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Colts' 2016 opponents determined

The Colts' 2016 opponents have been determined.

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The 2016 NFL schedule will not be announced until this spring, but the opponents for each team next year are nearly finalized.

For the Indianapolis Colts, they will face their three AFC South rivals twice like normal, playing one at home and one away against each (except for next year's game "at" the Jaguars will be played in London).  The game in London is the only one that is currently locked in on the schedule, as that game will take place on October 2, 2016 in week four.  The Colts will also face the AFC West and NFC North divisions, accounting for eight games.  The Colts will then play one game against an AFC North team and one game against an AFC East team, with the team being the one who finishes in the same place as the Colts do in the AFC South.

So, because the Colts are very likely to finish in second place in the AFC South, they will play the second place finisher in both the AFC North and the AFC East, and because those two division champions have already been decided, the second place team in each has also been decided.  That means that the Colts would face the Pittsburgh Steelers (second place in the AFC North) and the New York Jets (second place in the AFC East) next year to complete their 16 opponents.

Here's a handy chart of the Colts' 2016 opponents:

Colts' 2016 Opponents
Houston Texans Houston Texans
Tennessee Titans Tennessee Titans
Jacksonville Jaguars Jacksonville Jaguars*
Kansas City Chiefs Denver Broncos
San Diego Chargers Oakland Raiders
Chicago Bears Green Bay Packers
Detroit Lions Minnesota Vikings
Pittsburgh Steelers ** New York Jets **

* Game will be played in London

** Assumes Colts will finish in second place in the AFC South

It is hard to predict storylines for these games because of how much change takes place in the offseason, but some are worth noting now.  Firstly, if Jim Caldwell sticks around in Detroit (very much an uncertainty), he would be coaching against his former team for the first time and the game would take place in Indianapolis.

The marquee matchup on the schedule, though, appears to be when Andrew Luck and Aaron Rodgers face off at Lambeau Field as the Colts take on the Packers.  It wouldn't be at all surprising to see the NFL highlight the matchup between the two quarterbacks in a primetime game, but we won't find that out for several more months.

The schedule will also include several teams who made the playoffs in 2015, as the Houston Texans (twice), Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos, New York Jets, Green Bay Packers, and Minnesota Vikings are all currently projected to make the postseason this year, while the Pittsburgh Steelers are right in the mix still.

We'll find out the dates and times of the games in several months, but we at least know the opponents the Colts will face next season.