Colts 2022 Schedule
Week 1: at Houston
Week 1 hasn’t been kind to the Colts as they enter this season on an 8-year losing streak. The NFL schedule-makers decided to give Indy a break this year (at least they tried.) If we polled fans on which team the Colts could most likely break their week 1 drought against, the clear answer would have been the Texans. The only thing that could have gone better for the Colts is if the game was at home. The Colts will have to wait until the end of the season to welcome the Texans to Lucas Oil Stadium, though, as that matchup is slated to take place in Week 18.
While the Texans might seem like the obvious answer, Houston won’t be a pushover. Like many teams across the league, the Texans made many changes this offseason. It began by promoting DC Lovie Smith to fill their HC vacancy, adding notable free agents in Steven Nelson and Jerry Hughes, and adding talent early in the draft with Derek Stingley Jr., Kenyon Green, and Jalen Pitre. So, this won’t be the same team Indy beat at a combined score of 62-3 in their two matchups last season.
The player with the most significant impact on the Texans season will be 2nd year QB Davis Mills. Mills had one of the better rookie seasons among last year’s class and will look to build on that success. Of course, the main goal for every NFL team is to end the season holding up the Lombardi trophy, but for the Colts, the first hurdle on the list needs to be ending yet another 8-year drought of winning the AFC South. There is no better way to do just that than starting the year 1-0 overall and in the division.
Week 2: at Jacksonville
Could 2022 be a year full of 8-year drought enders for the Colts? The Colts haven’t won a game in Jacksonville since 2014. The most recent visit, of course, was the end-of-season embarrassment as the Colts crumbled in Jacksonville in Week 18 last season, losing 26-11. A win-and-get-in the playoff scenario wound up a downhill spiral from the opening whistle.
In my opinion, drawing this matchup early in the season is a big win for the Colts, as I think everyone in that locker room needs to right that wrong to fuel the 2022 season. The 2nd matchup with the Jaguars also comes in the first half of the season in Week 6. Jacksonville did have a pretty eventful offseason, adding Super Bowl Champion HC Doug Pederson and drafting Travon Walker and Devin Lloyd in Round 1. In typical Jaguars fashion, they were major spenders in free agency and added several players, including Brandon Scherff and Christian Kirk.
Year 2 for young QBs has been known to be very telling of the direction the player’s career will go. Last year’s number 1 overall pick, Trevor Lawrence, had a lackluster season but was able to end it on a high note by sending the Colts home for the season.
Week 3: vs. Kansas City
Most media members dragged the Chief’s offseason through the mud. An offseason where the Chiefs traded star WR Tyreek Hill to Miami, and former All-Pro Safety Tyrann Mathieu signed with his hometown team, the New Orleans Saints. The Chiefs replaced the duo with Juju Smith-Schuster and Justin Reid, respectively. The replacements are viewed as downgrades but are still solid players in this league.
That may be true, but one player returning to the Chiefs is superstar QB Patrick Mahomes. The Colts start their season playing two second-year QBs who had their ups and downs. So to go from that tier of QB play straight to Mahomes is less than ideal.
Mahomes has only faced the Colts twice in his career so far, once in the regular season and once in the playoffs. The first matchup was a win for the QB in the playoffs against a now retired Colts QB Andrew Luck. The next coming in the next regular season, where the Colts would win with Jacoby Brisset getting the win in Arrowhead. This matchup will be Mahomes’ first trip to Lucas Oil Stadium, and he will face a third different Colts QB in three outings.
Week 4: vs. Tennessee
A third AFC South matchup in four games to start the year is shocking, to say the least. Then add that this one will be the first home divisional game in that stretch. The Titans are coming off back-to-back AFC South championships and a number 1 overall seed in the AFC last season. This past offseason, though on paper, is being graded out as among the bottom of the league. The Titans shipped off disgruntled star WR AJ Brown to the Eagles and used the main pick in the package to replace him with rookie WR Treylon Burks (and also cut future Hall of Famer Julio Jones.)
