Indianapolis Colts schedule analysis

April, 23, 2014
Apr 23
9:18
PM ET
NFC: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South Predictions

Breakdown: Could you ask for a better season opener for the Colts, Andrew Luck vs. Peyton Manning Part II in a nationally televised game on Sept. 7? I didn’t think so. The Colts have not won a road opener since 2006. They happened to win the Super Bowl that same season with Manning under center. Back-to-back 11-win seasons and Luck’s emergence has allowed them to appear in prime time five times, including playing their home opener in Week 2 on "Monday Night Football" against the Philadelphia Eagles, next season. Indianapolis’ other three prime-time games are at Houston on Oct. 9, at the New York Giants on Nov. 3 and they come out of their bye week at home against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots on Nov. 16.

Complaint department: The schedule makers didn’t do the Colts any favors when they put them in the position to have a short turnaround on their Thursday night game. They host the Baltimore Ravens on Oct. 5, then go on the road to face the Texans on Oct. 9. The Colts could have at least had a home game if they weren’t going to have a bye week before playing on Thursday night. Luck vs. Robert Griffin III with a 1 p.m. game on Nov. 30? You would have thought that would have at least been a 4:25 p.m. game since it’s the first time the first two players chosen in the 2012 draft are facing each other. The Colts end their season with back-to-back road games at Dallas and Tennessee.

Reunion games: Something tells me that linebacker D'Qwell Jackson, defensive lineman Arthur Jones and receiver Hakeem Nicks looked at their season-opening opponent then shifted their focus to other games on the schedule. Jackson will face his former team, the Cleveland Browns, in Week 14. Jones goes up against the Ravens in Week 5 and Nicks will have his shot at getting back at the Giants in Week 9. Mike McGlynn, who should have been the Colts' starting center last season, comes back to Lucas Oil Stadium with the Redskins on Nov. 30.

Strength of schedule: 32nd, .430 | Vegas over/under : 9

Colts Regular-Season Schedule (All times Eastern)
Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 7, at Denver, 8:30 p.m.
Week 2: Monday, Sept. 15, Philadelphia, 8:30 p.m.
Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 21, at Jacksonville, 1 p.m.
Week 4: Sunday, Sept. 28, Tennessee, 1 p.m.
Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 5, Baltimore, 1 p.m.
Week 6: Thursday, Oct. 9, at Houston, 8:25 p.m.
Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 19, Cincinnati, 1 p.m.
Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 26, at Pittsburgh, 4:25 p.m.
Week 9: Monday, Nov. 3, at NY Giants, 8:30 p.m.
Week 10: BYE
Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 16, New England, 8:30 p.m.
Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 23, Jacksonville, 1 p.m.
Week 13: Sunday, Nov. 30, Washington, 1 p.m.
Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 7, at Cleveland, 1 p.m.
Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 14, Houston, 1 p.m.
Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 21, at Dallas, 4:25 p.m.
Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 28, at Tennessee, 1 p.m.

Mike Wells

ESPN Indianapolis Colts reporter

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