by Chris Burke
At one point, Indianapolis appeared to be on the brink of playoff elimination. Sitting 3-4 after back-to-back losses, facing a game at Pittsburgh preceded by a visit from New England, the Colts faced a legit shot of being 3-6 and just about dead.
Four weeks later, that is no longer the case. Indianapolis held off New England in Week 9, then stole a win in Pittsburgh the next week. The Colts then added tight wins over Houston and at San Diego. Suddenly, Peyton's posse is 7-4 and a
virtual lock to make the postseason.
With a bunch of teams either 6-5 or 7-4 in the AFC, that seems a bold statement - but Indianapolis in Cleveland this week, then hosts Cincinnati and Detroit. An easier three-game stretch, you will not find.
That trip into the Dawg Pound is a potential trap. If the Colts survive Cleveland, though, they'll be 10-4 and on a seven-game win streak when they visit Jacksonville in Week 16.