The Indianapolis Colts 2023 schedule was released May 11th and it was the team's best-case scenario. According to NFL research, the Colts have the fourth-easiest strength of schedule.
Every team plays 17 games each season: six games against their divisional opponents, four games against another division in the same conference and another four games against a division in the other conference. The other three games are against teams scattered around the league.
The Colts, who play in the American Football Conference, will play six games against their division, the AFC South, four games against teams in the AFC North and four games against teams in the National Football Conference’s South division.
The AFC South is the definition of mediocrity, as the only competitive team this year is the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Colts are better than the rebuilding Houston Texans and always split their games against the Tennessee Titans. So the Colts will split their division games — winning three against the Texans and Titans — while losing three against the Jaguars and Titans.
Beyond the south, the Colts will play all four AFC North teams, who are all considerably better than them. While an upset of the Pittsburgh Steelers is not beyond the realm of possibility, I predict the Colts will lose to all four teams in the North.
The NFC South is destined to be one of the worst divisions in football along with the AFC South. The New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are all either rebuilding or mediocre at best. I predict the Colts winning against the Falcons, Buccaneers and the Panthers, while only losing to the Saints at home.
The three scattered teams the Colts will play this year are the Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots and the Las Vegas Raiders. While all three have holes all over their roster, the Rams and Raiders are just a bit better than the Colts. The Patriots, meanwhile look out of sorts and are an easy win for the Colts. Indianapolis will go 1-2 against these teams.
Overall, I predict the Colts will go 7-10 this season, just over the DraftKings’ over-under win total of 6.5 wins for the team. If rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson is terrible in his first year, the Colts could easily lose 13 or 14 games this season.
But if Richardson is amazing right out of the gate, Indianapolis could easily upset the Steelers, Rams and the Raiders, winning 10 games. I predict the floor for the Colts to be 3-14, their ceiling to be 10-7 and their actual record to be 7-10.
This season was shaping up to be a rebuilding year for the Colts, but after their easy schedule was released, fans should be hopeful that the team could actually compete and maybe even win 10 games if No. 4 overall pick Ricardson lives up to his draft hype.