The brutal 5-game stretch that will be critical for the Colts next season

The Indianapolis Colts have a tough stretch of five playoff teams on their schedule that they will have to navigate for a successful season.

With the NFL schedule officially released, the Indianapolis Colts now know the order which they will play all of their opponents, as well as the date and times.

Overall, the Colts don’t have an incredibly tough schedule and they also have four primetime games. However, Indy does have a Week 14 bye and it comes right after a brutal five-game stretch of quality opponents.

From Week 9 to Week 13, the Colts will play the New England Patriots on the road, the Las Vegas Raiders in Vegas, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Dallas Cowboys in AT&T Stadium.

Colts will play five playoff teams right before bye week

All five of those teams made the postseason last year and their combined 2021 record was 50-34-1. As good as they were last year, they’re all expected to be better.

Indianapolis beat the Patriots last season but Mac Jones is reportedly progressing really well and New England has added some more pieces.

The Raiders beat the Colts on a walk-off field goal last season and now they’ve added Davante Adams to the offense in addition to many other players on the team.

Indy didn’t play Philadelphia but the Colts did struggle to contain AJ Brown when he was with the Titans. Now, Brown is with Jalen Hurts and DeVonta Smith in Philadelphia and is hoping to help the Eagles rise higher.

The Steelers just simply never have bad seasons no matter what circumstances the team is facing and the Cowboys have a loaded roster that won 12 games last season.

The opponents alone make this a tough span, however, the stretch starts after Indianapolis will have already played eight games, and there will be no break to prepare.

Instead, Indy will have to dig deep to get through this barrage of playoff teams before it reaches its bye week in Week 14. Although it will be tough, Indy will have to rise to the occasion.

This stretch could have a big impact on Colts’ season

Indianapolis isn’t a team that’s just trying to pick up a few more wins than last season and make the postseason. They’re a team with big goals. Championship goals.

If a Super Bowl is the objective, the Colts will have to be able to weather storms like this five-game stretch. These opponents are projected to be good but so is Indianapolis.

That means Indy has to be prepared to compete and show they belong in the mix with the better teams in the league. It probably wouldn’t be good if they drop more than three games in this span.

Not only is it important to show that you can win against good teams but dropping too many games in a tough stretch can severely impact the chances of making the postseason.