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Games to Watch: Meaningful Week One Matchups For Colts Fans

If you are waiting impatiently for the Colts to kick off this Sunday, here are some games to check out.

Jacksonville Jaguars v Houston Texans Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

It is official everyone, football is back! Hopefully, you all got a chance to enjoy the Patriots’ loss to the Chiefs last night. I always love the way a crisp fall morning feels after watching the Patriots lose. The only thing that would make week one better now is to open up with a road win for the Colts. That’s just the challenge they’ll face.

On Sunday your Indianapolis Colts are finally back in action after what is always a dreadfully long off-season. Given the state of the Colts roster and how much is up in the air this season, it will very likely be a tight race in the AFC South. If you are settling in for an afternoon of football and looking to catch a game before the Colts kick off at 4:05 pm, here are some games to watch at the 1 pm time slot:

Raiders at Titans

Chicago Bears v Tennessee Titans Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Personally, I think this game could be one of the more entertaining tilts of week one. The Titans have quietly become one of the most balanced teams in football and this will be the clash of two rising-star quarterbacks who are returning from injuries in Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota.

The Titans can run the ball effectively and their defense is solid. They added rookie receiver Corey Davis to give Mariota another weapon to work with and have consistently invested in good young talent on the defense, giving them the most well-rounded team in the AFC South.

The Raiders biggest weakness is their defense. Their 6 defensive draft picks say they know that, and are taking steps to improve it. If they can show a better defensive presence this season they could be a legitimate Super Bowl contender.

My prediction here is that the Titans make a statement with a big win to start their season. Beating a team like the Raiders shows they are not to be taken lightly, and it will be a good opportunity to see them in action against a team with similar strengths to the Colts when they’re healthy.

Jaguars at Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars v New England Patriots Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

This is a game that will have implications for the AFC South title. It is sure to be an emotional outing for the Texans as they start their season in Houston in the wake of the devastation from Hurricane Harvey.

With J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney acting as their own kind of natural disaster, it is hard to see how the Jaguars are going to come out of this game well. Blake Bortles continues to be their crippling weakness, and until they get rid of him in favor of just about anyone else, I’ll continue to pick against them. It will be interesting to get a first look at Leonard Fournette because Jacksonville running backs have not been kind to Colts defenses over the years.

While the Texans will start Tom Savage, we have seen Bill O’Brien be quick with the hook when guys underperform. How long will Deshaun Watson stay on the sideline?

Both teams are obviously important to keep an eye on, and the best case scenario here is that they would tie, so root for that.

Cardinals at Lions

Oakland Raiders v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Lions are a pretty good doppelganger for the Colts in many ways. That is what makes this game interesting. With the Cardinals coming to Indianapolis in week two, it will be interesting to see if Carson Palmer looks like he did two years ago, or if he is beginning to struggle as he reaches the end of his career. This is not the same Cardinals team from two seasons ago when they shone and were the stars of All or Nothing season one. While they are talented, they are definitely on the downward trend. The question is, how fast is that pendulum swinging down for them?

We got to see a lot of the Lions during the off-season so they aren’t especially interesting to watch, but we do have a good idea of how they look and stack up at most of their positions, which makes this matchup a bit better for predicting just how good the Cardinals are likely to be for week two.

My prediction is that the Lions get a win here on the strength of the highest paid arm in football, Matthew Stafford. Larry Fitzgerald and Carson Palmer are both great players but are both past their primes. The defense has lost playmakers like Calais Campbell, and David Johnson simply cannot carry an entire team.

Steelers at Browns

Cleveland Browns v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

The Colts played well against the Steelers in the preseason. That means exactly nothing because it was the preseason, but the hope should be that the Steelers deal a pretty serious beat down to the Browns. There is reason to think the Browns are a team on the rise, and that they have found their new quarterback in DeShone Kizer, but if you are a Colts fan you should hope that he is going to struggle early. If he is a star and plays well right away, it will mean a tougher matchup in week three than the Colts would like, given that they may still be without Luck at that time.

The Steelers have possibly the best offense in football. If their defense can be even mediocre, they are my pick to go to the Super Bowl from the AFC. This game might not be entertaining to watch if it goes bad early for the Browns, but it could tell us about what kind of talent we will be facing from them.

While there has been plenty to be nervous about for Colts fans, one thing is for sure, it is good to have meaningful football games ahead of us.