Listen Live
Indianapolis Colts v Atlanta Falcons

Source: Todd Kirkland / Getty

INDIANAPOLIS–We control our own destiny. That has been the message from the Indianapolis Colts Head Coach Shane Steichen to his team this week.

They will face the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday. On Wednesday, Steichen said with safety Julian Blackmon out for the rest of the season, it presents an opportunity for other guys to step up.

“Obviously, guys are going to have to step up. Losing Julian (Blackmon) is a big loss. He’s been playing at a high level. But we have full confidence in the guys that are going to step up and go make plays for us,” said Steichen.

Steichen says he’s excited about the opportunity to bounce back at home against the Raiders, but he doesn’t want to put too much pressure on his guys.

“It starts with the weekly preparation. I’ve been saying it all year. It’s like, ‘Hey, what are you guys going to change? Is anything going to change with what’s at line?’ No, if we change what we’re doing now, then we haven’t been doing it right all year. We’ve got to go out and execute, have a great week of preparation and go get it done,” said Steichen.

Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman had to enter the concussion protocol after taking a hit against Pittsburgh. He couldn’t play in the team’s 29-10 loss to Atlanta on Christmas Eve. Steichen said Pittman is in the protocol still, but “progressing well.”

How this season is playing out is bringing back memories of 2021 when the Colts controlled their own destiny and had to beat either the Raiders or the Jacksonville Jaguars to make the postseason. They lost both games and missed the playoffs.

“Setting yourself up to control your own destiny is pretty tough in this league. We’ve done that through the first 15 games. Going into this game and not needing teams to lose is a great thing. Just take what’s yours. That’s the mentality of this team right now,” said Colts center Ryan Kelly on Wednesday.

Colts running back Jonathan Taylor said that experience two years ago is actually helpful.

“You failed so you had the opportunity to learn. Especially with some of the younger guys, you are able to teach them and give them some of the knowledge that you have from two years ago. Hopefully they can take that and learn from it and be all foot on the gas this week,” said Taylor.

The Colts are 8-7. The Raiders are 7-8. Both teams are trying to make the playoffs.  Seven teams from both the AFC and the NFC make the NFL playoffs. The Colts are 7th in the AFC. The Raiders are 11th.

You can hear from the Colts and Steichen below.