The Colts’ 2017 schedule is here!
The NFL announced the schedule for the upcoming season tonight, meaning that we finally now know the dates, times, and weeks for the Colts’ games next year. We already knew the opponents, but now we know when those games will take place.
Here’s the Colts’ 2017 schedule (all times eastern):
Week 1: at Los Angeles Rams - Sunday, September 10, 4:05 p.m. (CBS)
Week 2: vs. Arizona Cardinals - Sunday, September 17, 1:00 p.m. (FOX)
Week 3: vs. Cleveland Browns - Sunday, September 24, 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
Week 4: at Seattle Seahawks - Sunday, October 1, 8:30 p.m. (NBC)
Week 5: vs. San Francisco 49ers - Sunday, October 8, 1:00 p.m. (FOX)
Week 6: at Tennessee Titans - Monday, October 16, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Week 7: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars - Sunday, October 22, 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
Week 8: at Cincinnati Bengals - Sunday, October 29, 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
Week 9: at Houston Texans - Sunday, November 5, 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
Week 10: vs. Pittsburgh Steelers - Sunday, November 12, 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
Week 11: BYE WEEK
Week 12: vs. Tennessee Titans - Sunday, November 26, 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
Week 13: at Jacksonville Jaguars - Sunday, December 3, 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
Week 14: at Buffalo Bills - Sunday, December 10, 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
Week 15: vs. Denver Broncos - Thursday, December 14, 8:25 p.m. (NBC)
Week 16: at Baltimore Ravens - Saturday, December 23, 4:30 p.m. (NFL Network)
Week 17: vs. Houston Texans - Sunday, December 31, 1:00 p.m. (CBS)
The Colts will have three primetime games this year, as they’ll travel to face the Seahawks on Sunday Night Football, two weeks later travel to faec the Titans on Monday Night Football, and then late in the season host the Broncos on Thursday Night Football. The Colts will also play on a Saturday this year, traveling to face the Ravens for a late afternoon December 23rd matchup.
The way the opponents are formulated each year is based on a specific pattern. First off, the Colts obviously play each team within their own division twice, once on the road and once at home. That accounts for six games, with the Colts facing the Texans, Titans, and Jaguars twice each. Then the Colts also will face two other divisions in a season, one from the AFC and one from the NFC. This year, the Colts will play the AFC North and the NFC West. That accounts for eight more opponents, as the Colts face the Steelers, Ravens, Browns, Bengals, Cardinals, Seahawks, Rams, and 49ers. That brings the total to 14 of the 16 opponents figured out, and then the other two are determined by where the Colts finish in their division standings. They will face the teams that finish in the identical spot in the standings in the other two AFC divisions they’re not already playing, which this year is the AFC East and the AFC West. So since the Colts finished in third place in the AFC South last year, they’ll face the third place teams from the East (the Bills) and from the West (the Broncos).
That is a very easy schedule for the Colts, at least on paper. Granted, no game is easy in the NFL, but the Colts have the easiest strength of schedule in the entire league when going by last year’s standings, as their opponents combined for a .424 winning percentage a year ago. The Colts will face twice as many teams picking in the top ten in this year’s draft (6) than teams that made the playoffs last year (3). A lot changes from year to year, but that’s quite favorable.
Though it’s a favorable schedule for the Colts, there are certainly a number of games to look forward to. For the second time since they entered the league, we’ll get to see Andrew Luck’s Colts face Russell Wilson’s Seahawks. The first was a 34-28 Colts win in Indy in 2013, and this time the game will be played in Seattle. The Colts will also host the Arizona Cardinals, which means that Bruce Arians will make his return to Indianapolis. The Colts faced the Cardinals in Arians’ first season as Arizona’s head coach, but that matchup came in Arizona in 2013 (a 40-11 loss for the Colts). Now, Arians will be returning to Indy. And then we also must mention yet another game with the Steelers (once again in Indy), a team that has dominated the Colts recently. The last two years, the Colts haven’t had Andrew Luck for that game, however, so hopefully this year it’s different.
And for those wondering about the team’s preseason schedule, it was announced last week. The Colts will open against the Detroit Lions at home on Sunday, August 13 (1:30 p.m.), will travel to face the Dallas Cowboys in week two on Saturday, August 19 (7:00 p.m.), will travel to face the Pittsburgh Steelers in week three on Saturday, August 26 (7:30 p.m.), and will host the Cincinnati Bengals to close out the preseason on Thursday, August 31 (7:00 p.m.).
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