The Indianapolis Colts will head into the 2017 season trying to get back into the playoffs. Something they have not done in back-to-back seasons for this first time in well over a decade. To be precise would be in 97-98, the later year was Peyton Manning’s rookie season.
With Andrew Luck under center anything is possible, but the Colts have some major holes to fill this offseason. Especially on defense, and new GM Chris Ballard plans to address those issues via the draft of free agency.
But, the Colts did just receive a major break today however. The Colts will play the easiest schedule this season based off of win-percentages from 2016.
Their opponents in 2016 went a combined 107-146-3 (.424 winning percent) according to CBS Sports.
So basically if Chuck Pagano cannot get the Colts back into the playoffs then he will likely be fired. The last time the Colts had the easiest schedule in the league? 2014 when they went 11-5 and advanced to the AFC Championship.
The Colts will play the Browns (1-15), the 49ers (2-14) and the Rams (4-12). All of whom will be bottom dwellers again in 2017 as they try to rebuild.
Playing in the AFC South helps that schedule, as the Jaguars, Texans and Titans all struggled at times last season. No team in the division has won 10 or more games in a season since the Colts did so in 2014.
Also, the only games against opponents with more than 10 wins will come against Seattle (away) and Pittsburgh (home).
The schedule might be manageable, but the Colts will need Andrew Luck to carry them once again. This defense is in rebuilding mode with no end date in sight.