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Colts 2020 Regular Season Schedule: Projected Record & Weekly Predictions

Oakland Raiders v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

The Indianapolis Colts released their 2020 NFL Schedule on Thursday evening, as they’ll face the members of the AFC North and NFC North (and the New York Jets and Las Vegas Raiders for that matter) beyond the usual AFC South suspects.

The Colts schedule starts out relatively easy Weeks 1-6, but then picks up late in the season starting in Week 9 at home against Baltimore—meaning Indianapolis will ideally need to have a strong stretch to begin the season with a handful of W’s.

Unfortunately, the Colts only currently have one primetime game: Week 10 at the Titans on Thursday Night Football (but are among the teams eligible for a Saturday NFL Network double header game in Week 15). It’s also strange that the franchise plays the Tennessee Titans twice in three weeks (Weeks 10-12)—in what assuredly will be big games for both teams’ potential AFC South title hopes.

Nevertheless, the Colts are projected to have the weakest strength of schedule in all of football, and they’re poised to take advantage—making the playoffs for just the second time in the last six years:

Indianapolis Colts v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

Week 1 (September 13th): At Jacksonville Jaguars

2019 Record: 6-10

2019 AFC South: 4th

2nd-year quarterback Gardner Minshew, Leonard Fournette, and the Jacksonville Jaguars host the Colts for the NFL opener in northeast Florida with a different looking defense that no longer features defensive lineman Calais Campbell and cornerback A.J. Bouye—both of whom were traded earlier this offseason.

This will be a tough divisional clash, but the Colts should grind out the win.

Projection: 24-17 Colts win.

NFL: DEC 18 Colts at Vikings Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Week 2 (September 20th): Minnesota Vikings

2019 Record: 10-6

2019 NFC North: 2nd

This game could perhaps be the Colts toughest early challenge—in what’s a relatively easy first half of the season schedule-wise compared to the back half. The Vikings have Kirk Cousins, Dalvin Cook, and Adam Thielen on offense and a still very stingy defense. This will be a ‘revenge game’ for former Vikings All-Pro cornerback Xavier Rhodes playing against his old team for 7 seasons—but the Colts still lose out late.

Projection: 23-17 Colts lose.

Indianapolis Colts v New York Jets Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Week 3 (September 27th): New York Jets

2019 Record: 7-9

2019 AFC East: 3rd

Indianapolis will play their NFL feeder team, the New York Colts Jets, who right now have about 11 former Colts playing on their roster—and still counting. The Jets are led by young quarterback Sam Darnold (who was selected by the Jets with the 3rd overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft that the Colts traded down for Quenton Nelson at #6 and a haul of picks).

Gang Green also has all-purpose running back Le’Veon Bell on offense and a defense led by linebacker C.J. Mosley and safety Jamal Adams.

Colts prove to be too much at home though.

Projection: 34-21 Colts win.

Indianapolis Colts v Chicago Bears

Week 4 (October 4th): At Chicago Bears

2019 Record: 8-8

2019 NFC North: 3rd

The ‘Monsters of the Midway’ have a starting quarterback competition between Nick Foles and Mitch Trubisky on an offense where wideout Allen Robinson remains the top playmaker.

Of course, on defense, the Bears are led by superstar pass rusher Khalil Mack, on what remains a very strong squad. It will be a reunion against defensive coordinator (former Colts head coach) Chuck Pagano and his Bears unit.

It’s not the prettiest game in the ‘Windy City’, but the Colts do enough to get home off I-65 with the W.

Projection: 23-16 Colts win.

Cleveland Browns v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Week 5 (October 11th): At Cleveland Browns

2019 Record: 6-10

2019 AFC North: 3rd

The Browns are led on offense by Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, Odell Beckham Jr., and Jarvis Landry under new head coach Kevin Stefanski. On defense, Cleveland has pass rusher Myles Garrett and cornerback Denzel Ward as two of its young guns.

This turns into a bit of a shootout, but the Colts barely win in Cleveland.

Projection: 24-21 Colts win.

NFL: SEP 09 Bengals at Colts Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Week 6 (October 18th): Cincinnati Bengals

2019 Record: 2-14

2019 AFC North: 4th

The new look Bengals will have franchise signal caller and #1 overall pick Joe Burrow behind center—and veteran A.J. Green to catch passes from him (with Joe Mixon handling the ground work). On defense, Cincy still has defensive tackle Geno Atkins anchoring the interior of their defensive line—for what should be an improved overall team next season.

Colts win this one by two scores at home though with the Lucas Oil faithful cheering on their boys in speed blue.

Projection: 27-17 Colts win.

Indianapolis Colts v Houston Texans Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Week 7: Bye Week

Rest up and relaxation for the Colts.

Detroit Lions v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Week 8 (November 1st): At Detroit Lions

2019 Record: 3-12

2019 NFC North: 4th

Veteran gunslinger Matthew Stafford is another former #1 overall pick the Colts will be facing in 2020, and he’ll be airing it out frequently to budding star Kenny Golladay. The Lions have Trey Flowers on the edge, newly signed veteran Desmond Trufant at cornerback, and 3rd overall pick, rookie Jeff Okudah playing on the other side at cornerback.

