INDIANAPOLIS – A right of spring NFL passage is the release of the schedule which annually comes in mid-to-late-April.
The Colts have known their opponents since December. Now they know when they will meet them.
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS 2014 SCHEDULE
at New York Jets
NEW YORK GIANTS
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
at Cincinnati Bengals
at Denver Broncos
at Jacksonville Jaguars
at Houston Texans
at Pittsburgh Steelers
at New York Giants
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
at Cleveland Browns
at Dallas Cowboys
at Tennessee Titans
HOME GAMES IN BOLDFACE CAPS
All times local to Indianapolis
Kickoff times subject to change
Six games that SIZZLE:
Sunday, September 7, Sports Authority Field at Mile High
A 39-33 Colts win last October 20 lived up to the hype – and then some. A national TV audience saw Andrew Luck and the Colts hold off Peyton Manning and the Broncos in a thriller where the Colts' defense forced two late turnovers to ice a game featuring a passing bonanza of 614 yards and six touchdowns. The Colts erased two deficits with a 23-point mid-game burst. Luck hit three different Colts for TDs and ran for another. The site location changes, but not the prime-time opportunity for the nation to watch two explosive teams. The Colts snapped a 17-game Denver winning streak with last year's win, while Denver was 7-1 at home in 2013. Can there be any more sizzle than Sunday Night Football in week one?
New England Patriots
Sunday, November 16, Lucas Oil Stadium
The last time Colts fans witnessed this rivalry in person was in 2009 when Indianapolis pulled off an unbelievable 17-point fourth-quarter comeback for a 35-34 victory. Since then, so many faces have changed, but not the spirit of a rivalry that has been among the NFL's best for years. The Colts look to avenge three straight losses to New England, the last coming in the Divisional Playoffs. Matching wits with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady has been a compelling chance for years (even for Chuck Pagano before he came to Indianapolis), and the Colts are 2-0 against New England in Lucas Oil Stadium. Anyone think the sizzle has waned in this series? C'mon.
Sunday, November 30, Lucas Oil Stadium
In a team sport that frequently hypes individual match-ups, this will be first time Andrew Luck and RGIII share the same field in the regular season. The top picks in the 2012 draft met in week three of that preseason, but not since. Luck is one of nine QBs in the Super Bowl era to open a career with consecutive playoff berths, while Griffin led Washington to the post-season as a rookie. Luck already has battled draft classmates Ryan Tannehill, Brandon Weeden and Russell Wilson. With Washington and Philadelphia visiting this year, only Arizona, New Orleans and Tampa Bay have not ventured to LOS in the regular season or playoffs. This is a chance for the 12th Man to give a non-frequent opponent an earful.
Monday, September 15, Lucas Oil Stadium
Chip Kelly's first year at the helm saw the Eagles win seven of their last eight games to take the NFC East crown for the first time in three years. Third-year pro Nick Foles, who also with Andrew Luck is a 2012 QB draft class member, won eight-of-10 starts in 2013 in directing an attack that averaged 417 yards and 27.6 points per game. Foles hit for 19 TDs before throwing an interception and ended 2013 with a stunning 27:2 TD:Int. ratio. At Oakland, he became the first NFL QB with a perfect rating and seven scoring passes in a game. LeSean McCoy ran for 1,607 yards and nine scores, and the club averaged a league-best 160 ground yards/game. While fireworks cannot be guaranteed, year two of a regime can provide greater growth. The Colts' defense in year three under Chuck Pagano will see a potent foe. This is one of three home opponents to reach last year's playoffs.
Sunday, October 5, Lucas Oil Stadium
After a five-year playoff run, Baltimore faltered to 8-8, but this represents the continuation of a fun rivalry. Chuck Pagano's 2008-11 tenure with the Ravens started that playoff streak, and he has put the Colts in the playoffs in each of his two seasons. The Ravens ended Pagano's first season with a Wild Card win on the way to a Super Bowl title. It was partial atonement for when Indianapolis knocked the Ravens out of the 2006 playoff field. A Colts-Ravens contest always carries sizzle on more than one level.
Thursday, October 9, Reliant Stadium
Aberration or what? Houston started 2-0 last year and finished with 14 straight losses. The Texans won the division in 2011-12 with 10-6 and 12-4 records. One 2013 win over Houston was in incredible fashion when Indianapolis erased a 21-3 halftime lead with three Andrew Luck-to-T.Y. Hilton scoring passes in the second half. Like others in the division, Houston is unsettled at QB. How the draft unfolds with each AFC South foe selecting in the top 11 will impact Indianapolis. The Texans own the draft's top pick and still has talent beyond QB. The Colts know getting to the playoffs starts with success in the division. Tennessee's last winning record was in 2011, while Jacksonville's was in 2007. Because a division game carries extra weight and Houston has won the crown twice recently, this gets the sizzle nod, plus this is prime-time in Reliant again for these two AFC South combatants.