Indianapolis Colts: Schedule, record prediction, X-factors for 2021 NFL season

NFL Power Rankings. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
NFL Power Rankings. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /
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Indianapolis Colts, Jonathan Taylor. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
Indianapolis Colts, Jonathan Taylor. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) /

Indianapolis Colts 2021 schedule, game-by-game predictions

Week 1 vs. Seattle Seahawks – W

In what should be a fun one, the Colts will get off to the fast start they need to and then control the game with Jonathan Taylor. Russell Wilson and the Seahawks are dangerous but Indianapolis will hold them off and start the 2021 season 1-0.

Week 2 vs. Los Angeles Rams – L

Los Angeles made a huge move, trading for Matthew Stafford to upgrade from Jared Goff. The former Lion is going to open up the Rams offense, especially with Cam Akers out for the season, which means Indianapolis will have a hard time stopping the passing attack.

Week 3 at Tennessee Titans – L

In Nashville with a loaded offensive attack that already featured Derrick Henry and A.J. Brown before adding Julio Jones this offseason, the Titans will be too much for Indianapolis to handle early in the year.

Week 4 vs. Miami Dolphins – W

The Miami Dolphins upgraded their offensive weapons around Tua Tagoviloa in the offseason. The Colts have enough to get the win here, despite that. This should be a very close and physical matchup.

Week 5 at Baltimore Ravens – L

2021 will be the aerial coming-out party for Lamar Jackson. It will have to be, as the Ravens have lost their top three running backs to three separate ACL tears. It will be a test for them to be able to run the football all season under such dire and almost unheard of circumstances.

Week 6 vs. Houston Texans – W

Going 0-17 isn’t out of the question for the Texans as they’ll surely be one of the worst teams in the league. Tyrod Taylor is fine but nothing more. Indianapolis should have the advantage in all three phases of this game to throttle Houston.

Week 7 at San Francisco 49ers – L

Tight end George Kittle will be a tall order for the Colts defense. That’s pretty much the case for everyone, of course. Trey Lance could have taken over as the San Francisco 49ers starting quarterback by this point in the season but, on both sides of the ball, this is a tough one for Indianapolis to win.

Week 8 vs. Tennessee Titans – W

Splitting the season series with the Titans should be possible, meaning they pick up a win in this matchup. That said, Wentz may have to show off his mobility if Eric Fisher hasn’t returned to the lineup by this point.

Week 9 vs. New York Jets – W

Zach Wilson will bring the retooled Jets to town to Indianapolis. The 2021 season will be rough on the young signal-caller as he learns the NFL ropes. The Colts should be able to confuse him and force him into some rookie mistakes in a hard-fought game.

Week 10 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars – W

The Jaguars should field a better overall offense than most teams with a rookie quarterback tend to throw out. Trevor Lawrence may be able to give the Colts defense fits at times with his ability to run with the football. However, Darius Leonard will be looking to make the young man pay when he decides to do so.

Week 11 at Buffalo Bills – L

If the Indianapolis Colts are able to return to the playoffs, this could potentially be a preview. Josh Allen is just on another level in his game right now and may even put up an M.V.P caliber season if he is able to stay healthy. The Bills offense will just be too much to handle.

Week 12 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – L

Everyone likes to talk about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense and rightfully so. Vita Vea and the rest of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense put on a show against the Dallas Cowboys, though. It will be very hard for Jonathan Taylor to find any running room in this game.

Week 13 at Houston Texans – W

It’s very difficult for a team to go winless, even one as apparently hapless as the Houston Texans look to be. They may sneak up on some unsuspecting team and beat them. Frank Reich though will not allow the Indianapolis Colts to overlook them. The game may be close, but no dice for the Houston Texans this week.

Week 15 vs. New England Patriots – W

Bill Belichick has handed the keys to the franchise to rookie quarterback Mac Jones, which was the correct decision. However, rookies tend to have their share of ups and downs, which we’ll see in this game and will give the edge to the Colts.

Week 16 at Arizona Cardinals – W

Fans get a great matchup with always exciting Kyler Murray vs. the redemption of Carson Wentz. What impact will J.J. Watt have on the game? Indianapolis is more than familiar with the future Hall-of-Famer but will control the game offensively to take down the Cards on the road.

Week 17 vs. Las Vegas Raiders – W

TheRaiders had an interesting offseason, to say the least, almost getting rid of their entire offensive line from the previous season. What will their backfield combination of Josh Jacobs and Kenyan Drake look like? What will their young receiving corps do in 2021? There are a lot of questions to be answered, too many to beat the Colts at home.

Week 18 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars – W

Potentially, the club be looking at a playoff berth in this game. They should have far too much on the line to let up against the upstart Jags in the season finale.

Final Record Prediction: 11-6

The Indianapolis Colts should finish the 2021 NFL season with a record of 11-6. Will that be enough to make the playoffs in a tight AFC? That remains to be seen.