The Colts’ 2021 schedule is, literally, the biggest ever.
For the first time in league history, each team will play 17 games, with the Colts adding a home date against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 12 as part of the NFL’s expanded regular season.
*note, these series histories include playoff meetings.
Week 1 (Sunday, Sept. 12): vs. Seattle Seahawks, 1 p.m.
- Series history: 7-5
- Last meeting: Week 4, 2017 at CenturyLink Field – Seahawks 46, Colts 18
- 2020 record: 12-4
- In 50 words or less: Russell Wilson, Bobby Wagner and Jamal Adams bring plenty of opposing star power to Lucas Oil Stadium to open the season. The Seahawks are the defending NFC West champions but crashed out of the playoffs in the wild card round last season.
Week 2 (Sunday, Sept. 19): vs. Los Angeles Rams, 1 p.m.
- Series history: 23-19-2
- Last meeting: Week 1, 2017 at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum – Rams 46, Colts 9
- 2020 record: 10-6
- In 50 words or less: Matthew Stafford will make his second start in a Rams uniform after this offseason’s blockbuster trade with the Detroit Lions. The Rams have made the playoffs in three of Sean McVay’s four seasons in Los Angeles.
Week 3 (Sunday, Sept. 26): @ Tennessee Titans, 1 p.m.
- Series history (away): 16-8
- Last meeting (away): Week 10, 2020 – Colts 34, Titans 17
- 2020 record: 11-5
- In 50 words or less: The Colts’ first AFC South matchup pits them against the defending division champions. Ryan Tannehill, Derrick Henry and A.J. Brown are back, but will the Titans’ offense look different with OC Arthur Smith now the Falcons’ head coach?
Week 4 (Sunday, Oct. 3): @ Miami Dolphins, 1 p.m.
Last meeting: Week 10, 2019 at Lucas Oil Stadium – Dolphins 16, Colts 12
In 50 words or less: The Dolphins added plenty of firepower around QB Tua Tagovailoa in signing wide receiver Will Fuller and drafting Alabama wideout Jaylen Waddle sixth overall. Miami’s offense ranked 22nd in yards per game and 23rd in yards per play last season.
Week 5 (Monday, Oct. 11): @ Baltimore Ravens, 8:15 p.m.
Last meeting: Week 9, 2020 at Lucas Oil Stadium – Ravens 24, Colts 10
In 50 words or less: The Colts return to Monday Night Football for the first time since 2019 with a matchup against Lamar Jackson’s Ravens, who’ve made the playoffs in each of the last three seasons. It’ll be the Colts’ 42nd appearance on Monday Night Football in franchise history.
Week 6 (Sunday, Oct. 17): vs. Houston Texans, 1 p.m.
Series history (home): 16-3
Last meeting (home): Week 15, 2020 – Colts 27, Texans 20
In 50 words or less: The Colts have dominated their all-time series against the Texans in Indianapolis, with half of those 16 wins coming by 12 points or more. This’ll be new Texans coach David Culley’s first meeting with the Colts.
Week 7 (Sunday, Oct. 24): @ San Francisco 49ers, 8:20 p.m.
Last meeting: Week 5, 2017 at Lucas Oil Stadium – Colts 26, 49ers 23 (OT)
In 50 words or less: We’ll see if incumbent Jimmy Garoppolo or No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance is starting this game. Kyle Shanahan’s 49ers have high ambitions after an injury-plagued 2020 season, which followed a Super Bowl appearance the year prior. This’ll be DeForest Buckner’s first game against his old club.
Week 8 (Sunday, Oct. 31): vs. Tennessee Titans, 1 p.m.
Series history (home): 19-10
Last meeting (home): Week 12, 2020 – Titans 45, Colts 26
In 50 words or less: The Colts will be done with the Titans before the halfway point of the season — this after last year the Colts and Titans played in Week 10 and Week 12. Notable: Two AFC South teams have made the playoffs in each of the last four seasons.
Week 9 (Thursday, Nov. 4): vs. New York Jets, 8:20 p.m.
