The Indianapolis Colts have released their 2018 season schedule. We will take the time to analyze each match-up in the coming days. For those who would rather look at a list than a tweet, we have listed each game by week below.
Week 1 - Cincinnati Bengals Sunday 09/09 1:00 PM ET
This is currently a favorable match-up to start the season at home against a team that has recently struggled. Andy Dalton should be considered a mid-tier quarterback at best at this point in his career and it is likely that major changes are ahead for the franchise if they under-perform again in 2018.
Week 2 - at Washington Redskins Sunday 09/16 1:00 PM ET
This is a relatively favorable match-up for an early season road game. It’s non-conference against a middling team that Indianapolis will need to be able to beat if they have hopes of returning to the playoffs.
Week 3 - at Philadelphia Eagles Sunday 09/23 1:00 PM ET
An early season road test for a young team. Philadelphia will be heavy favorites in this one and it should be a real eye opener for a young team searching for an identity. The upside is that this game will help set the tone for what it will take to win in the NFL and should set the appropriate mindset for Indy’s first division test.
Week 4 - Houston Texans Sunday 09/30 1:00 PM ET
The Colts have had the Texans number for much of their history, particularly at home. If Houston has a healthy Watt and Clowney, if Watson picks up where he left off, and if Houston is able to address their secondary in the off-season it should be a very close game.
Week 5 - at New England Patriots Thursday 10/04 8:20 PM ET
The most highly anticipated game of the season that will be circled on the calendar for fans of teams around the league. A Thursday night showcase that will certainly generate a lot of viewers when the Colts head to New England on a mission to rekindle a rivalry. The Patriots will be heavy favorites at home.
Week 6 - at New York Jets Sunday 10/14 1:00 PM ET
Another favorable road match-up against a team that seems to be perpetually rebuilding. Who will be the starting quarterback? If it is a rookie, how quickly will he adjust? It’s likely that the Jets are in as much of a rebuild as the Colts and this is a chance for Indianapolis to steal a road game.
Week 7 - Buffalo Bills Sunday 10/21 1:00 PM ET
The Bills are going through their own growing pains and currently trying to find a way to get a new quarterback in the building. They are a popular potential trade target for the Colts pick at 6. If they can get the quarterback to build toward their future, it could be an interesting game but this is one the Colts should take at home.
Week 8 - at Oakland Raiders Sunday 10/28 4:05 PM ET
Which version of the Raiders will show up in 2018? Two seasons ago they were considered one of the top teams in the AFC. After Derek Carr went down with an injury, their playoff hopes were spoiled. Last season, the team appeared lost and even the veterans struggled to produce. Will Chuckie get the team back in line or will they experience growing pains?
Week 9 - Bye
Pretty much an ideal time for the bye.
Week 10 - Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday 11/11 1:00 PM ET
Getting the Jaguars free off of a bye should allow the Colts a chance to be fresh. If Jacksonville is able to build on their 2017 performance, it might take all Reich and his young team can muster to get a crucial home win against a division opponent.
Week 11 - Tennessee Titans Sunday 11/18 1:00 PM ET
The Titans are another team who can be a little Jekyll and Hyde. Will Mariota be healthy this deep into the season? Which version of him will the Colts see if he is healthy? Once again, the Colts tend to do well at home against division opponents and should feel like this is an easier test after facing the Jaguars the week before.
Week 12 - Miami Dolphins Sunday 11/25 1:00 PM ET
Miami at home is another opportunity to build a playoff resume. Three straight home games coming out of a bye is a chance the team must capitalize on. The last stretch will include some tough road division games, making winnable ones like this even more important.
Week 13 - at Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday 12/02 1:00 PM ET
Florida in December is a good situation. In fact, what might be the best part of the schedule is that the winter games are played inside or in warmer climates. Defeated the Jaguars away will be a very tough test, making the home match-up earlier in the season a key to division hopes.
Week 14 - at Houston Texans Sunday 12/09 1:00 PM ET
Indianapolis has a history of pulling out games in Houston. Will J.J. Watt be able to make it this deep in the season healthy? This could be a very exciting match-up for an early Sunday game.
Week 15 - Dallas Cowboys Sunday 12/16 1:00 PM ET
Matt Eberflus will have the opportunity to face-off against his old team for the first time. The Colts will likely enter the game as home dogs and will need to find a way to slow down Zeke if they hope to win.
Week 16 - New York Giants FLEX
It is difficult to figure out who the Giants will be in 2018. Is Eli Manning still the quarterback? Has he been replaced? How will the switch to a 3-4 impact the team? This could be an opportunity to make a final push for the playoffs.
Week 17 - at Tennessee Titans Sunday 12/30 1:00 PM ET
The Titans are arguably the best division foe to face to close out the season. There could be a lot to play for and it seems fitting that teams that just a drive away down I-65 could come together to determine final playoff seeding.