INDIANAPOLIS – Is this the most confident Colts nation has been in their entire football team under Frank Reich?
With Vegas placing the Colts over/under of wins at 9.5, and as the AFC South favorite entering the season, let’s give it a try.
Here is a game-by-game prediction of the Colts 2022 season.
Week 1: Win (27-20) at Texans, Record: 1-0
-Finally, it’s over. Honestly, Jim Irsay should plan a parade for the Tuesday following this Week 1 victory. The Texans are not good. The Colts are supposed to be good. You take care of business without any reason to overlook this one. The Colts take care of business, although that touchdown-plus spread is probably something I’d stay away from. Since Frank Reich’s arrival, the Colts have won 4 of 5 games in Houston (including a 2018 Wild Card victory).
Week 2: Win (23-17) at Jaguars, Record: 2-0
-I think the Jaguars are a better team than the Texans. But I think the Colts finally end this drought in Jacksonville, which dates back to the 2014 season. The Jaguars hang in there, but Matt Ryan is able to put this game on ice in the 4th quarter. It’s the first 2-0 start for the Colts since 2009, which is rather incredible to think about.
Week 3: Loss (30-23) vs. Chiefs, Record: 2-1
-Patrick Mahomes has only faced the Colts once in his career, and never in Indianapolis. Mahomes keeping plays alive on the Lucas Oil Stadium turf is a scary thought for me. The Chiefs, who will be getting acclimated to life without Tyreek Hill, give the Colts their first loss of the season. Kansas City will have 10 days off prior to this matchup, hosting the Chargers on Thursday Night Football in Week Two.
Week 4: Win (24-17) vs. Titans, Record: 3-1
-The Colts no longer dominate the Titans like they used to. These matchups in Indy have seen some major ebbs and flows, but the Titans have outlasted the Colts in their own building. I think the A.J. Brown loss is substantial and I’m going with the Colts squeaking one out here to start October.
Week 5: Loss (31-16) at Broncos, Record: 3-2
-I think this is the toughest game on the Colts schedule. A quality opponent, a top-flight QB, a road trip in the altitude, and a short week (Thursday Night Football). It’s rare for me to predict this sort of margin, but I think the Colts lose this one by two scores.
Week 6: Win (30-13) vs. Jaguars, Record: 4-2
-Nothing says a bounce back like a home game versus the Jaguars. The Colts have both of their Jags meetings this year before the end of October. They get the season sweep over them for the first time since 2014.
Week 7: Loss (23-20) at Titans, Record: 4-3
-It’s hard not to pick a season split in this series. Mike Vrabel and the Titans are still too pesky for me not to think they’ll be somewhat the mix come the end of the season, although last week’s loss of Harold Landry has me further questioning that thought. If the Colts were able to win this one…could they be 5-0 in the AFC South to start the season? If that happens, just give them the division crown right then.
Week 8: Win (24-16) vs. Commanders, Record: 5-3
-Oh boy, can you imagine the emotions for Carson Wentz if he were to win in front of Jim Irsay in Indy? Irsay has backed the truck up over Wentz on several occasions this offseason. Now, Irsay will need his team to back up its Owner and defend homefield.
Week 9: Loss (27-20) at Patriots, Record: 5-4
-It’s a trip to Foxborough this year, after these two teams met in Indy last year. The Colts last won in Foxborough in 2006, with 6 straight losses there. Bill Belichick gets some revenge on Frank Reich after last season’s primetime loss in December.
Week 10: Loss (31-21) at Raiders, Record: 5-5
-I think both AFC West road games are going to be really challenging for the Colts. This has been an annual meeting in the Frank Reich era, with Josh McDaniels now on the other sideline of this matchup. I really like the Raiders this season.
Week 11: Win (30-21) vs. Eagles, Record: 6-5
-It’ll be Nick Sirianni and the Eagles coming to Lucas Oil Stadium with Thanksgiving on the horizon. This will be a fun chess match to watch between the teacher (Reich) and the pupil (Sirianni). The Colts respond from rare back-to-back losses with a home win.
Week 12: Win (27-17) vs. Steelers, Record: 7-5
-The Colts and city of Indianapolis are back in the Monday Night Football spotlight with this one. And considering the track record of this matchup in Pittsburgh, they welcome the meeting in Indy. The Colts shine in the national spotlight and inch closer to clinching a division title.
Week 13: Lose (27-23) at Cowboys, Record: 7-6
-Similar to the Raiders, I’m a little higher on the Cowboys than most. I see the Colts dropping this one as they reel a bit heading into their by week. If the Colts get this one, they would have some breathing room down the stretch, but a loss here makes the final 4 games extremely important.
Week 14: BYE
Week 15: Win (23-17) at Vikings, Record: 8-6
-The Colts return from their bye week with an important road game in the NFC. This is the ‘extra’ crossover game for the Colts in 2022. I see them bottling up Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson enough with the extra preparation time to get their 8th win.
Week 16: Win (37-34) vs. Chargers, Record: 9-6
-How about a Monday Night shootout? For both of these teams, this matchup should be a big one. And the Colts would probably much rather have this game in the 20s, than the 30s. But let’s go with the Colts winning both of their Monday night games this season.
Week 17: Win (30-20) @Giants, Record: 10-6
-Mother Nature will be something to monitor in this one. But I can’t see the Giants having anything playoff wise at stake this late in the season. The Colts win their final road game of the season, which clinches their first division title since 2014.
Week 18: Win (34-17) vs. Texans, Record: 11-6
-I have the Colts winning four straight games to end the 2022 season. Involved in that will be plenty of clinching/seeding scenarios, which they didn’t handle well at all last year. There should be absolutely zero excuse for that in their own building this year.
Analysis: I probably see 10 wins more than I see 12, if you are looking at my number of 11-6 for the Colts and are curious where I’m leaning. The Colts picked the wrong season to fall into the divisional rotation matchup up against the AFC West. I have them going 1-3 against that division. The NFC East has a couple of legit teams, but it’s not as daunting as the NFC West. It’s time for the Colts to feast on the AFC South, and I have them going 5-1 in the division this year. It’s been quite some time since they did that. Going 11-6 should be enough to win the division and get that home playoff game for the first time since January 2015. However, I don’t see a very long stay in the postseason though.