Last meeting: Week 3, 2020 at Lucas Oil Stadium – Colts 36, Jets 7
In 50 words or less: The Jets went all in on BYU QB Zach Wilson with the No. 2 overall pick in 2021 NFL Draft after hiring former 49ers DC Robert Saleh as their coach earlier this year. Xavier Rhodes and T.J. Carrie both had pick-sixes in last year’s meeting with the Jets.
Week 10 (Sunday, Nov. 14): vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, 1 p.m.
Series history (home): 15-5
Last meeting (home): Week 17, 2020 – Colts 28, Jaguars 14
In 50 words or less: Trevor Lawrence will make his first trip to Lucas Oil Stadium, but it will hardly be Urban Meyer’s first trip to the home of the Colts — the former Ohio State coach led the Buckeyes to four Big Ten Championship Games in Indianapolis.
Week 11 (Sunday, Nov. 21): @ Buffalo Bills, 1 p.m.
Last meeting: Wild Card Round 2020 at Bills Stadium – Bills 27, Colts 24
In 50 words or less: The Colts came awfully close to beating the Bills in the 2021 AFC Wild Card round and will look to a strong returning core, new quarterback Carson Wentz and a boosted pass rush to avenge January’s defeat.
Week 12 (Sunday, Nov. 28): vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1 p.m.
Last meeting: Week 14, 2019 at Raymond James Stadium – Buccaneers 38, Colts 35
In 50 words or less: Bruce Arians’ defending Super Bowl champs return nearly every key player from their Lombardi-lifting team in 2020 plus OC Byron Leftwich and DC Todd Bowles. Of course, this game means the Colts will once again face Tom Brady, who’s 15-4 lifetime against Indianapolis in his Hall of Fame career.
Week 13 (Sunday, Dec. 5): @ Houston Texans, 1 p.m.
Series history (away): 14-6
Last meeting (away): Week 13, 2020 – Colts 26, Texans 20
In 50 words or less: The Colts went 4-2 against the AFC South in each of Frank Reich’s two playoff seasons (2018, 2020). The Colts last went 6-0 against the AFC South in 2014, when the team made the AFC Championship Game.
In 50 words or less: This is the latest the Colts have had their off week since the NFL re-instituted the bye week in 1990. Previously, the Colts’ latest bye came in Week 11 (2017, 2011, 1994).
Week 15: (Saturday, Dec. 18 OR Sunday, Dec. 19): vs. New England Patriots, time TBD
Last meeting: Week 5, 2018 at Gillette Stadium – Patriots 38, Colts 24
In 50 words or less: This’ll be the first time in 13 years the Colts and Patriots will play without Tom Brady on the field. The Patriots added TEs Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith, DE Matt Judon and WR Nelson Agholor in free agency, then drafted QB Mac Jones 15th overall this year.
Week 16 (Saturday, Dec. 25): @ Arizona Cardinals, 8:15 p.m.
Last meeting: Week 2, 2017 at Lucas Oil Stadium – Cardinals 16, Colts 13 (OT)
In 50 words or less: Merry Christmas! The Colts will play their fourth and final scheduled primetime game in the desert against Kyler Murray and the Cardinals. The last time the Colts played a home Sunday night or Monday night game was 2015.
Week 17 (Sunday, Jan. 2): vs. Las Vegas Raiders, 1 p.m.
Last meeting: Week 14, 2020 at Allegiant Stadium – Colts 44, Ravens 27
In 50 words or less: The Raiders’ loss to the Colts last year started a three-game losing streak that kicked Las Vegas out of playoff contention. Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock bolstered their defense in signing DE Yannick Ngakoue and drafting S Trevon Moehrig this offseason.
Week 18 (Sunday, Jan. 9): @ Jacksonville Jaguars, 1 p.m.
Series history (away): 10-10
Last meeting (away): Week 1, 2020 – Jaguars 27, Colts 20
In 50 words or less: This is the third straight year the Colts will end the season against the Jaguars. The Colts are 8-1 in season finales since 2012.