All 32 NFL teams released their schedules for the 2019 season, with Week 1 kicking off with a meeting between the Colts and the Chargers. This year’s schedule for Indianapolis is the first time since the 2015 season that they’ll face off against the NFC South, and the first time since 2011 that they’ll play in New Orleans and Tampa Bay.
Week 1: Colts @ Chargers
When: Sept. 8, 4:05 p.m.
All-time record: Chargers 18, Colts 11
Latest result: Colts 26, Chargers 22 (9/25/16)
Breakdown: The Chargers and the Colts, before getting bounced in the second round of the playoffs last year, were two of the hottest teams in the league — ending the regular season with 20 wins in 23 contests. Philip Rivers is still running the ship in Los Angeles, but the real matchup to watch is on the line of scrimmage. EDGE rushers Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram are some of the best in all of football, and the Colts firmly placed themselves as one of the best (if not THE best) offensive line in the NFL.
Week 2: Colts @ Titans
When: Sept. 15, 1:00 p.m.
All-time record: Colts 33, Titans 16
Latest result: Colts 33, Titans 17 (12/30/18)
Breakdown: The Colts are 13-2 in their last 15 games against Tennessee, with the Titans two wins coming in the 2017 season. Quarterback Marcus Mariota has still yet to play all 16 games of a regular season, and backup (maybe eventual starter?) Ryan Tannehill has 19-21 record in his last three seasons. Head coach Mike Vrabel predicates his teams around physicality, led by a strong run game — the seventh best last season — led by Derrick Henry. The only problem? Last year, the Colts held Tennessee to over 25 yards below their normal average. There weren’t any drastic changes for them this offseason, hinting at similar results in 2019.
Week 3: Falcons @ Colts
When: Sept. 22, 1:00 p.m.
All-time record: Colts 14, Falcons 2
Latest result: Colts 24, Falcons 21 (11/22/15)
Breakdown: A slew of injuries hurt a very talented Falcons team in 2018, with key players like Devonta Freeman, Deion Jones, Andy Levitre and Keanu Neal playing a combined 11 games. Amid those ailments, the Falcons surrender 384.5 yards per game — 28th in the NFL — while the offense still managed the sixth-highest per-game average with 389.1 yards per game.
Week 4: Raiders @ Colts
When: Sept. 29, 1:00 p.m.
All-time record: Raiders 9, Colts 8
Latest result: Colts 42, Raiders 28 (10/28/18)
Breakdown: Oakland was one of the worst two-way teams in 2018 — scoring 18.1 points per game and allowing a league-high 29.2 — but there are some familiar faces now in the silver and black. Antonio Brown, as dramatic as he may be, has two games with over 100 receiving yards and seven touchdowns in his five games against Indy. This will be a big game for Derek Carr too, as he takes on the same team that ended his 2016 season and broke his leg.
Week 5: Colts @ Chiefs (SNF)
When: Oct. 6, 8:20 p.m.
All-time record: Colts 16, Chiefs 10
Latest result: Chiefs 31, Colts 13 (1/12/19)
Breakdown: Indy gets to face off against the team that knocked them out of the playoffs just a few months back, but there’ve been a lot of changes in Kansas City since then — especially on defense. Eric Berry, Dee Ford and Justin Houston have been replaced by Emmanuel Ogbah, Alex Okafor and Tyrann Mathieu. Oh, and Houston? He now wears No. 99 for the blue and white after eight years with the Chiefs. All in all, this should be one of the premiere AFC matchups for the next 5+ years. With two top-tier quarterbacks and brilliant offensive schemes, these are two of the best teams in the league.
Week 6: BYE WEEK
Week 7: Texans @ Colts
When: Oct. 20, 1:00 p.m.
All-time record: Colts 27, Texans 8
Latest result: Colts 21, Texans 7 (1/05/19)
Breakdown: The Colts will look to extend their win-steak against the Texans to three, after beating them in Week 14 before knocking them out of the wild card round in the playoffs. Houston has stars — like J.J. Watt, Deshaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins and Jadeveon Clowney — but several holes outside of them on the back end of their defense and on the offensive line. New acquisition Justin Houston and incoming rookies on the defensive line should have a fun time penetrating the O-line to bring down the elusive Watson.
Week 8: Broncos @ Colts
When: Oct. 27, 4:25 p.m.
