colts will take on a team from the Lone Star State that currently owns the longest-active winning streak in the NFL? Sounds familiar.
Last week, the Cowboys defeated the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, 29-23, in overtime at Arlington. But this week, Jason Garrett’s club will have to face off against a tough Colts’ defense that includes defensive end Denico Autry (the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his play vs. the Texans) and sensational rookie linebacker Darius Leonard.
Dallas will also have to try and stop Andrew Luck and company. And Reich is hoping that center Ryan Kelly (who returned to practice in a limited role this week) is good to go as a knee injury has sidelined for the past few games. The offensive line will have to deal with another setback as right guard Mark Glowinski is hobbled as well. Luckily, Joe Haeg will be available to fill in alongside Evan Boehm. And the Colts will also benefit from the expected return of tight end Mo Alie-Cox.
Another key player that has not practiced all week is wide receiver T.Y. Hilton due to a possible ankle injury. But last week was the same issue, and he was able to come up big at Houston.
As for the playoff picture, the 7-6 Colts are currently in the mix with three other teams that own the same record – the Baltimore Ravens, Miami Dolphins and Tennessee Titans. After this clash with the Cowboys, Reich’s club will take on the New York Giants at home and then conclude the season vs. the Titans at Nashville. And keep in mind that the Texans haven’t yet wrapped up the AFC South. Houston, Indianapolis and Tennessee all own 3-2 divisional records.
The postseason is a very real possibility. But first, the Colts need to take care of the Cowboys.