INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts now know their path to re-claiming the AFC South crown.
On Thursday night, the NFL released the 2016 regular schedule.
Here's a look at the Colts' slate of games this season:
Week 1: Lions (Sunday, September 11, 4:25 PM)**
-This will be just the Colts' second regular season opener at home in the past seven years. Jim Caldwell is quite familiar with the confines of Lucas Oil Stadium. Caldwell, who coached in Indy from 2002-2011 (head coach from 09-11), won't have the service of a recently retired Calvin Johnson in the season opener. The last time these two teams met was a thriller in Detroit. Andrew Luck to Donnie Avery at the final gun, ring a bell?Week 2: @Broncos (Sunday, September 18, 4:25 PM)
-Peyton Manning is gone, but this matchup is starting to become quite frequent on the schedule. This will be the fifth Colts/Broncos contest in the last five seasons (Colts are 3-1 in the previous four). Andrew Luck's last game action came against the Broncos, in what was also Rob Chudzinski's debut as offensive coordinator. It goes without saying, the Colts must account for Von Miller in this road trip.Week 3: Chargers (Sunday, September 25, 4:25 PM)
-San Diego has been quite the nemesis for the Colts. The Chargers, led by Phillip Rivers, have won six of their last seven meetings against Indy. Chuck Pagano will once again see his brother, John, coordinating the Chargers' defense.Week 4: @Jaguars (Sunday, October 2, 9:30 AM)
-The NFL's 15th International Series game since 2007 will have the Colts in London. This game will kickoff at 2:30 PM local time in London. The Jaguars have played in London the past three seasons whereas the Colts' lone international history is three preseason games over the last 16 years. Recently, many teams playing in London have elected to leave the States on Thursday night. Will the Colts follow suit?
Week 5: Bears (Sunday, October 9, 1:00 PM)
-The team that opened up Lucas Oil Stadium in 2008 will now return to that stadium eight years later. Jerrell Freeman will be manning the Bears' defense in a game that pits two staffs who held joint practices together during last year's Training Camp.
Week 6: @Texans (Sunday, October 16, 8:30 PM)
-After two straight Thursday night road games against the Texans, this one falls on Sunday Night Football. The Texans will have a new quarterback (Brock Osweiler) and running back (Lamar Miller) this season. NRG Stadium, the home of the Texans, will also host Super Bowl LI in February 2017. This is the fourth straight year the Colts will play in Houston and also in primetime.
Week 7: @Titans (Sunday, October 23, 1:00 PM)
-The Titans took over the NFL world on Thursday by trading the No. 1 pick with the Rams. Tennessee now has six picks in the top 76 selections this year, an incredibly high number. Under this regime, the Colts have orchestrated a trio of comebacks down in Nashville.
Week 8: Chiefs (Sunday, October 30, 1:00 PM)
-Just a few Colts' fans should remember the last time Kansas City came to Lucas Oil Stadium. A 28-point playoff comeback for the Colts will forever be remembered in franchise lore. Injury recoveries to running back Jamal Charles (October ACL) and sack master Justin Houston (post-season ACL surgery) will be ones to watch for this mid-season matchup.
Week 9: @Packers (Sunday, November 6, 4:25 PM)
-This is the Colts' first trip to Lambeau since 2008. They haven't won in Green Bay during Andrew Luck's lifetime (1988). This is the only regular season team the Colts will also see in the preseason. New Colts' offensive line coach Joe Philbin spent nine seasons with the Packers (2003-11). Will early November in Green Bay allow for the Colts to dodge potential frigid conditions?
Week 10: Bye
-This year's bye week comes where most teams like it positioned. The Colts' bye will not come after their trip to London. Instead it breaks the schedule virtually in half, with seven games remaining.Week 11: Titans (Sunday, November 20, 1:00 PM)
-This quarterback matchup should look a little different than last year's Week 17 contest at Lucas Oil Stadium. Marcus Mariota and Andrew Luck should be healthy, which means no more Josh Freeman/Ryan Lindley vs. Zach Mettenberger/Alex Tanney. The Colts have won 14 of their past 15 meetings against the Titans.Week 12: Steelers (Thursday, November 24, 8:30 PM)
-Thanksgiving dinner at Lucas Oil Stadium? After consecutive trips to the Steel City the past two seasons, the Colts will gladly welcome the Steelers to Indy on a holiday. Big plays for the Steelers have dominated their back-to-back wins over the Colts. Pittsburgh is expected to have talented running back Le'Veon Bell (a 2015 November ACL injury) back after he missed last year's December meeting. The Colts last played on Thanksgiving in 2007 and have never been at home in three previous Turkey Day contests.
Week 13: @Jets (Monday, December 5, 8:30 PM)
-These two teams will meet for a second straight season. This one will come at MetLife Stadium though. The Colts had another Monday Night game at MetLife back in 2014, against the Giants. The Jets are still without a locked in starting quarterback as Ryan Fitzpatrick, last year's starter, remains a free agent. New coach Todd Bowles led the Jets to a 10-6 season in 2015, one game short of the playoffs.Week 14: Texans (Sunday, December 11, 1:00 PM)
-The Texans finally got their first win in Indy last season, after 13 failed tries. It proved to be the difference in Houston capturing the AFC South. This marks the fifth straight year the Colts have hosted the Texans in December. This will be a short week of prep for the Colts against an expected challenger atop the AFC South. This marks the sixth straight year the Colts will have hosted the Texans in the final month of the season.
Week 15: @Vikings (Sunday, December 18, 1:00 PM)
-Thankfully, this one will be indoors for the Colts. After the Vikings played outdoors the past two seasons, they will now gladly go inside of U.S. Bank Stadium this December. The new venue will also be the site of Super Bowl LII in 2018.**
Week 16: @Raiders (Saturday, December 24, 4:05 PM)**
-Christmas in Oakland. After an unknown start to the offseason, the Raiders will be back in Oakland for another season. The Colts have only played in Oakland twice since 1995. Raiders' head coach Jack Del Rio has some familiarity in Indianapolis, having coached in Jacksonville from 2003-11. The Colts will be coming off a short week in their most western road trip of the season.**
Week 17: Jaguars (Sunday, January 1, 1:00 PM)**
-After an active free agency, the Jaguars will come to Lucas Oil Stadium after watching one get away last season in Indy. This matchup in 2015 was Andrew Luck's first of nine missed games last year. Since 2010, the Colts have closed out the regular season with an AFC South opponent each year.
*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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