Road to playoffs won't be easy for Colts

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Colts have the easiest schedule in the NFL next season. Their 2014 opponents combined to go 110-146 last season.

Part of the reason the Colts have the easiest schedule in the league next season is because they play in the AFC South, the worst division in the NFL last season. They went 6-0 against Houston, Jacksonville and Tennessee last season.

Know what, though?

Having the easiest schedule in the league doesn't always translate to success.

Only one team -- the 1976 Raiders -- has won the Super Bowl after having the easiest strength of schedule since the merger in 1970, according to Elias Sports Bureau. Five of the last seven teams with the easiest schedule have failed to make the playoffs.

Barring some strange turn of events, the Colts will win the division and, of course, make the playoffs next season.

But it won't be as easy for them.

The Colts face three teams that are coming off byes. New York Giants after a Week 8 bye, the New England Patriots after their Week 10 bye and Jacksonville after its Week 11 bye.

Oh, yeah, Indianapolis has to face several Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks: Peyton Manning in Week 1, Joe Flacco in Week 5 and three consecutive games against Ben Roethlisberger in Week 8, Eli Manning in Week 9 and Tom Brady in Week 10. The Colts have a bye in Week 9.