INDIANAPOLIS – From a trip to London, a Thanksgiving home game and seeing an old head coach kick off the season, the Colts have plenty of storylines on their 2016 schedule.
The Colts will only have seven "Sunday, 1:00 PM" games, with plenty of variety throughout their 16-game slate.
Here are five takeaways from the Colts' 2016 schedule:
Post Bye-Week Stretch
- Like every year, there's a stretch of games that typically jumps off the schedule. Last year it was the "quarterback gauntlet" of Brady, Brees, Manning and Newton in consecutive weeks. This year it comes in late November: vs. Steelers (Thanksgiving), @Jets (Monday), Texans and @Vikings. All four of those teams won at least 10 games last season or made the playoffs. This stretch comes two weeks after the Colts' bye week and should give this team quite the gauge against playoff competition.
- The Colts will have a total of eight games starting in the 4:00 and/or 8:00 hours this season. It starts right out of the gate with 4:25 kickoffs against the Lions, @Broncos and Chargers. The Colts will play once each on Sunday Night Football (@Texans, 10/16), Thursday Night Football (vs. Steelers, 11/24) and Monday Night Football (@Jets, 12/5).
- For just the fourth time in franchise history, the Colts will play on Thanksgiving. The Colts will host the Steelers on Thanksgiving night (11/24), marking the first time they've ever played at home on Turkey Day. With Christmas Day falling on a Sunday this year, the NFL is moving nearly their entire Week 16 schedule to Saturday (Christmas Eve). The Colts will play in Oakland on 12/24, at 4:05 PM. Lastly, the Colts will close out the regular season on New Year's Day, hosting the Jaguars at 1:00 PM.
London Jet Lag?
- The Colts will not have their bye week following their trip to London. Instead, they will host the Bears in a Sunday afternoon game in Week Five. A Week Five bye would have been really, really early. If the Colts can handle the post-London toll, they will gladly welcome a much more normally placed Week 10 bye. This year's schedule breaks down to nine games pre-bye week and then seven contests post-bye week.
- For the second straight season, the Colts will begin their AFC South portion of the schedule with all three divisional "road" games. Week Four they are in London against the Jaguars. Then in Weeks Six and Seven they travel to Houston and Tennessee. The marquee AFC South matchup will come in Week 14, when the Colts host the Texans after a Monday Night trip to the Jets.
*Beginning Wednesday, April 27, at 10 a.m., the Indianapolis Colts will make a limited number of season tickets available to the public. *
*Season tickets for 2016 will be available online at www.colts.com or by phone at 317-299-4946. Through the Lucas Oil Stadium virtual venue feature fans can see a view of the field from the available season tickets before they commit to purchasing seats.
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Fans can download the 2016 schedule directly onto their calendar right here.*