All-time record: Broncos 14, Colts 13
Latest result: Broncos 25, Colts 13 (12/14/17)
Breakdown: While it’s unsure who’ll be under center this upcoming season, whether its veteran Joe Flacco or a rookie like Drew Lock from Missouri, the Broncos are a prime candidate to see much improvement from their 6-10 showing in 2018. New head coach Vic Fangio will have unlimited weapons on defense to throw in the way of the Indy offense, including 2018 rookie Bradley Chubb — who was picked one slot before the Colts took All-Pro lineman Quenton Nelson.
Week 9: Colts @ Steelers
When: Nov. 3, 1:00 p.m.
All-time record: Steelers 24, Colts 6
Latest result: Steelers 20, Colts 17 (11/12/17)
Breakdown: Man, the Steelers have really beaten up the Colts over the years. The Colts haven’t won in Heinz Field since 2008, and have dropped their last five decisions to the black and yellow. However, this is a different Pittsburgh team. Ben Roethlisberger is still the quarterback and Mike Tomlin is still the head coach, but they’ll be without running back Le’Veon Bell and wide receiver Antonio Brown for the first time since 2009. With a new supporting cast on offense, it’ll be interesting to see how the 37-year-old quarterback handles more pressure in his 16th season.
Week 10: Dolphins @ Colts
When: Nov. 10, 4:05 p.m.
All-time record: Dolphins 47, Colts 27
Latest result: Colts 27, Dolphins 24 (11/25/18)
Breakdown: A new era is underway in Miami with Brian Flores taking over the helm. The 2019 season should be a wash for the Dolphins, as they’ll most likely aim to get one of the top picks in the 2020 draft. Ryan Fitzpatrick is on his third AFC East team (if only he could make his way to New England) and the weapons are rare around him. Kenyan Drake will aim for a bounce-back season, but this team had the second-worst offense in 2018 and didn’t make enough moves to warrant much praise.
Week 11: Jaguars @ Colts
When: Nov. 17, 1:00 p.m.
All-time record: Colts 23, Jaguars 13
Latest result: Jaguars 6, Colts 0 (12/02/18)
Breakdown: Jacksonville enters 2019 with a new quarterback in Nick Foles, but the same stud defense on the opposite side of the field. The Jags were the fifth-best in yards allowed per game, and had the fourth-best scoring defense at 19.8 points per game. This will be another fun battle in the trenches, seeing the likes of Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue take on Quenton Nelson and Ryan Kelly.
Week 12: Colts @ Texans (TNF)
When: Nov. 21, 8:20 p.m.
Week 13: Titans @ Colts
When: Dec. 1, 1:00 p.m.
Week 14: Colts @ Buccaneers
When: Dec. 8, 1:00 p.m.
All-time record: Colts 8, Buccaneers 5
Latest result: Colts 25, Buccaneers 12 (11/29/15)
Breakdown: It’s tough to get a good read on the Bucs heading into the new year. They had the second-worst scoring defense in 2018, and some of their best offensive performances came with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center. Jameis Winston seems to be on his last (crab)leg this year, and veteran head coach Bruce Arians will try and bring his quarterback-whisperer success to Tampa to salvage his young career. They have stars at various positions, but really lack the depth to be taken as a serious threat this upcoming year.
Week 15: Colts @ Saints (MNF)
When: Dec. 16, 8:15 p.m.
All-time record: Saints 8, Colts 5
Latest result: Saints 27, Colts 21 (10/25/15)
Breakdown: It’s been nine years since Super Bowl XLIV and, while both teams have had their ups and downs, the Colts and Saints enter 2019 as two of the more impressive teams in football. Drew Brees is still kicking it at age 40, and Sean Payton has one of the best offensive gamelans in football. While Indy is already familiar with Brees and Payton, this will be its first look at running back Alvin Kamara and wideout Michael Thomas — two of the younger stars at their respective position. This should be a fun, high-scoring game in front of a nationally televised audience.
Week 16: Panthers @ Colts
When: Dec. 22, 1:00 p.m.
All-time record: Panthers 5, Colts 1
Latest result: Panthers 29, Colts 26 OT (11/02/15)
Breakdown: Like the Falcons, Carolina’s team battled a list of injuries and managed to go just 7-9 in 2018. They were in the middle of the road on defense — allowing 353.2 yards per game — but had a top-10 offense with 373.3 yards per game. This will be the Colts’ first look at star running back Christian McCaffrey, who accumulated 1,965 yards from scrimmage and an average of 6.02 yards per touch last season.
Week 17: Colts @ Jaguars
When: Dec. 29, 1:00 p.m.