Colts are paying for being mediocre with a whopping zero primetime games

Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (28) walks off the field Monday, Oct. 11, 2021,
Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (28) walks off the field Monday, Oct. 11, 2021, / Jenna Watson/IndyStar / USA TODAY

When the NFL released the 2023 schedule on Thursday, it was revealed that the Indianapolis Colts aren’t scheduled for any primetime games this season.

Let’s be real, we all saw it coming. After the year the Indianapolis Colts had last season, there wasn’t an expectation for Indy to have many primetime games. There was a chance the team could get blessed with maybe one or two, but ultimately, the NFL decided that the Colts won’t have any primetime games in the 2023 season.

Indianapolis doesn’t even really get any late afternoon windows. Of Indy’s 17 games, 13 start at 1:00 p.m. ET, one starts at 4:05 p.m. ET, two are TBD, and one starts at 9:30 a.m. ET because it will be played in Frankfurt, Germany.

In total, there are only four teams that aren’t scheduled to have primetime games in this upcoming season: Indy, the Houston Texans, the Arizona Cardinals, and the Atlanta Falcons. Ultimately, that’s the cost of being a mediocre football team.

Colts aren’t scheduled for any primetime games in 2023

There are surely other mediocre and bad teams that received primetime games. The Chicago Bears, who had the worst record in the NFL last season, have four primetime games. However, not all teams can afford to be bad and remain in the spotlight. That was detailed in a piece at the end of last season about how the Colts fumbled away their year in the spotlight.

Indy, being in the market that it’s in and having the history that it does, has to consistently earn the spotlight. That’s why going into last season, the Colts were scheduled for four primetime games. They were coming off a season where they had a stretch of really great football and also had a league-high seven Pro Bowlers. However, Indianapolis imploded last season, and the result was a lot of bad football in primetime.

Now, Indy is back to the back of the line. However, they don’t have to stay there. If the Colts start the season hot and are entertaining, the NFL can easily flex them into a primetime game. If they put together a promising year, they should be rewarded with primetime games next season.

READ MORE: Predicting all 17 games for the Colts