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INDIANAPOLIS – With the Baltimore Ravens in the rearview mirror and the Tennessee Titans dead ahead, there’s simply no denying the significance of the moment for the Indianapolis Colts.

The AFC promises to give us a congested, ever-changing playoff picture over the next 10 weeks. Case in point: the Colts were the conference’s No. 6 seed prior to Sunday, but are No. 9 in the aftermath of the 24-10 loss to the Ravens. Only the top-7 are given postseason life.

In one day, out the next.

And now an 18-day stretch during which the Colts’ playoff aspirations might very well be determined: Thursday night against the Titans in Nashville followed by meetings at Lucas Oil Stadium with the Green Bay Packers (Nov. 22) and a rematch with Tennessee (Nov. 29).

Did somebody mention Thursday night is a must-win scenario for the Colts?

Marv Levy, the long-time Buffalo Bills coach and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, never was a fan when a reporter’s questioning wandered into the “must-win’’ territory.

“This is not a must-win,’’ he said prior to one of the Bills’ four Super Bowl appearances. “World War II was a must-win.’’

Levy always was a master at providing perspective.

Even so, let’s not ignore the obvious: starting Thursday, the Colts are treading into the you’d-sure-as-heck-better-win neighborhood.

And Frank Reich, a staunch advocate of the 1-0 approach, knows it.

“It’s a big game,’’ he said Monday of the showdown with Tennessee. “But I think it’s still early to say, ‘Hey, this is an all-or-nothing kind of game.’ There’s no doubt it’s a huge game.’’

The loss to Baltimore dropped the Colts to 5-3 while the Titans’ 24-17 win over Chicago left them alone atop the AFC South at 6-2.

This isn’t complicated. The next three games could determine whether Tennessee places a chokehold on the division, or whether the Colts can remain a factor. While Indy has a meeting with the 6-2 Packers sandwiched between the Titans, Tennessee is at 6-2 Baltimore Nov. 22.

But before the Colts can be considered a viable playoff contender, they first must prove they belong in the discussion. It’s impossible not to notice the combined record of the five teams they’ve beaten is 13-27-1. Five of the next seven games are against teams with a winning record, including a road test at 8-0 Pittsburgh.

“We know (the Titans are) another good football team, a team that knows how to win games,’’ Reich said. “That’s what we need to do. We need to prove that we can win these kind of games against tough teams.

“I know we have the talent and the players to do it. We proved that yesterday in many ways. We just have to take the final step of closing these kind of games out against the kind of teams you see in the playoffs, and I believe we have those players and coaches to do that.

“But time will tell. We’ll find out over the course of the season.’’

The Colts are in search of their first AFC South title since 2014. The Titans last won the division in ’08.

Philip Rivers considered the loss to Baltimore a missed opportunity, but nothing more. His confidence hadn’t wavered.

“I drove out of there yesterday heading home not dejected one bit,’’ he said. “I was actually even more fired up about this team and what we’re capable of. Sick and aggravated about how we didn’t finish, but I didn’t leave there with not one ounce of less confidence as when we pulled in there.’’

You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.

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