Colts to Play Five Nationally-Televised, Primetime Games in 2008
INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts have been one of the NFL's most successful primetime teams in recent seasons, winning a slew of nationally-televised games.
Continuing that trend this coming season will be a must.
The Colts, the AFC South champions each of the past five seasons, will play five primetime games in the 2008 regular season, including two in November against two of their traditionally toughest opponents, New England and San Diego. The NFL announced its 2008 regular-season schedule on Tuesday at 2 p.m.
The Colts (13-3 last season) will play New England in Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday, November 2, at 8:15 p.m., a game televised nationally on NBC. The game will be the fourth time in five seasons the Colts-Patriots regular-season game has been played on primetime.
It will be the Colts' first primetime home game against the Patriots since 1995.
Three weeks later, NBC will televise the Colts in San Diego on Sunday, November 23, the second consecutive season the Colts and Chargers have played in San Diego on a Sunday night.
The Colts have a 70-21 record in the past five seasons, and are 4-8 against the Chargers and Patriots in the same span. Either the Patriots or Chargers has eliminated the Colts from the playoffs three of the past five seasons, with the Chargers beating Indianapolis, 28-24, in an AFC Divisional Playoff this past season.
The Colts will open the season on Sunday night, too, with the NBC televising the regular-season opener of Lucas Oil Stadium when the Colts play host to the Chicago Bears.
That game will be played September 7.
The Colts other primetime games are AFC South road games – at Tennessee on Monday, October 27, a game televised by ESPN; and at Jacksonville on Thursday, December 18, a game televised by the NFL Network.
The Colts' previous NFL Network appearance came this past season with a victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Thanksgiving Night.
The Colts, who went 4-2 in primetime last season, have a record of 17-6 in primetime in Head Coach Tony Dungy's six seasons. They had won 12 consecutive primetime games before a 23-21 loss to San Diego this past season.
The Colts, after opening against the Bears, play a second NFC North team in as many weeks when they visit Minnesota in Week 2. They then will play host to Jacksonville – a playoff team and division runner-up two of the past three seasons – on September 21.
Following the September 28 bye, the Colts have three of four games on the road before the New England game – at Houston on October 5, home against Baltimore (October 12), then at Green Bay (October 19) and at Tennessee (October 27).
The Colts then play New England, the fourth consecutive season the teams have played on the first weekend in November, and the beginning of a potentially difficult month.
Including the game against New England, the Colts play three teams in four weeks who won their divisions last season: home against the Patriots (AFC East) on November 2, at the Pittsburgh Steelers (AFC North) on November 9 and at the Chargers (AFC West) on November 23. The Colts play host to the Houston Texans on November 16.
A week after the Chargers game, the Colts visit the Cleveland Browns – who missed the playoffs by one game last season – then finish the season with three of the final four games at home. They play host to Cincinnati on December 7 then to Detroit on December 14.
They visit Jacksonville on December 18, then finish the regular-season for a second consecutive season at home against Tennessee on December 28.
Including the Packers and Titans games in late October, Indianapolis will play seven consecutive opponents – Green Bay, Tennessee, New England, Pittsburgh, Houston, San Diego and Cleveland – who finished .500 or better last season. Green Bay, Tennessee, New England, Pittsburgh and San Diego all made the postseason.
In all, eight of the Colts' games will be against teams that made the postseason last season – two each against Jacksonville and Tennessee and one each against New England, Pittsburgh, San Diego and Green Bay.
Of the Colts' 16 games, only four – Chicago, Baltimore, Cincinnati and Detroit – will be against teams with losing records last season. Chicago, Cincinnati and Detroit finished 7-9 and Baltimore finished 5-11.