The Titans’ star-studded defense last season is still intact, though, and the Titans remain the biggest obstacle in the way of the Colts being crowed AFC South champs. The 2nd matchup of the year with the Titans won’t be too far behind the first as the Colts will travel to Tennessee in Week 7.
Week 5: at Denver (TNF)
The first primetime game of the season for the Colts comes on Thursday Night Football at Mile High Stadium. Denver was the first domino to fall in the QB carousel this offseason as they traded for Russell Wilson from Seattle. The Colts faced off last year with Wilson in their Week 1 outing and lost 28-16, and the game felt like an even larger margin than the score indicates.
Wilson is a high-IQ QB that has typically given the Colts defense fits in years past. Add that to the already talented roster on both sides of the ball in Denver, and they should be one of if not the most improved teams in the league from last year. Hopefully, Colts’ new Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley, who was the DC in Seattle during Wilson’s career, has some tricks up his sleeves.
Week 6: vs. Jacksonville
Week 7: at Tennessee
Week 8: vs. Washington
The return of Carson Wentz. What was only one season felt like a lifetime considering the endless stories that surfaced regarding Wentz’s tenure as a Colt. Wentz, who publicly shared his interest to remain with the team, ended up being moved this offseason to Washington for a 3rd and a future conditional 3rd (that could become a 2nd).
This will be Wentz’s third team in as many seasons, but it will be the first time he was moved without his own request. I envision this game having a lot of emotion on both sides and could provide added motivation for many involved.
Washington is a game on the calendar. I believe many will pencil in as a Colts win, but I caution you from doing the same. A veteran coach in Ron Rivera and a team with a ton of young talent that you’d assume will keep progressing. I think Washington is a serious contender to win their division, and this game I expect to be an exciting one for fans of both sides.
Week 9: at New England
This past season, the Colts hosted the Patriots. The Colts were able to pull out the win thanks to an explosive, game-sealing touchdown run, and the years of New England hate in Lucas Oil created one of the loudest sports environments that I’ve ever experienced. This game will add the third 2nd-year QB on the Colts’ schedule with Mac Jones, who is coming off the best rookie year of the group.
Jones struggled in last year’s outing, throwing two interceptions in the game, and had to dig himself out of a 17-0 halftime deficit that his play contributed to. As said earlier, year 2 is usually huge in developing young players, especially QBs. New England’s season and this game’s result will depend on what type of season Jones can put together. One thing is for sure both fan bases want to win this one badly.
Week 10: at Las Vegas
Last year’s loss vs. the Raiders was overshadowed by the loss to the Jaguars, but it still stung. A game the Colts had so many chances of winning but saw multiple players have season-worst performances. Getting the opportunity to right that loss is huge for the guys returning this year. One player who I’m sure has this game circled is CB Kenny Moore II, who saw his target Hunter Renfrow go for seven catches, 76 yards, and a touchdown. Despite what his film looked like leading up to that game, Moore didn’t look like the Pro Bowl caliber player that day.
Stopping the Raider’s offense got more difficult as they added star WR Davante Adams via trade with the Packers this offseason. Adding that caliber of weapon to a QB in Derek Carr, who already gives the Colts fits each time he faces them, will make a must-watch outing.
Week 11: vs. Philadelphia
The Carson Wentz trade caused many headlines and stories. One of which is Eagles and Colts fans having countless back-and-forth arguments throughout the season. With Wentz no longer in a Colts uniform, you would think that animosity would leave, but my experience with Eagles fans makes me think otherwise.
The Eagles had an eventful offseason to give young QB Jalen Hurts the best chance to succeed, highlighted by acquiring WR AJ Brown via trade and my personal favorite move by them in adding edge rusher, Haason Reddick.
This is a make-or-break year for Hurts. If he isn’t able to succeed with this team, the Eagles packed up assets in 2023 to be able to replace him if needed.
