(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
The NFL has released the regular season schedule for 2012, and already the "Peyton Manning Effect" is in place. The Manning-less Colts have just one primetime game scheduled on their docket. Meanwhile, the Broncos (who signed Manning this offseason) have five primetime games scheduled, including the first Sunday Night football game at 8:20 PM ET against the Steelers.
The Colts will open Week One against the Chicago Bears at Solider Field. This game will likely be the debut of Andrew Luck as the Colts new franchise quarterback. The Colts home opener will be Week Two against the Minnesota Vikings. Indy begins divisional play Week Three at home against the Jaguars, who swept the Colts for the first time in division play last season.
Indy's bye week is early, landing on Week Four.
Week One: Colts At Bears, Sunday 1:00 PM ET
Week Two: Vikings At Colts, Sunday 1:00 PM ET
Week Three: Jaguars At Colts, Sunday 1:00 PM ET
Week Five: Packers At Colts, Sunday 1:00 PM ET
Week Six: Colts At Jets, Sunday 1:00 PM ET
Week Seven: Browns At Colts, Sunday 1:00 PM ET
Week Eight: Colts At Titans, Sunday 1:00 PM ET
Week Nine: Dolphins At Colts, Sunday 1:00 PM ET
Week Ten: Jaguars At Colts, Thursday 8:20 PM ET
Week Eleven: Colts At Patriots, Sunday 1:00 PM ET
Week Twelve: Bills At Colts, Sunday 1:00 PM ET
Week Thirteen: Colts At Lions, Sunday 1:00 PM ET
Week Fourteen: Titans At Colts, Sunday 1:00 PM ET
Week Fifteen: Colts At Texans, Sunday 1:00 PM ET
Week Sixteen: Colts At Chiefs, Sunday 1:00 PM ET
Week Seventeen: Texans At Colts, Sunday 1:00 PM ET
It's interesting that, yet again, the Colts will face the Patriots in the regular season play. Even though it's been over ten years since these teams played in the same division (the old AFC East), it seems they always play each other late in the season each and every year.
Playing the Texans twice in the span of three weeks to close out the regular season should be interesting.