INDIANAPOLIS – A highly-anticipated 2021 season is here for the Indianapolis Colts.
With Vegas placing the Colts over/under of wins at 9, let’s give it a try.
Here is a game-by-game prediction of the Colts 2021 season.
Week 1: Loss (27-24) vs. Seahawks, Record: 0-1
-Yep, the drought continues. It’ll be an 8th straight loss to start a season for the Colts. Concerns at cornerback against Russell Wilson and the Seahawks is less than ideal. On another note, what a great opener for fans returning to Lucas Oil Stadium.
Week 2: Win (23-20) vs. Rams, Record: 1-1
-I think the Colts will earn a few big wins this year. The first comes in Week Two against a team that I have representing the NFC in the Super Bowl. The Colts are able to rattle Matthew Stafford enough and Aaron Donald doesn’t make a game-changing play, as the Colts even their record.
Week 3: Loss (30-23) at Titans, Record: 1-2
-Along with the other meeting against Tennessee this year, it’s this matchup that you need the most. While the Colts have had a nice recent run in Nashville, I still think the potency of the Titans offense will be too much on the road.
Week 4: Win (24-17) at Dolphins, Record: 2-2
-Is this the ‘easiest’ of the brutal five-game stretch to start the season? I see the Colts defense controlling this one for their first road win of the season. Calls for Jacoby Brissett to be the Dolphins QB will begin to trickle out of this matchup.
Week 5: Loss (23-16) at Ravens, Record: 2-3
-It’s a Monday Night Football matchup in this one, after the Ravens dominated the Colts in the second half of a November meeting in Indy last season. Remember, T.Y. Hilton had Baltimore as his other destination in free agency, had the Colts not re-upped their offer. This marks the end to three straight games on the road for Indy.
Week 6: Win (30-13) vs. Texans, Record: 3-3
-The bounce back nature to this season continues at home with the Colts cruising to a victory back at Lucas Oil Stadium. Sweeping the Texans is a must this year in order to try and re-gain reign over the AFC South.
Week 7: Loss (23-20) at 49ers, Record: 3-4
-It’s another primetime matchup for the Colts, seeing DeForest Buckner’s former team. Despite the 49ers finishing last in the NFC West last season, a chunk of people are believing that San Francisco will have a turnaround campaign. I see their defense being a bit too stingy for the Colts to figure out.
Week 8: Win (30-27) vs. Titans, Record: 4-4
-It’s a big Halloween rematch against the Titans. Like we saw last year, I believe the Colts and Titans split their meetings, with each team winning on their own home field (both road teams won the two matchups last season).
Week 9: Win (34-17) vs. Jets, Record: 5-4
-Rejoice! It’s a Thursday night HOME game for the Colts! Will this be No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson still under center for the Jets at the mid-way point of the season? I see the Colts dominating the Jets in this one, for their first win streak of the season.
Week 10: Win (31-13) vs. Jaguars, Record: 6-4
-The Colts will run their win streak to 3 in a row by thrashing the Jaguars in Week 10. Again, anything short of a 4-0 mark against the Texans and Jaguars this year will have the Colts climbing uphill again in the AFC South.
Week 11: Loss (30-21) at Bills, Record: 6-5
-After some lighter opponents, this back-to-back stretch will draw some national eyes. I’ve got the Bills winning the Super Bowl this year, so you know my thoughts on how I view Buffalo. Josh Allen is a really tough matchup, and this road matchup will result in another loss in western New York.
Week 12: Win (27-24) vs. Buccaneers, Record: 7-5
-Mark this down as another ‘big win’ for the Colts in 2021. In this Week 12 meeting, the Bucs will be coming off a short week in playing on Monday Night Football. Fans at Lucas Oil Stadium will bring it to Tom Brady and earn big measuring stick victory.
Week 13: Win (31-20) at. Texans, Record: 8-5
-It’s a season sweep of the Texans, as the Colts move to three games above .500 for the first time in the season. On paper, there’s no easier opponent on the Colts 2021 schedule than the Texans. Unlike last year, the Cots won’t flirt with losing either of these meetings.
Week 14: BYE
Week 15: Win (23-20) vs. Patriots, Record: 9-5
-Both the Colts and Patriots share the latest bye weeks in the NFL this season. The Colts will see a lot of rookie QBs this season and they’ll get to Mac Jones enough to earn a critical December victory.
Week 16: Loss (34-31) at Cardinals, Record: 9-6
-This is going to be a really fun Christmas night matchup. The Cardinals have all the makings of a premier offense. Defending Kyler Murray is no easy task, and this will be the most points the Colts allow all season long.
Week 17: Win (27-17) vs. Raiders, Record: 10-6
-Needing to finish the season with one more win to earn a playoff spot, the Colts get it over the Raiders as these teams continue to find each other on the schedule.
Week 18: Win (30-20) at Jaguars, Record: 11-6
-Yes! For the first time since the 2014 season, yes that’s right, the Colts will win a game in Jacksonville. Trevor Lawrence and Urban Meyer will experience quite a few growing pains in Year One, including two defeats by the Colts.
Analysis: I hovered around 10 and 11 wins in this prediction. I’m factoring in minimal COVID absences and a healthy/available, Carson Wentz for a vast majority of the season. This schedule is much tougher in 2021 than it was in 2020, but I’m a big believer in Jonathan Taylor and the run game. The Indy defense has an impressive starting 11. If that unit can stay healthy, it has the ability to take a needed step. The Titans win the division by going 12-5, and the Colts bow out in the first round of the playoffs for a second straight year.