However, the Colts hang on in the Motor City, winning this game by a field goal in the closing seconds.

Projection: 23-20 Colts win.

NFL: AUG 20 Preseason - Ravens at Colts Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Week 9 (November 8th): Baltimore Ravens

2019 Record: 14-2

2019 AFC North: First

The Ravens have reigning MVP Lamar Jackson, who’s one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the NFL with his unique dual threat ability to both run and throw.

Their offense features a power run game with Mark Ingram and new rookie running back J.K. Dobbins—and explosive deep threat Hollywood Brown on the outside. Their defense is absolutely stacked with the likes of Calais Campbell, Earl Thomas, Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters, and new rookie linebacker (and first round pick) Patrick Queen.

The Colts give it a good run, but can’t quite score enough points to keep up with Jackson against a stingy Ravens defense, losing a tough one at home to an AFC heavyweight.

Projection: 27-20 Colts lose.

Indianapolis Colts v Tennessee Titans Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Week 10 (November 12th): At Tennessee Titans

2019 Record: 9-7

2019 AFC South: 2nd

The Colts only primetime game of the season will occur on Thursday night football on the road, as they’ll travel to ‘The Music City’. The Titans have veteran Ryan Tannehill back as their signal caller and workhorse Derrick Henry as their “meat and potatoes” offensive attack—with a little bit of wideout A.J. Brown sprinkled on the outside.

On defense, the Titans have a very stout returning unit with the likes of Kevin Byard and Adoree Jackson in their secondary, and Jeffrey Simmons along the defensive line.

Colts give it a good run, but come up just empty in a tough divisional road game.

Projection: 31-28 Colts lose.

Indianapolis Colts v Green Bay Packers Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Week 11 (November 22nd): Green Bay Packers

2019 Record: 13-3

2019 NFC North: 1st

Longtime veteran franchise quarterback Aaron Rodgers is still the star attraction for the Cheese heads with an offense that features Aaron Jones and Davante Adams among other options. On defense, the Packers are a fast and athletic group with Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith, Jaire Alexander, and Darnell Savage Jr.

Another week, another shootout, but the Colts edge the Packers late at home here.

Projection: 34-27 Colts win.

Tennessee Titans v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images

Week 12 (November 29th): Tennessee Titans

2019 Record: 9-7

2019 AFC South: 2nd

Playing the Titans twice in three weeks is a bit strange, but it probably also means a greater chance that the two teams’ split this year’s divisional series—seeing each other so soon in such a short time frame.

The Colts win this one at home in what’s a ‘revenge’ game—doing enough to stop Derrick Henry in his tracks—and taking late season control of the AFC South.

Projection: 24-20 Colts win.

Indianapolis Colts v Houston Texans Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Week 13 (December 6th): At Houston Texans

2019 Record: 10-6

2019 AFC South: 1st

The Houston Texans look like a team that’s headed downward, not upward—after trading All-Pro wideout DeAndre Hopkins for spare parts this offseason.

That being said, the franchise still has dynamic star quarterback Deshaun Watson and J.J. Watt on defense. Despite T.Y. Hilton’s usual heroics in Houston, the Colts fall short in this Texas shootout on the road.

Projection: 31-24 Colts lose.

Oakland Raiders v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Week 14 (December 13th): At Las Vegas Raiders

2019 Record: 7-9

2019 AFC West: 3rd

The Colts will be looking to right a wrong—namely dropping a clunker of a home game to the then Oakland Raiders last season. However, the bright lights of Las Vegas will prove to be too much for the Colts late.

The Raiders feature quarterback Derek Carr, running back Josh Jacobs, and new rookie wideout Henry Ruggs—and the Colts can’t quite keep up with Jon Gruden’s ‘Spider 2 Y banana’ play calling late.

Projection: 34-27 Colts lose.

NFL: DEC 09 Colts at Texans Photo by Daniel Dunn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Week 15 (TBD): Houston Texans

2019 Record: 10-6

2019 AFC South: 1st

Houston ‘has a problem’ in Week 15. As at home, the Colts take care of business and avenge their earlier late season loss to the Texans—applying much needed pressure on Watson and putting up points at the friendly confines of Lucas Oil Stadium.

Projection: 28-24 Colts win.

Indianapolis Colts v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Week 16 (December 27th): At Pittsburgh Steelers

2019 Record: 8-8

2019 AFC North: 2nd

Playing at Pittsburgh has been a “House of Horrors” historically for the Colts, and this one doesn’t prove to be any different. With Big Ben back and T.J. Watt proving to be a menace defensively, the Steelers handedly take care of the Colts in “The Steel City” in tough weather conditions. Is this former Colt Eric Ebron’s ‘revenge game’?

Projection: 27-17 Colts lose.

NFL: NOV 17 Jaguars at Colts Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Week 17 (January 3rd): Jacksonville Jaguars

2019 Record: 6-10

2019 AFC South: 4th

The Colts begin their season with a win against the Jaguars, and they’ll finish it with one too. At home, the Colts will bottle up the Jaguars power running game of Leonard Fournette, force Minshew into a few turnovers, and end their season on a high note—carrying some much needed momentum into the AFC playoffs.

Projection: 26-19 Colts win.

Colts Regular Season Record: 10-6

AND AFC South Champions.