a win this week could bring two home
written by Stephen Conway
Coming off a last second victory over the
tenacious Browns, the Colts hope to prove this week that they have learned from last
week's mistakes. The team certainly knows that a repeat performance of last week's effort
will result in a loss to a more seasoned and more talented Buffalo team.
And, unlike the Bills, who cannot improve their playoff position, the Colts have added
incentive to finish the season with their fourteenth victory. With a victory, the Colts
could clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs. In order for this to happen,
however, the Jacksonville Jaguars must lose. If Jacksonville wins, a more complicated
scenario could still result in the Colts gaining the home field advantage. If the Colts
and Jaguars finish the season with identical records, several tiebreakers are used to
determine home field. Because the two teams are tied through the first three such
tiebreaks, the fourth tiebreak (net points in conference games) will be the decisive one.
The Jaguars possess a 14 point advantage (Jags at +81, Colts at +67). Confused? Put
simply, if the Colts can win big against Buffalo, it is stil possible they could wrest
home field from the Jaguars.
Scoreboard watching is for fans, though. The Colts will look for a win any way they
can get it on the frozen wind-swept field of Rich Stadium. Even with backup Rob Johnson
starting to rest Doug Flutie for the playoffs, defeating the Bills will be a tough task.
Their defense isranked first in the league and is stacked with stalwart all-pros and
future Hall of Famer Bruce Smith. Their offense is balanced and opportunistic. It will
require the kind of effort the team has put forth in clutch games time and again this
season. There are no handouts in this league. If the Colts are going to win, they are
going to have to go out and earn it.
Breakdowns of the key matchups on offense, defense, and special teams.
Defense is the key to this game. The
Colts defense must create chaos for the Bills' offense early and often. By limiting the
Bills' running game, the Colts can prevent Rob Johnson from getting comfortable in the
pocket. While our explosive offense may have its hands full running up the score, I think
we have too many weapons and too balanced an attack for the Bills to keep us out of the
end zone. If the defense can keep the game close, it will put added pressure on the Bills
to stop us every time. Look for a close, low scoring affair with the Colts emerging
victorious. Let's just hope Cincinnati can do us a favor by beating Jacksonville!
Score: Colts 14 Bills 10
when: 1:00 EST