The Indianapolis Colts season is over, so of course its time to start looking at next year. With the regular season well over, we know who the Colts will face in 2015.
Based on regular rotations the Colts will be up against the AFC East and NFC South. They’ll also face the winners of the AFC North and AFC West. What we still don’t know will be when they’ll face these opponents and how many night games they’ll have.
Houston Texans (9-7)
Jacksonville Jaguars (3-13)
Tennessee Titans (2-14)
New England Patriots (12-4)
New York Jets (4-12)
Denver Broncos (12-4)
New Orleans Saints (7-9)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-14)
Texans, Jaguars, and Titans.
Buffalo Bills (9-7)
Miami Dolphins (8-8)
Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5)
Carolina Panthers (7-8-1)
Atlanta Falcons (6-10)
The Colts opponents have a combined record of 106-149-1. They will benefit from playing the three worst teams in the NFL five times (Jags and Titans twice then the Bucs).
The NFC South and AFC South were considered the two worst divisions in the NFL last season. The NFCS was so bad that no team had a winning record and the Panthers made the playoffs because someone had to. Carolina made the Divisional round by hosting the quarterback-less Cardinals in the Wild Card.
Unless there is drastic change in the AFC South, the Colts are all but assured another title. They currently have the best two quarterbacks in the division and the other teams almost refuse to get better at the position that matters most.
The AFC East features two of the better defenses in the NFL between New England and Buffalo, the later of which had the best pass defense in the league. Offense will be the real question for the Bills as their quarterback, Kyle Orton, just retired.
Miami and the Jets are still works in progress. The Jets have overhauled the coaching staff but have concerns with Geno Smith at QB.
In Miami, Ryan Tannehill had his best season but the Dolphins lost three games to eventual playoff teams by four points or less. Winning tight games will be key for this team as they attempt to compete for the division.
The Broncos future will hinge on whether or not Peyton Manning decides to retire. The Steelers, well, hopefully the Colts will be more competitive against them in 2015.
Right now, this appears to be another 10 win season but that will change with free agency and the draft. The Colts shot at a playoff berth in 2015 looks good on paper for now.