INDIANAPOLIS – A trio of primetime games, and the NFL's easiest schedule based off last year's records, will greet the Colts in 2017.
On Thursday night, the NFL released the 2017 regular season schedule.
Here is a look at the Colts' slate of games this coming season:**
Week 1: @Rams (Sunday, September 10, 4:05 PM, CBS)**
- The last time the Colts played the Rams in Los Angeles was September 17, 1989. Andrew Luck was five days old. Last year, the Colts' furthest trip west was in Week Two against the Broncos. This year, they will make two west coast trips (Los Angeles and Seattle). This will be the Colts' first game in the LA market since 1991, when they played the then Los Angeles Raiders.
Week 2: Cardinals (Sunday, September 17, 1:00 PM, FOX)
- Bruce Arians will return to Indianapolis this season for the Colts' home opener. Arians was 9-3 as the Colts' interim head coach back in 2012, playing a major role in Chuck Pagano's team making the playoffs. Arians and Pagano coached against each other in 2013, a game the Cardinals won, 40-11.
Week 3: Browns (Sunday, September 24, 1:00 PM, CBS)
- The Colts will see this year's No. 1 overall pick at Lucas Oil Stadium this stadium. The Browns and Colts have met twice in Chuck Pagano's five seasons as head coach (two Indianapolis wins by a combined five points). This is the only non NFC-west game for the Colts in the first five weeks of the season.
**Week 4: @Seahawks (Sunday, October 1, 8:30 PM, NBC)
- Andrew Luck/Russell Wilson? Yep, this one was a guarantee for primetime football. The 2012 draftees have met once in their NFL careers---a 34-28 win by Luck and the Colts in 2013. CenturyLink Field in Seattle is one of the most hostile environments in the NFL and will certainly test the communication skills of Luck and the offense. The first two road games of the season for the Colts are their longest trips of 2017.
Week 5: 49ers (Sunday, October 8, 1:00 PM, FOX)
- Frank Gore will welcome his former team to Lucas Oil Stadium in 2017. The Colts last hosted the 49ers in 2009. Gore played for the 49ers from 2005-14 and is the franchise's all-time leading rusher. This matchup will conclude the four-game NFC West slate for the Colts this year. All four NFC West games come in the first five weeks of the season.
Week 6: @Titans (Monday, October 16, 8:30 PM, ESPN)
- In Nashville, these two teams have played some thrillers. Four of the last five road meetings for the Colts in Tennessee have come down to one possession. After the Titans made a six-win jump to 9-7 last year, this game is going to be pivotal in shaping the top of the AFC South in 2017. It's clear the national folks think this one is going to be a big game this year.
Week 7: Jaguars (Sunday, October 22, 1:00 PM, CBS)
- The recent ones haven't been easy, but the Colts have won four straight home games against the Jaguars. Last year's Week 17 victory over the Jaguars was the 18th fourth quarter/overtime game-winning drive of Andrew Luck's career. This game is part of an eight-week stretch in which the Colts will play five AFC South games.
Week 8: @Bengals (Sunday, October 29, 1:00 PM, CBS)
- Following five straight postseason trips, the Bengals missed the playoffs last season. The Bengals went 6-10 last year and finished third in the AFC North. This is the shortest road trip the Colts will have in 2017. The Colts have won 9 of their last 11 games over the Bengals.
Week 9: @Texans (Sunday, November 5, 1:00 PM, CBS)
- After four straight years of a road/primetime contests in Houston, the Colts will play the Texans during the afternoon. The Colts have won three of their last four road games versus the Texans, but last year's loss was devastating. The Colts led 23-9 with three minutes remaining in the final quarter, before the Texans came back for a crucial overtime victory.
Week 10: Steelers (Sunday, November 12, 1:00 PM, CBS)
- No team has had more success against the Colts over the last few years than the Steelers. Pittsburgh has won three in a row over the Colts, by a combined score of 124-51. The Colts did not have Andrew Luck in last year's loss to the Steelers (a 28-7 defeat on Thanksgiving night at Lucas Oil Stadium).
Week 11: Bye (Sunday, November 19)
- This year's bye week is sandwiched around two big home games for the Colts. The bye falling in the middle of November is a nice spot. The Colts will have a mini-bye week in the month of December for their Thursday night game.
Week 12: Titans (Sunday, November 26, 1:00 PM, CBS)
- The Colts have won 11 in a row against the Titans and 16 of their last 17 meetings versus Tennessee. It's been a remarkable run over an AFC South team that many are pegging as the 2017 division favorites. Tennessee has an eight-year playoff drought, a time frame in which they've beaten the Colts just once.
Week 13: @Jaguars (Sunday, December 3, 1:00 PM, CBS)
- Last year it was London. This year the Colts and Jaguars will be back in Jacksonville facing each other. The Jaguars have won their last two "home" games over the Colts. Since Chuck Pagano took over in 2012, the Colts are 23-7 against the division. That's tied for the most NFL wins within a team's division over the last five years.
Week 14: @Bills (Sunday, December 10, 1:00 PM, CBS)
- Two years ago the Colts opened up the 2015 season in Buffalo. They are heading back there in 2017 to take on new Bills head coach Sean McDermott. The Colts have won seven of their last nine meetings with the Bills. How will Mother Nature greet the Colts in a December upstate New York game?
Week 15: Broncos (Thursday, December 14, 8:25 PM, NBC/NFLN/Amazon)
- The NFL appears to be trying to make for some more enticing Thursday night matchups. It seems like the Broncos are turning into the Patriots for the Colts in always appearing on the regular season schedule. For the fifth straight year, the Colts and Broncos will oppose each other. Denver has a new head coach in Vance Joseph, but it's a defense still led by Von Miller and several other Pro Bowlers. This short week for the Colts will come after back-to-back road games.
Week 16: @Ravens (Saturday, December 23, 4:30 PM, NFLN)
- Chuck Pagano will return to Baltimore for the first time as head coach of the Colts in a regular season game. Pagano was an assistant under Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh from 2008-11. The Colts did play in Baltimore in the 2013 Wild Card, a 24-9 loss in Pagano's second game back from his battle with leukemia.
Week 17: Texans (Sunday, December 31, 1:00 PM, CBS)
- Make it a seventh straight year the Colts and Texans will meet in Indianapolis during the final month of the season. Think the NFL schedule makers believe this one will again have some AFC South implications? After winning the first 13 home meetings versus the Texans, the Colts have lost the last two---a pair of defeats that cost them a shot at capturing the AFC South.
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