Photo Credit: Football Maven
NFL Schedules are officially out, and with that comes a faint picture of how the Colts’ season might play out. The Colts head into the 2019 season with one of the best young rosters in the NFL. The O-Line was arguably the best in the league last season, Marlon Mack gives the Colts a legitimate rushing attack, the defense is led by Darius Leonard who is the reigning DROY, Frank Reich is already one of the best coaches in the league, and Andrew Luck is a certified stud. My expectations are sky-high for the Colts this year. I’m excited to see what Chris Ballard does next week in the 2019 NFL Draft, but regardless of what happens, I think we are primed for a great season. Here are my game-by-game predictions of the Colts’ regular season schedule.
Week 1 @ Chargers: Loss
- The Colts have a tough Week 1 matchup on the West Coast playing against the Chargers. The Chargers finished 12-4 last season and won their first round matchup against the Ravens before losing on the road to the Patriots in the second round. The Chargers have almost an identical roster heading into 2019 with the only major changes being the addition of Thomas Davis and the return of Hunter Henry. This matchup will be between two of the top teams in the AFC, but I think the Chargers’ home field advantage will be too much for the Colts to overcome.
Week 2 @ Titans: Loss
- The Colts will likely be road favorites in this game, but with a divisional road matchup and the fact that Mariota probably won’t be hurt by Week 2, it won’t be easy for the Colts. This 0-2 start will scare many Colts fans, but the Colts started 0-2 in the 2014-15 season before finishing 11-5 and winning the AFC South. I expect a similar start with a tough first two matchups.
Week 3 vs Falcons: Win
- The Colts will have their home opener Week 3 vs the Falcons. The Falcons have a talented roster, but they struggled last year and I can’t see them beating the Colts on the road in this one. Colts get their first win of the season.
Week 4 @ Raiders: Win
- Though it’s on the road, the Raiders seem to be a few years away from having a solid team. Antonio Brown will pose matchup issues, but Andrew Luck should be able to pick apart the Raiders’ secondary.
Week 5 @ Chiefs: Loss
- This will be one of the best matchups of the week and arguably the biggest game of the Colts’ season. This rematch of the divisional round of last year’s playoffs will be on Sunday Night in Arrowhead. Though the Colts will be looking for revenge, I don’t the young secondary is good enough yet to stop Mahomes especially in Kansas City. Colts head into the bye week at 2-3.
Week 6 Bye
Week 7 vs Texans: Win
- The last time the Colts played the Texans in Lucas Oil, Frank Reich made a BOLD call going for it on 4th in our own territory during overtime where we failed to convert. Regardless of whether or not that was the right call, hopefully, this one will end differently. The Texans are a very good team, but they can never seem to hold T.Y. to less than 150 yards and now they don’t have Tyrann Mathieu, so things will get even worse. Colts come off the bye with a nice win.
Week 8 vs Broncos: Win
- Colts at home + Joe Flacco = Win
Week 9 @ Steelers: Win
- The Steelers are probably the biggest mystery in the NFL heading into the season with the losses of Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. Although I think they’ll still be a good team, this game is a matchup between an AFC powerhouse of the past and an AFC powerhouse of the future. The Colts will head into Pittsburgh and come away with a statement road win.
Week 10 vs Dolphins: Win
- Right now the Dolphins’ starting QB is Ryan Fitzpatrick, and barring any surprising upgrade at that spot, this will be an effortless win for the Colts.
Week 11 vs Jaguars: Win
- The Jags are another big mystery. They almost won the AFC two seasons ago and still have a great defense, but the real question is whether or not Nick Foles is legit. If Foles is a solid QB1 and Fournette can stay healthy, the Jags are dangerous. Nonetheless, I like the Colts to win this one at home.
Week 12 @ Texans: Loss
- This Thursday Night Football matchup will be another tough road game on the Colts’ schedule. This is certainly a winnable game, but on a short week on the road, the Colts will be at a significant disadvantage. I think the Colts’ five-game win streak ends here.
Week 13 vs Titans: Win
- Odds are Ryan Tannehill will be the starter at this point with Mariota sidelined by injury (or maybe even their 3rd string considering Tannehill’s durability). Plus, the Colts will have an extra long week coming off TNF to prep and rest. Colts win this one.
Week 14 @ Buccs: Win
- As much as I want Bruce Arians to find success in Tampa Bay, that defense still stinks and Jameis Winston is likely on his last chance to prove himself as an NFL QB. Mike Evans is a scary matchup for our sub-par corners, but Luck should be able to put up 35+ points in this one.
Week 15 @ Saints: Loss
- In a world with perfect officiating, this game might be on the road against the defending Super Bowl champs. Regardless, the Saints are one of the best teams in the NFL. With the addition of Jared Cook, Brees now has a legitimate weapon at TE for the first time since Jimmy Graham. The Colts will put up a good fight here, but this is a MNF game in the Superdome. Wins here don’t come easy, and I don’t think the Colts will come away with one in this game.
Week 16 vs Panthers: Win
- It’s pretty safe to assume at this point in the season Cam Newton’s shoulder will be hamburger meat, and even if that’s not the case Andrew Luck will rip the Panthers’ weak secondary to shreds.
Week 17 @ Jaguars: Win
- I think at this point the Jags’ season will be over, and the Colts will be locked in for the playoffs but may be fighting for the AFC South title and/or seeding. This should be a nice win to cap off the regular season.
This should be enough to win the AFC South especially with a 4-2 division record, and it will give the Colts a shot at a first round bye. With this record and a strong young team, the Colts should contend for a Super Bowl this year.