The Colts stand at 6-4, with losses to the Patriots, Steelers, Broncos and Eagles. The offense has been clicking well for the most part and the defense has been either very good or very bad (inconsistent... what else is new?). The Colts will have some interesting matchups over the next few weeks, with some tough road games and some relatively easy home games. Let's take a look into each game.
Week 12 vs Jacksonville Jaguars
This should be their easiest game. The Jaguars have been amongst the worst teams in the NFL, have one win all season and a rookie quarterback at the helm. The Colts handily beat them by 27 points in their first matchup (Week 3) and put up 44 points against them in Jacksonville. Their defense is so weak that even if the Jaguars offense has a good day, they won't be able to compete with Andrew Luck and the Colts' offense. This should be an easy win for the Colts, and also a nice comeback victory after a dismal performance against the Patriots.
Odds of Winning: 95%
Prediction: Colts 38 vs Jaguars 13
Week 13 vs Washington Redskins
This is another easy, very winnable matchup at home. The Redskins are completely out of sorts on both sides of the ball (especially on offense). However, what separates them from the Jaguars is that they have a team that performs well in spurts and a solid running game with Alfred Morris. The Colts were destroyed by the Patriots on the ground and if Morris has a very good day, this could be closer than we imagine. Nevertheless, the Redskins are a weak team with three wins on the season, so the Colts should have no problem taking care of this lowly Redskins team.
Odds of Winning: 80%
Prediction: Colts 31 vs Redskins 17
Week 14 at Cleveland Browns
Before the season, I saw this game as a potential trap game and I still see it as a trap game. Granted, the Browns are much better than expected, and they will have Josh Gordon at one receiver spot. This game will be a tough one on the road and the Colts have a history of close games against Cleveland in Cleveland. The Colts should be favored to win this game, but this should be a close one and the Colts will need to have few mistakes if they expect to win.
Odds of Winning: 60%
Prediction: Colts 20 vs Browns 16
Week 15 vs Houston Texans
This is always a great matchup! The Colts nearly had their giant lead unravel in Week 6 against the Texans, but that game was in Houston. Also, they made a bunch of mental errors on offense in the 2nd half, and the Texans/JJ Watt capitalized and scored points on those mistakes. This game is in Indianapolis and the Colts generally perform well against Houston when in Indianapolis. The Texans have a lot of uncertainty on their offense. Ryan Mallett is the current quarterback and who knows if he'll still be the guy come this time. Arian Foster is having health issues as well. Nevertheless, they went to Cleveland with these concerns and handily beat the Browns. This won't be easy, but the Colts MUST win if they intend on winning the division. The division crown could come down to this game.
Odds of Winning: 70%
Prediction: Colts 27 vs Texans 17
Week 16 at Dallas Cowboys
This game will be the toughest of their remaining games and is amongst the toughest games they'll play all season. The Cowboys have performing extremely well on both sides of the ball this season and Demarco Murray is completely tearing up the NFL. On top of Murray, their offense consists of Tony Romo, Dez Bryant and an oustanding offensive line. This will be an extremely tough test for the defense, perhaps their toughest test of the season. The offense will have its challenges as well. The Cowboys can get to the quarterback and they can create turnovers. The Cowboys will definitely be favored (barring any injuries), but let's remember that this game is in December and we all know how the Cowboys are in December.
Odds of Winning: 50%
Prediction: Cowboys 31 vs Colts 20
Week 17 at Tennessee Titans
The Tennessee game isn't the easiest as the Colts will be on the road. We saw what happened to the Steelers on Monday night. They barely squeezed out the win. Zach Mettebenger (assuming he'll be the starter) will have 5 more games of experience under his belt and should be a better overall quarterback. Their offense continues to improve, but nevertheless, they only have two wins and they manage to shoot themselves in the foot every week. This won't be the blowout it was in Week 4, but this should be a bit tougher for the Colts.
Odds of Winning: 80%
Prediction: Colts 31 vs Titans 23
Predictions & What to Expect
Now that we've looked at each game, what can we expect? It breaks down like this. The Colts have three matchups against weak opponents (Jaguars, Redskins and Titans), two matchups against middle of the pack opponents (Browns and Texans), and one matchup against a top tier team (Cowboys). The Colts will win four of these games, and most likely get one more. Don't expect them to win out. If they win five more games, that puts them at that 11-5 record for the third straight season, which shows consistency (even though this team is far from consistent on a game to game basis). The Colts should be getting Arthur Jones back from injury this week against the Jaguars, and Dwayne Allen should return this week or the week after. The Colts haven't beaten an elite/top tier team this year, and unless they beat the Cowboys, that won't change.
The remaining schedule isn't difficult but it isn't a walk in the park either, which could benefit them come playoff time (assuming they make it). Let's see what happens.