Week 12: vs. Pittsburgh
The second of four primetime games and first home primetime game for the Colts comes in Week 12 on Monday Night Football against the Steelers. The Steelers were the only team to select a QB in the first round of the NFL Draft, selecting Kenny Pickett from down the road at the University of Pittsburgh. However, it is still to be determined whether or not he will take a snap during his rookie season, as the Steelers did add free agent Mitchell Tribuisky to compete for the job.
A portion of the team that isn’t as much of a question mark is Pittsburgh’s defense, a star-studded group that will have the ability to keep any game in reach on their best day. This, coupled with the Steelers’ track record of success against the Colts (seven straight wins), should make for an exciting Monday Night primetime game.
Week 13: at Dallas
Week 13 brings the Colts their lone Sunday Night Football game of the season. Coming off what should be a hard-fought AFC matchup on MNF, the Colts will head to Dallas. The last time the Colts faced the Cowboys, they were able to accomplish the very rare NFL shutout beating Dallas 23-0 at Lucas Oil. With a top QB like Prescott and in a stadium with as much magnitude as Dallas, anything can happen. Despite having one of the most talented rosters last year, the Cowboys produced another disappointing season, being eliminated by the 49ers in the wildcard round.
The Cowboy’s offseason was full of departures as the team saw key players like Amari Cooper, Cedrick Wilson, Connor Williams, La’el Collins, and Randy Gregory move on to new teams. The Cowboys still will have a talented roster, but with not too many offseason additions of their own, they will rely on the progression of their young roster. The play of players like CeeDee Lamb, Tyler Biadasz, Micah Parson, Trevon Diggs, and of course, Dak Prescot will decide how good the Cowboys can be this season.
Week 14: BYE
Like last season, the Colts find themselves with another late bye week. There can be pros to this, as they can get a much-needed rest to finish the last stretch on a positive note. But, the negative side is that they have to compete in 13 straight games before they get that rest.
Last year’s bye at the time appeared to be a blessing as they were able to come out of it and get a much-needed with against the Patriots, followed by another huge win on Christmas Day at Arizona. But unfortunately, it would all end up being for nothing, as the two-week collapse to close out the year ultimately ended the team’s season.
Week 15: at Minnesota
Coming out of the bye week, the Colts will face off with a Vikings team whose offensive talent is evident. A team with a ton of offensive talent with Kirk Cousins, Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, and Dalvin Cook will be a point of emphasis during walk-throughs and film study. In his last outing against the Colts, Cousins had a day he would like to forget, throwing three interceptions. The Vikings’ defense has been their achilles heel for the past few years. With a brand new head coach and GM, the Vikings could go through some learning curves this season, but by Week 15, one would expect those would be over.
Week 16: vs. Los Angeles Chargers
The last primetime game on the calendar for the Colts is a home Monday Night Football matchup with the Chargers. The Chargers had an eventful offseason as they decided to push their chips in on Herbert’s rookie deal over the last couple of years. Notable moves include adding Khalil Mack, J.C. Jackson, Sebastian Joseph-Day, and retaining Mike Williams.
When the opponents were announced for the upcoming season, this was the game I was the most excited for. The Chargers are among the top in most media members’ power rankings, so this game heading into playoff time will be a very telling evening of where the Colts stack up in the AFC. With this officially being placed on primetime, all eyes will be on this one, and the whole world will find out who the 2022 Colts really are and how much noise they can really make should they reach the playoffs.
Week 17: at New York Giants
The last road game of the regular season takes the Colts to the city that never sleeps, New York. The Giants went through a management overhaul as they added a brand new GM and head coach. To the surprise of many, the Giants didn’t elect to complete the trifecta and add a new QB to the group.
A team that, on paper, will have to overcome being among the bottom of the league talent-wise to have success this season. One way that could occur is via new HC Brian Daboll showing why he was one of the hottest names on the HC market the last cycle and elevating the roster. But, overall, getting the Giants here is a solid break for the Colts from a pretty tough stretch on the schedule from Weeks 9-16.
Week 18: vs. Houston