The 2010 Schedule comes out, and it's an attractive one for the Colts.
Week 1: 9/12 @ Houston Loss
Every year I think Indy will lose at Houston. Every year Houston comes out like they'll kill the Colts, but Indy invariably rallies to steal the game. Once again, I'm taking the Colts to lose. I think the Texans are a good team. I think the crowd will be insane. I don't see Indy winning this game.
Week 2: 9/19 NYG Win
No way Peyton loses to little brother in the home opener on national TV.
Week 3: @ Denver 9/26 Win
The Broncos will be AWFUL next year. Imagine that game last season without Brandon Marshall. Yeah. Blowout.
Week 4: 10/3 @ Jacksonville Win
The Jags fans (both of them) are all excited to play the Colts in an afternoon game, I'm sure. Unfortunately for them, the kickoff is at 4, and the game is in October. The Jags are going to be worse next year than this year. That is a franchise going in the wrong direction.
Week 5: 10/10 Kansas City Win
Moving right along...
Week 6: 10/17 @ Washington Win
The Colts open with four of six on the road. Good thing several of the teams won't be any good.
Week 7: Bye Indy goes in with a 5-1 record. Hard to ask for more.
Week 8: 11/1 Houston Win
Are you ready for some Football? The Colts show up large on MNF and pay back Houston. I will never pick the Texans in Indy until they manage to win there at least once.
Week 9: 11/7 @Philadelphia Win
I see the Eagles as a team in decline. By rule I assume all young QBs suck until they prove they don't. Kevin Kolb is in that category. I hope Marv drops by the stadium. Somehow, I doubt he will.
Week 10: 11/14 Cincinnati Win
Yeah, Indy goes to 8-1. I just don't see how the Bengals are going to be good next year. They were a mirage this season, and they'll be worse.
Week 11: 11/21 @ New England Win
The Pats are going backwards in a hurry. I don't think they make the playoffs next year. Seriously.
Week 12: 11/28 San Diego Win
A prime time game in Indy. The Colts will need to win three of the four games with the Pats, Bolts, Cowboys, and Titans. I'm taking them in the two biggest.
Week 13: 12/5 Dallas Cowboys Loss
They have to lose sometime, and Dallas will have several extra days to prepare thanks to their Thanksgiving game.
Week 14: 12/9 @ Tennessee Win
Vince Young or Peyton Manning? In prime time, at any time, it's #18.
Week 15: 12/19 Jacksonville Win
Indy clinches the South with a record of 12-2.
Week 16: @Oakland Win
The Peyton/Painter combo mops up the Raiders to push Indy's record to 13-2.
Week 17: Tennessee Loss
Nice call Goodell. Have you watched any of the other Colts/Titans end of the season games? Get real, chief.
So there you have it. Indy goes 13-3 and wins the South, taking the #1 overall seed again. The Colts have only three potential cold weather games: @ Philly November 7th (not too bad!), @New England (mercifully a day game) on November 21st, and at the Titans (I know I'm pushing the boundaries of 'cold weather') on December 9th.
The Colts get 5 night games, three at home and two on the road. They finish with four of six at home. Perhaps the only bad break is having to open at Houston. All in all, it couldn't sort out much better. I expect the NFC East to be seriously down next year. I expect the AFC West to continue to suck as bad or worse than ever. I think the Patriots and Bengals, though technically #1 teams in their divisions, are both the third best teams in the North and East.