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NFL: JAN 06 Texans at Colts

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INDIANAPOLIS – Are those Colts droughts finally ending in 2024?

Get that first Week 1 win since 2013?

Win the AFC South for the first time since 2014?

Here are 5 takeaways on the Colts 2024 schedule:

1. Frontloaded Quarterbacks Schedule

Buffalo Bills v Miami Dolphins Source:Getty

Even before the Colts schedule was released we knew the quarterback schedule would have more potency in 2024.

In 2023, the Colts played 10 quarterbacks who were rookies or backups.

Well, the quarterback schedule will hit the Colts early and often this fall.

Here is the stretch of QBs the Colts will face to start the year: C.J. Stroud, Jordan Love, Caleb Williams, Russell Wilson, Trevor Lawrence, Will Levis, Tua Tagovaiola, C.J. Stroud, J.J. McCarthy, Josh Allen, Aaron Rodgers, Jared Goff.

The good news, I guess, is the back part of the schedule is not littered with many marquee signal callers.

But the continuity bound Gus Bradley defense is going to see several notable QBs early in the season.

2. One Primetime Game

Buffalo Bills v New York Jets Source:Getty

As has been pretty consistent with Colts teams of recent history, you won’t find many primetime games on this schedule.

The Colts have just 1 scheduled primetimer—at the Jets on Sunday Night Football in Week 11. For the second straight year, the Colts won’t play on Thursday Night Football.

Yes, the Colts could be flexed into other primetime games based off late-season changes, so we will monitor that as the year moves along.

But get used to Sunday’s at 1:00 for the Colts. They will have 10 straight Sunday 1:00 games to start the year. The only currently scheduled games for other times than Sunday at 1:00 is the Jets game and a 4:25 PM game in Week 15 at Denver.

Intrigue with Anthony Richardson is there league-wide, but still some hesitancy from the TV networks to commit more of their precious real estate to him and the Colts.

3. Texans Games Coming Early  

Houston Texans v Indianapolis Colts Source:Getty

In years past, the Colts have typically had an AFC South opponent show up twice in the first two months of the season.

Well, that team is the Houston Texans, the division favorite to repeat this year, on the 2024 slate.

The Colts will see the Texans at home in Week 1 (September 9th) and again in Week 8 (October 27th). That Week 8 game will actually mark a stretch of all 3 AFC South road games in a 4-week stretch, meaning the Colts won’t play a divisional road game after Halloween.

That’s a far cry from the two teams meeting last year 4 months apart, facing off in Week 2 and then again in the season finale of Week 18.

Do the earlier matchups this season benefit one vs. the other? Hard to say. But let’s just hope we get to see healthy C.J. Stroud and Anthony Richardson for both of these matchups.

4. Tame Road Schedule?

NFL: DEC 10 Colts at Bengals Source:Getty

The Colts have 6 games in 2024 against double-digit win teams from last season, but only 1 of those will come away from home (at Texans).

Games against the Texans, Steelers, Dolphins, Bills and Lions will all come at home.

The furthest road trip all year is to Denver, with no games in the Pacific time zone this season.

Weather wise though, you do have a couple of potentially interesting Mother Nature games in Week 15 (December 15th) with that trip to Denver and then in Week 17 (December 29th) with a trip to take on the Giants.

5. Tough September Slate

Houston Texans v Indianapolis Colts Source:Getty

It is quite the September slate for the 2024 Colts: Texans, at Packers, Bears, Steelers

C.J. Stroud and Jordan Love to start the season—two young quarterbacks who won playoff games last year—will be opposing the Colts in Week 1 and 2. No. 1 overall pick Caleb Williams in Week 3. And then those pesky Steelers, with Russell Wilson now under center, to round out the month.

For a Colts team that has routinely started slow, that might be the toughest month of the season, although you are playing 3 of 4 games at home, which is rare for this franchise.

Remember, the Colts haven’t won a season opener since 2013 (0-9-1 in Week 1 games since), which is currently the longest Week 1 drought of any team. In fact, every NFL team has won at least two Week 1 games since the Colts last did.

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