Indianapolis Colts face just five 2018 playoff teams on new schedule

Andrew Luck and the Colts have three prime-time games in 2019. Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports

The NFL has released its 2019 regular-season schedule. Here's a look at what's in store for the Indianapolis Colts.

Game-by-game predictions

Colts reporter Mike Wells is predicting an 11-5 finish:

Sept. 8: at Chargers, Loss

Sept. 15: at Titans, Win

Sept. 22: vs. Falcons, Win

Sept. 29: vs. Raiders, Win

Oct. 6: at Chiefs (SNF), Loss

Oct. 20: vs. Texans, Win

Oct. 27: vs. Broncos, Win

Nov. 3: at Steelers, Loss

Nov. 10: vs. Dolphins, Win

Nov. 17: vs. Jaguars, Win

Nov. 21: at Texans (TNF), Win

Dec. 1: vs. Titans, Win

Dec. 8: at Buccaneers, Win

Dec. 16: at Saints (MNF), Loss

Dec. 22: vs. Panthers, Win

Dec. 29: at Jaguars, Loss

Strength of schedule: .518, 7th


The Colts open the season in Los Angeles for the second time in three seasons. But instead of facing the Rams, the Colts play at the Chargers, who lost to the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots in the AFC divisional round of the playoffs last season. The Colts only play five games against teams that made the playoffs last season. Two of those games are against Houston, a team the Colts beat in the wild-card round of the playoffs. After a return to the playoffs for the first time since 2014 and a healthy Andrew Luck, Indianapolis has three prime-time games after getting only one last season. All three of those games are on the road, including a Sunday night game at the Kansas City Chiefs, who beat the Colts in the AFC divisional round last season.

Facing Hall of Famers

The Colts had better hope they’ll have a consistent pass rush because they’re going to have their hands full against some of the best quarterbacks (and future Hall of Famers). Starting with Philip Rivers in Week 1, the Colts face Atlanta’s Matt Ryan in Week 3, reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City in Week 5, Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger in Week 9, New Orleans’ Drew Brees in Week 15 and Carolina’s Cam Newton in Week 16, barring any injuries to those quarterbacks. The Colts finished 19th in the NFL in sacks with 38 last season. They signed defensive end Justin Houston, who has 78.5 career sacks, during free agency.

Not heavy on defense

With the entire starting offensive line returning from last season, Luck with a year under his belt with coach Frank Reich's offense and only five games (Tennessee twice) against defenses that finished in the top 10 last season, the stage is set for the Colts to have an even better season on offense. Luck finished second in the NFL in touchdown passes with 39 and the Colts ranked seventh in total offense last season.