Breakdown: If he wasn’t locked out, Peyton Manning might have just called the Indianapolis Colts' video staff to start gathering film of Wade Phillips' defenses. Because Indianapolis opens at the Houston Texans for the second consecutive year, and this time it’ll be against a brand new defensive coordinator who will surely keep as many secrets as possible in the preseason (providing there is one).
The Colts will play five prime-time games -- home against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Texans and on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New Orleans Saints (in a rematch of Super Bowl XXLIV) and at the New England Patriots. They do not make a road trip on a short week, something they’ll surely welcome.
Complaint department: Three in a row and four out of five on the road always seems unreasonable (see: October). But there is a nice payback with November coming all at home with games against the Atlanta Falcons and Jaguars before a bye, and then another home game against the Carolina Panthers.
Tough two: We don’t know who’s going to add what or whether the start of the season will be delayed. We do know Colts at Patriots is traditionally gigantic and Colts at Ravens can have a great deal to do with playoff positioning as well. Now make those trips on consecutive Sundays in early December. Pretty challenging. We could see either or both as soon as four or five weeks later in playoff rematches.
Colts Regular-Season Schedule (All times Eastern)
Week 1: Sunday, Sep. 11, at Houston, 1:00 PM
Week 2: Sunday, Sep. 18, Cleveland, 1:00 PM
Week 3: Sunday, Sep. 25, Pittsburgh, 8:20 PM
Week 4: Monday, Oct. 3, at Tampa Bay, 8:30 PM
Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 9, Kansas City, 1:00 PM
Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 16, at Cincinnati, 1:00 PM
Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 23, at New Orleans, 8:20 PM
Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 30, at Tennessee, 1:00 PM
Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 6, Atlanta, 1:00 PM
Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 13, Jacksonville, 1:00 PM
Week 11: BYE
Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 27, Carolina, 1:00 PM
Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 4, at New England, 8:20 PM
Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 11, at Baltimore, 1:00 PM
Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 18, Tennessee, 1:00 PM
Week 16: Thursday, Dec. 22, Houston, 8:20 PM
Week 17: Sunday, Jan. 1, at Jacksonville, 1:00 PM