For either team to keep the glint of their playoff hopes alive a win is vital. Teams that start 1-2 have made the playoffs at a 24.5 percent rate. It's not great, but is worlds better than 0-3 teams, which have made the playoffs just 3 out of 132 times since 1990 (2.3 percent).
"Can't go down 0-3. I don't think we've been down 0-3 since I've been here. So, it can't happen, it won't happen," Hilton said.
Hilton's memory is correct; he's never been part of a 0-3 team. The last time the Colts started 0-3 was 2011, when they finished 2-14 and secured the No. 1 overall pick.
Indy does have a lot of recent experience starting 0-2, however. The Colts have dropped their first two games for the fourth straight season. The previous three times they won the third tilt.
This time around, the Colts won't be able to call on Andrew Luck to save them -- the QB led come-from-behind victories the past two times. With Luck still nursing a shoulder injury, Jacoby Brissett will make his second start of the season against a Cleveland squad looking to avoid 0-3 themselves.
"We all understand the magnitude of it and the urgency," coach Chuck Pagano said of the matchup. "They need a win, and we need a win. We'll go back to work on Wednesday and prepare just like we did, but just try to do it better and clean up the things we need to clean up. It's a big week."
The loser of Sunday's tilt will be in a hole it's unlikely to climb out of in 2017. For a coach like Pagano clinging to his job, seeing the season flushed before the quarter mark could spell the end of his run.