Colts: Projecting Indy’s record for tough season-opening 5-game stretch

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - NOVEMBER 29: Derrick Henry #22 of the Tennessee Titans runs the ball against the Indianapolis Colts (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - NOVEMBER 29: Derrick Henry #22 of the Tennessee Titans runs the ball against the Indianapolis Colts (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

The Indianapolis Colts might end up winning the division by virtue of an AFC South that is much weaker than it was last season, but that didn’t stop the NFL schedule makers from giving them quite the difficult stretch of games right off the bat.

The Colts will face off against five consecutive opponents who won at least 10 games last year. Frank Reich’s squad, in need of a good start to get Carson Wentz confident and rolling, is just the third team in NFL history to be dealt such a rough hand.

The Colts might be in a division with two rebuilding teams in Houston and Jacksonville, but the Tennessee Titans could easily sneak up from behind and overtake the Colts. A strong start is key with regards to keeping them at bay.

How will the Colts perform in their meat grinder of a starting schedule? Well, considering how deep this roster is, they might be able to snag a few more victories than most around the country would expect them to.

How will the Indianapolis Colts fare amid a tough start to the 2021 NFL season?

Week 1: Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks might have Russell Wilson and an armada of talented receivers, but that secondary is still a question mark and their lack of a pass rush will cause them issues against a tremendous Colts offensive line. Given their tendency to lose winnable games, Seattle might end up slipping up against Indy in Week 1.

Verdict: Win

Week 2: Los Angeles Rams

The Rams would’ve likely taken down Indy with Jared Goff at quarterback given how stacked they are at almost every position, and upgrading to Matthew Stafford could stretch the secondary to breaking point. The Rams will be able to throw Aaron Donald at Indy’s line, and he could force a key turnover if he gets in Wentz’s face.

Verdict: Loss

Week 3: Tennessee Titans

The Titans are still a quality offense thanks to the presence of Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry, but the defense remains a work in progress, Arthur Smith and Jonnu Smith are gone, and the offensive line could use some work. Unless Tannehill gets white-hot at the start of the game, the Colts should be able to walk into Nashville and win.

Verdict: Win

Week 4: Miami Dolphins

Miami’s 10 wins last year were a bit deceiving, as an awesome defense overshadowed the slower than expected development of Tua Tagovailoa. The former No. 5 overall pick might’ve made some strides in the offseason, but unless he starts proving it on the field, Indy will have a big advantage at the most key position on the field.

Verdict: Win

Week 5: Baltimore Ravens

Darius Leonard and the defense have been able to somewhat limit Lamar Jackson’s ability to just take a game over with his legs, but the improved receivers around the Ravens QB in addition to the fact the former first-round pick could potentially take the next step as a passer in 2021 is a frightening thought for the Colts defense. After a few tough wins, Indy might run out of steam here.

Verdict: Loss