Click here for the Colts' full 2023 regular season schedule.
Another front-loaded AFC South schedule.
The Colts in 2022 played five of their six AFC South games in the first seven weeks of the season; this year, the Colts play four of their six AFC South games in the first six weeks of the season:
- Week 1 vs. Jacksonville
- Week 2 at Houston
- Week 5 vs. Tennessee
- Week 6 at Jacksonville
The Colts last year went 1-3-1 in those first five divisional games – meaning they were unable to finish .500 or better in the AFC South by Week 7. A strong start to the 2023 season would coincide with a strong early showing in the AFC South, which could set the Colts up nicely over the final 12 weeks of the season.
No primetime games – yet.
The NFL passed a rule earlier this year that allows teams to play up to two Thursday night games per season, but also does not require teams to be featured at least once on Thursday Night Football. The Colts do not have a Thursday, Sunday or Monday night game scheduled, though Weeks 15 and 18 could be placed in primetime windows if those games against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Houston Texans carry playoff implications.
The Colts could also be flexed into Sunday Night Football beginning in Week 5 and, starting this year, into Monday Night Football between Weeks 12 and 17. Any game flexed into Sunday or Monday night must be a Sunday afternoon game, and must be announced no later than 12 days in advance of the game.
So 13 of the Colts' 17 games will kick off at 1 p.m. ET; two games have TBD kickoff times, one has a late afternoon window (at Carolina, Week 9) and one will be played in a standalone TV window (at New England, Week 10 in Germany).
But if the Colts do not get flexed into a primetime slot, 2023 will be the franchise's first season without a night game since 1999.
What to know about the two TBD games.
For the third consecutive year, the Colts are included in the NFL's Week 15 flex scheduling plan. In 2021, the Colts' TBD game was played in primetime on a Saturday night – that memorable win over the Patriots sealed by Jonathan Taylor – and in 2022, the Colts kicked off against the Minnesota Vikings at 1 p.m. on Saturday. So depending on the implications that Week 15 game against the Steelers could carry, it could be played either on Saturday (in a standalone TV slot) or Sunday, either in an afternoon kickoff window or on Sunday Night Football.
All Week 18 games are listed as TBD, and the NFL will announce dates, times and TV networks for those contests following the conclusion of the league's Week 17 games. Games that carry playoff implications could be played in standalone TV windows on Saturday, Jan. 6, or to end the regular season on Sunday Night Football on Jan. 7.
TV network shuffle
Speaking of TV networks: The Colts will play nine games on CBS, five games on FOX and one game on NFL Network with two other game broadcasts TBD. Previously, the AFC generally played on CBS while the NFC played on FOX, but the NFL changed things for 2023, opening up all games to be broadcast on either network. So while the Colts still will play the majority of their games on CBS, they open the season with consecutive games against AFC South opponents (vs. Jacksonville, at Houston) on FOX.
Will the season-opening streak end?
The Colts haven't won in Week 1 since 2013; last year, the Colts opened the season with a 20-20 tie in Houston against the Texans. Facing the reigning AFC South champion Jaguars provides an early tough test – Jacksonville had the most wins in 2022 (nine) of any Colts home opponent – though the Colts did beat the Jaguars at home last season on Alec Pierce's last-second game-winning touchdown.