The Indianapolis Colts‘ season is quickly approaching. With a chance of the team quieting the doubters with a clean slate come week one, we take an inside look at the three biggest games for the Colts in 2016.
The Indianapolis Colts suffered a disappointing campaign in 2015 after being heavily favored to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.
One Andrew Luck injury-riddled season later, and the Colts saw themselves finishing the season with just eight wins — effectively missing out on both the AFC South division title and playoffs for the second time in fourteen seasons.
When Luck had played healthy and in sync with the rest of the team, the Colts competed with some of the league’s best — beating the eventual champion Denver Broncos and losing in overtime narrowly to the Carolina Panthers.
With Luck coming into 2016 fully healthy, he could have the Colts back into contention. Out of the 16 games the team will play this season, what are the three biggest match-ups?
Week 4 — at Jacksonville Jaguars
The Colts will face off against the Jaguars in Wembley Stadium in London come week four. This will be one of the Colts’ biggest games of the season due to the fact that the Jaguars appear to have heavily improved their roster in this year’s free agency and draft. The last time these two teams faced off against one-another, the Jaguars beat down the Colts by a wide margin of 51-16. With No. 4 overall pick Jalen Ramsey on the Jaguars’ defense this season, the Jaguars could give the Colts a serious run for their money for the division crown.
Week 9 — at Green Bay Packers
Another tough road game for the Colts comes week nine when the team travels to Lambeau Field to take on Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. The last time these two teams faced off came week five of the 2012 season in which the Colts and a rookie Luck overcame a 21-3 deficit — known as the ‘ChuckStrong’ game. With Rodgers being one of the best quarterbacks in the league with MVP honors in 2014. With the Packers offense being one of the best every season, this game will be a serious test for the Colts’ defense.
Week 12 — Vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Colts face off against the Steelers at home in a week 12 Thanksgiving night match up. This marks the third-straight year that the Colts will take on Pittsburgh, the only difference is that they will face them at home this time around. The last two times the Colts faced the Steelers was in 2014 and 2015 — they lost each game by scores of 51-34 and 45-10 respectively. With the opportunity to face Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers at home, it’s critical that the Colts keep the margin narrow and escape with a win in order to prove that they can hang with some of the league’s top teams.
These are just three games on the Colts’ schedule that stick out the most at first glance. Depending on how Luck and the remainder of the team perform against these teams could give a glance of what the 2016 Indianapolis Colts are made of.
It’s crucial for the Colts to win these games if they wish to get themselves back into contention as they have large Super Bowl aspirations.
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