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INDIANAPOLIS – In the NFL, every game brings some level of difficulty.

Winning is not easy.

However, there’s no argument in that the Colts (5-2) start to this season has looked like a non-conference basketball schedule for a power conference team.

Well, Big Ten play is about to start for the Colts.

After playing the easiest schedule in the NFL at this point (by the metrics), the Colts will face the 8th toughest slate the rest of the way.

While the Colts have done a nice job putting themselves firmly in a playoff spot entering the final two months of the year, the challenges are about to get much tougher.

Let’s take a look at the tests left:

11/8: Ravens (5-2): The Ravens—now down some significant players at left tackle and cornerback—will bring a 3-0 record away from home to Lucas Oil Stadium. While the Colts run defense has been outstanding this season, the Ravens pose such a different and potent threat on the ground, led by the dynamic Lamar Jackson at quarterback.

-11/12: at Titans (5-2): When the schedule came out in May, this ‘2-game in 5-day’ stretch jumped out to me. The Colts will see two very physical teams, two very good running teams, yet much different in their styles. Of course, you will have major AFC South implications on the line with this Thursday Night matchup. The Titans have lost consecutive games, but they are still 2-0 in the AFC South, while the Colts are 0-1 in the division.

11/22: Packers (5-2): Like Baltimore and Tennessee, Green Bay has some injury issues right now at left tackle. It goes without saying that this challenge revolves all around the incredible right arm of Aaron Rodgers. He will be the best throwing quarterback the Colts face this season. Green Bay is right in the thick of trying to win the NFC and possibly earn some homefield in the playoffs.

11/29: Titans (5-2): In closing out November with another big-time game, the Colts will get the Titans at home after playing them 17 days earlier. To have any shot at winning the division, the Colts will need to split these two games against the Titans. On paper, the Colts appear to be much better equipped to handle the ground and pound style of Derrick Henry than most teams.

12/6: at Texans (1-6): The unusual scheduling quirk of 2020 for the Colts has them playing the Titans and Texans twice in three week stretches. While the Texans record led to the firing of Bill O’Brien, they still pose a threat with Deshaun Watson at quarterback. This isn’t your normal ‘1-6’ team by any means.

12/13: at Raiders (4-3): The longest road trip of the 2020 season will take the Colts to Las Vegas. The Raiders are in position to compete for a Wild Card spot, and did beat the Colts in Indianapolis last season. The Colts have already lost to the Browns, so losing to another potential Wild Card team would lead to some uneasy moments down the stretch.

12/19 or 12/20: Texans (1-6): This year’s rematch with the Texans isn’t likely to have the same juice as past December meetings. But, like we mentioned above, just the presence of Deshaun Watson at quarterback makes this a game the Colts cannot totally overlook.

12/27: at Steelers (7-0): What a start it has been for the Steelers this season. And we know the Colts have struggled mightily in games at Pittsburgh. With only one ‘bye’ up for grabs in the AFC this year, the Steelers could very well still be competing for a very important No. 1 seed here in Week 16. No team in the NFL is as balanced as the Steelers. This will be the most complete team the Colts face in 2020.

1/3: Jaguars (1-6): As the Jaguars head to another year of drafting in the top-10, their one win this season came against the Colts. Now, Jacksonville has not had the same sort of success in this matchup up in Indianapolis, versus the contests in Florida. This will be one of the easier games the Colts will have all season and it could very well be a game they need to secure a spot in the postseason.

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