Indianapolis Colts Schedule: Toughest three-game stretch

The Indianapolis Colts face a difficult three-game stretch from Weeks 10 through 12 that could have a major impact on their 2024 season, depending on the outcomes of those games.

In Week 10, the Colts face the Buffalo Bills at home for a 1:00 PM kickoff.

In Week 11, the Colts travel to New York to face the Jets for their lone prime-time game of the year taking place on Sunday Night football.

Then, in Week 12, the Colts are back home to take on the Detroit Lions at 1:00 PM.

Last season, both the Bills and Lions were playoff teams, with the Lions being on the cusp of making it to the Super Bowl. Once again, both teams expect to be among the elite within their respective conferences.

The Jets’ 2023 season was derailed by an Achilles injury to Aaron Rodgers, but his return makes them a playoff contender and a team that we know has Super Bowl aspirations.

In each of these games, the Colts will have to contend with high-level quarterback play, with Buffalo and Detroit both ranking top-six in points per game scored in 2023.

On the other side of the ball, the Bills and Jets had two of the better defenses in the NFL last season by points per game allowed. Detroit was very good against the run but struggled against the pass.

The good news for the Colts is that two of these three games are being played at home. However, prior to their Week 10 matchup with Buffalo, the Colts will be coming off a two-game road trip against Houston and Minnesota–meaning that from Weeks 8 through 11, three of those four games will be on the road.

This stretch of games also takes place during the second half of the season, before the Colts have had their late Week 14 bye. So, from a rest standpoint, there won’t be any reprieve beforehand.

Despite being without Anthony Richardson for most of last season, the Colts finished the year 9-8, just missing out on the playoffs. Continuity was the theme of the offseason, with GM Chris Ballard prioritizing retaining his own players, and that element – on both sides of the ball – will have to be a catalyst in the 2024 season.

“When you have your system in place, it helps big time, especially with the players understanding the verbiage and terminology,” Head coach Shane Steichen said. “But really trying to stay on the cutting edge of things because this league is always changing. So if we can do that and build on what we did last year, I’ll be excited for the 2024 season.”

At the end of the day, games aren’t played on paper, and who knows, maybe as the season unfolds there is a different stretch of games that emerges as the most difficult. But sitting here in mid-May, when paper is all we have to go off of, these three games could play a key role in defining the Colts’ season.

Story originally appeared on Colts Wire