Colts’ 2023 schedule: Experts predict win/loss record

The 2023 schedule has been released, and the Indianapolis Colts remain one of the more difficult teams to project going into the upcoming season.

With so many factors going into the projections, the Colts will be relying on the talents of a first-year head coach and an uber-talented, but inexperienced rookie quarterback to lead the team. There’s always the chance they shock the world, but it’s also wise to exercise a bit of caution.

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While Vegas put together an early over/under for wins, and we predicted the outcome of each game in a way-too-early fashion, it’s time to take a look at what the experts around the league are predicting for the Colts in 2023:


Win total/record prediction: 6-7 wins

ESPN’s Mike Clay is projecting the Colts to win roughly six games while his colleague Erin Dolan believes Indy has enough to surpass that projection.

What they said:

Over/under: 6.5

Mike Clay’s projection: 6.4

Prediction: Over 6.5 wins (-125). The Colts had an underwhelming four-win season after Indy had a win total set at 10.5 before the 2022 campaign. The biggest plus is the Colts hiring Shane Steichen as their new head coach. Steichen was the Eagles’ offensive coordinator in 2022 and was the playcaller for one of the best offenses. The Colts have enough to get over 6.5 wins with Steichen expected to fix the offensive issues and the defense continuing to be middle of the pack.


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Bleacher Report

Win total/record prediction: 6-11

What they said:

Like the Texans, the Indianapolis Colts have a new franchise quarterback. In their case, the Colts took dynamic dual-threat Anthony Richardson out of Florida.

If new head coach Shane Steichen is willing to lean into Richardson’s running ability while developing him as a passer, the Colts offense could be unexpectedly dangerous this season.

“Players with his build, athletic profile, arm strength and advanced pocket management are hard to find,” B/R NFL scout Derrik Klassen wrote.

Jonathan Taylor is one of the league’s best backs, and Indy boasts a solid receiving duo in Michael Pittman Jr. and Alec Pierce. The offense could be borderline good if Steichen and Richardson click quickly and if the Colts avoid the turnovers (34 of them) that plagued them in 2022.

A defense that ranked 15th in yards allowed and tied for 28th in points allowed last season—and parted with Stephon Gilmore and Yannick Ngakoue in the offseason—certainly won’t carry the team.

Indy has the fourth-easiest schedule in the NFL, so if Richardson surprises, the Colts might too. With a rookie head coach and a rookie quarterback, however, fans should expect some growing pains.


Win total/record prediction: 5-6 wins

What they said:

Should the rookie QBs drafted in the first round all be playing by the time of their matchups, we would get QB2 versus QB3 twice — potentially as soon as Week 2. In between those two games, Anthony Richardson and the Colts travel to Carolina (Week 9), setting up a potential QB1 versus QB3 showdown.

Sports Illustrated

Win total/record prediction: 3-14

What they said:

It’ll be interesting to see when rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson will make his debut. The Colts will likely be careful about getting him into the lineup, as backup Gardner Minshew is familiar with first-year coach Shane Steichen’s system.

As for the opponents, the Colts have the advantage of playing in the AFC’s weakest division. Houston and Tennessee are in the same talent bracket as Indy, and each is challenged offensively. The Colts also draw the NFC South, providing Steichen with four winnable games. Expecting a playoff berth is aggressive, but Indianapolis should be able to win some games based on a soft schedule.


Fox Sports

Win total/record prediction: 5-12

What they said:

The Colts have no prime-time games, to no one’s surprise. Even with Jonathan Taylor returning and a competitive defense, the tough sledding expected with No. 4 overall pick Anthony Richardson — who’s just 20 years old and started 13 games at Florida — keeps the win total low. A successful season for Indianapolis is Richardson showing he is a long-term franchise quarterback


Pro Football Network

Win total/record predictions: 6-11

What they said:

The AFC South remains the eyesore of the AFC, but at least we’ll have some fun, young quarterbacks and first-year head coaches to track. The Colts, with Shane Steichen and Anthony Richardson looking to develop with each other, will have the chance to pull some key upsets. Home games against the Steelers, Saints, Buccaneers, Raiders, and Rams look particularly winnable.

Of course, it depends on how much of a learning curve Richardson needs. He’s surrounded by a good defense and a set of playmakers who have varying levels of recent success. With this schedule and Richardson’s upside, the Colts could be a surprise breakout team in 2023.

Story originally appeared on Colts Wire