Friday, May 27

Colts 2021 schedule: 17 game dates and times, schedule strength, final record prediction

For the fourth consecutive season, the Indianapolis Colts will have a new quarterback at the top of their depth chart to start the season. This year, it will be Carson Wentz’s turn to lead the Colts after they went 11-5 and made the playoffs as the No. 7 seed in the final season of Philip Rivers’ NFL career. Now, the Colts will look to improve on what they did last year.

Wentz wasn’t good for the Eagles last year, and that’s part of the reason the team was willing to send him to the Colts. Wentz will look to bounce back under the tutelage of Frank Reich, who coordinated his best MVP-caliber season with the Eagles, so there’s a chance the QB could enjoy a recovery campaign.

The Colts don’t have the easiest schedule. They’re playing seven teams that made the playoffs last season. However, they also arguably have the best roster in the AFC South, and face the Texans and Jaguars twice each. As long as they can beat their weakest competition, they have a chance to win the division and make the playoffs.

Here’s a full breakdown of the Colts’ schedule for 2021, including dates, start times, and analysis for all 17 games.

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Colts 2021 Schedule

The Colts schedule will be announced as part of the NFL schedule release on Wednesday, May 12 at 8 p.m. ET. These are the teams that are scheduled to play during the 2021 NFL season.

The Colts had to win four of their last five games to reach the postseason as the seventh seed last year, but they did a good job beating the weaker competition in ’20. They will hope to do the same at 21 and should have a chance to do so after adding more pieces to their defense and a quarterback in Wentz with the MVP advantage.

It also helps the Colts because the rest of their division isn’t particularly strong. The Titans have been consistently in the playoffs in recent seasons, but their defense still has some major holes. Meanwhile, the Texans are a mess while the Jaguars are in Phase 1 of a rebuild and don’t have much defensive talent. So the Colts’ schedule will not be too difficult overall and they will have a chance to emerge as the best team in the AFC South.

MORE: Schedule strength for all 32 teams in 2021

Foaly schedule strength

By last year’s records, the Colts have the 23rd schedule strength in the NFL. His mark of 0.478 is tied with the Bills for that spot.

Now, there is a chance that some of your weaker opponents will improve. The Colts were the only team to lose to the Jaguars last year, and it will be less easy with Trevor Lawrence at the helm. And the 49ers reckon they’ll be much better in ’21 than in ’20, as they should get a better quarterback game from a Jimmy Garoppolo or Trey Lance.

So the Colts’ schedule may be a bit more difficult than it looks on paper, but they also have the benefit of playing in the AFC South, one of the weakest divisions in the NFL.

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More difficult tests: The Colts have some tough games at home this year. The Buccaneers and Rams appear to be two of the best teams in the NFC. They both have full teams and quarterbacks who don’t make a lot of mistakes. The Colts have the defense they need to turn these games into battles, but those could turn out to be the two toughest matchups of the year.

Games against the Bills and Ravens on the road can prove the most difficult for the Colts, as both teams have tough defenses and explosive offenses. However, the Colts almost beat the Bills at Buffalo during the playoffs. But if bad weather arrives for either game, the dome-based Colts could find themselves in little trouble.

Great getaways: Playing in the AFC South is an advantage for the Colts right now. They are the most balanced team in the division. The Jaguars offense should be better with Trevor Lawrence in the fold, but their defense is still a work in progress. The same can be said for the Titans, as their secondary outside of Kevin Byard could be a problem.

Then, of course, there are the Texans, who could be the worst team in the NFL in 2021, as Deshaun Watson’s future is yet to be determined. If the Colts can dominate within the division and handle the Jets and Raiders, that should be a good way for them to get six to eight wins on the season.

Bottom line: This year, the Colts’ schedule is unpredictable. His tough games could prove especially challenging, as the Bucs, Ravens, Bills, Rams and even Seahawks have strong teams and a quarterback game that could put a lot of pressure on Wentz. But in games where they play less well-rounded teams, they seem to have a huge advantage.

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Given that the Texans and Jaguars were so bad against the race last year (each placed in the bottom three), the Colts should make it their goal to establish the race in divisional games. Jonathan Taylor will give them a chance to do that, and that could help Wentz become the Colts’ franchise quarterback.

The Colts probably have the best chance of winning the AFC South this season after almost doing it last year. Much of his advantage will depend on Wentz, and he may have some trouble against the strongest defenses in the league. Still, the Colts should have a chance to win double digits.

Record prediction: 11-6

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