We're in the midst of the offseason, but fans are anxiously looking forward to and awaiting the 2015 NFL regular season. Tonight, we were given a glimpse of what will be coming this fall, and the big news for Colts fans is that their regular season schedule is now known:
|Week 1||September 13||at Buffalo Bills||1:00 p.m. (CBS)|
|Week 2||September 21 (Monday)||New York Jets||8:30 p.m. (ESPN)|
|Week 3||September 27||at Tennessee Titans||1:00 p.m. (CBS)|
|Week 4||October 4||Jacksonville Jaguars||1:00 p.m. (CBS)|
|Week 5||October 8 (Thursday)||at Houston Texans||8:25 p.m. (CBS)|
|Week 6||October 18||New England Patriots||8:30 p.m. (NBC)|
|Week 7||October 25||New Orleans Saints||1:00 p.m. (FOX)|
|Week 8||November 2 (Monday)||at Carolina Panthers||8:30 p.m. (ESPN)|
|Week 9||November 8||Denver Broncos||4:25 p.m. (CBS)|
|Week 10||November 16||BYE WEEK||BYE WEEK|
|Week 11||November 22||at Atlanta Falcons||1:00 p.m. (CBS)|
|Week 12||November 29||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||1:00 p.m. (FOX)|
|Week 13||December 6||at Pittsburgh Steelers||8:30 p.m. (NBC)|
|Week 14||December 13||at Jacksonville Jaguars||1:00 p.m. (CBS)|
|Week 15||December 20||Houston Texans||1:00 p.m. (CBS)|
|Week 16||December 27||at Miami Dolphins||1:00 p.m. (CBS)|
|Week 17||January 3||Tennessee Titans||1:00 (CBS)|
The Colts have the maximum amount of primetime games with five. They will open the season at home on Monday Night Football in week two for the second season in a row, this time hosting the New York Jets. In week five, Andre Johnson will make his return to Houston as the Colts take on the division rival on Thursday Night Football. In week six, the Colts will host the Patriots on Sunday Night Football. In week eight, two former first overall quarterbacks face off as Andrew Luck and the Colts travel to face Cam Newton and the Panthers on Monday Night Football. Finally, in week thirteen, the Colts will travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers on Sunday Night Football.
A few other scheduling notes: Peyton Manning will return to Indy in week nine, and while that game won't be a night game, it will be a national game being broadcast at 4:25 p.m. (a rarity for a Colts home game). The Colts' bye week will be in week ten and coming off of a five week stretch in which the Colts travel to Houston, host the Patriots, host the Saints, travel to Carolina, and then host the Broncos. They'll be very grateful for the bye week once it rolls around.
READ MORE: TOP STORYLINES FOR COLTS' 2015 SCHEDULE
We had already known the opponents the Colts would be facing, but now we know the dates and times for those games. The Colts will play the AFC South division opponents twice a year like normal, so that includes home and away games against the Titans, Jaguars, and Texans. The Colts will also face the NFC South and AFC East divisions, meaning they will face the Saints, Falcons, Panthers, Buccaneers, Bills, Jets, Patriots, and Dolphins as well. Lastly, since the Colts won their division in 2014, they will face the division winners of the three other AFC divisions as well, which adds the Broncos (AFC West) and Steelers (AFC North) to a schedule that already included the Patriots (AFC East). So that's how the opponents were decided, and it appears to be an easy schedule based off of 2014 records.
In fact, based on the 2014 records, the Colts will have the second-easiest strength of schedule in the 2015 season, with a strength of schedule of just .417. Of course, there's a perfectly logical explanation for this, and it's because the Colts will play the two worst divisions in the NFL in the AFC South and NFC South, making up ten of their sixteen games from those two divisions. And the eight easiest schedules, based on the 2014 records, are those eight teams in the AFC and NFC South divisions. Of course, we know that basing the strength of schedule off of last year's records is silly, but that's the best we have at the moment. Many of the teams in those two divisions figure to be better this season, and so the Colts' strength of schedule could end up being significantly tougher than the way it currently currently (as the second-easiest in the league).
What are your thoughts on the Colts' 2015 regular season schedule?