Weeks 1-4: A Hot Start
Week 1: Colts @ Jaguars
Indianapolis opens the season against a team the Colts have struggled against: the Jacksonville Jaguars. They haven’t won at Jacksonville since 2014 and haven’t won a road opener since 2006. It’s definitely been a struggle to win away from home against the Jaguars, especially in recent years.
The 2020 season breaks two bad streaks for the team. The Colts will be able to overcome their past opener struggles and will defeat the Jaguars in Week 1. Gardner Minshew is the option at quarterback in Duval and outside of Leonard Fournette and rookie Laviska Shenault, the team isn’t ready to keep up with the offense. The combination of Philip Rivers, the two-headed monster at running back, and the newfound receiver talent, will be too much for the Jaguars to handle.
The X-factor is whether the young defense of the Jaguars will be able to keep up with the Colts offense. It’s likely that the veteran and youth combination on the team’s offense will outperform the Jags’ young and unproven defense.
Colts record: 1-0
Week 2: Colts vs Vikings
The Colts return for their first home game of the season, and it’s a tough one at that. This will be a huge test for the revamped Colts offense to see if they can produce against one of the toughest defensive teams in the league. In addition, the Vikings offense, despite losing Stefon Diggs, have a top ten offense and will be a test for the Colts young defense.
This will be a tough test for the team and is one they could very well lose. However, this game will prove they’re ready to make a push into the playoffs as they overcome the talented Vikings team. Led by Rivers and the passing attack, they’ll be able to outperform the young and unproven Minnesota secondary. Without Xavier Rhodes and in Jeff Gladney‘s second career game, the Vikings won’t be able to compete with Rivers and TY Hilton.
Another young defense needs time to shake off the NFL nerves, and he veteran leadership of Rivers and Hilton will prove to be too much for the Vikings.
Colts record: 2-0
Week 3: Colts vs Jets
The Colts stay at home and face the New York Jets in week three. The Jets are another rebuilding team that will likely not be able to keep up with the offense, especially on their respective offensive side. With Sam Darnold and Le’Veon Bell coming off of down seasons, the Colts shouldn’t have a problem winning this matchup.
The advantage is held in all phases of the game here. Their offense will be able to outplay the Jets defense, and the revamped front seven with new addition, DeForest Buckner, will be able to attack the Jets’ weak offensive line. This matchup shouldn’t be issue and they should roll safely into 3-0.
Colts record: 3-0
Week 4: Colts @ Bears
The Colts finish the first quarter of the season in Chicago. They face a team that severely under-performed after making the playoffs in 2018. The defense, formerly one of the best, slipped off the radar last season and couldn’t replicate their 2018 success.
Again, the advantage is on all phases of the game. The Bears offense will struggle getting the ball out, given the Colts’ front seven surperiority over the Bears’ offensive line. With the loss of Trey Burton (he signed with Indianapolis), Mitchell Trubisky (or Nick Foles) won’t be able to keep up on offense.
The only struggle point will come on offense, specifially in the run game. Despite the team’s struggles last year, Khalil Mack and the rest of the interior defense is a force to be reckoned with. If the Marlon Mack/Jonathan Taylor combination can be successful on the ground, it’s a no-brainer that the team will take the win and roll to 4-0.
Colts record: 4-0