INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Colts will take a 7-4 record and a four-game winning streak into this week’s road game at Cleveland.
After registering a last-second 23-20 victory at San Diego Sunday night, the Colts are now the leading contender for an AFC wild card bid. Indianapolis has the tiebreakers in their favor with wins already secured over Baltimore (31-3) and New England (18-15), who have identical won-loss marks.
“You want to be playing your best football at this time of year. I think we are. We’ve played a lot of AFC [playoff] contenders. We came up a little bit short at Tennessee [losing 31-21], but we’ve beaten everybody else,” Colts coach Tony Dungy said after the Chargers’ game.
“We’ve given ourselves now the tiebreakers over everybody who is close to us now, which is great. San Diego is a good football team. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if they win their division and we see them again somewhere down the line.”
After getting the season off to a 3-4 record, Indianapolis appears to have found its footing and could be primed to make a strong run the rest of the way.
“When you look at who’ve we played, we played Tennessee, New England, Pittsburgh. Tough teams. We’ve played two tough places on the road. We’re doing the things that you have to do,” Dungy said.
“We’re hanging in there and getting ourselves a chance in the fourth quarter. I like where we are. We’ve improved every week. We just have to keep battling and keep going and get ready to go until December.”
But Cleveland (4-7) comes first this week.
“We’ll enjoy [the San Diego win]. But going to Cleveland [this week], we’ve put ourselves in such a hole to start the season we really just can’t afford to give one back. Every week is kind of that do-or-die situation and you don’t want to give one back to the field,” quarterback Peyton Manning said.