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The 2021 regular-season schedule was released earlier this week, which means the experts around the league will be doing their best to predict the record of each team in January.
Of course, so much is subject to change between now and even the start of the season. But it’s still a fun exercise to see how the games might shape up for the Colts.
Now, it’s time to take a look at what the experts think is in store for Indy:
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Author: Cynthia Frelund Link to article Prediction: 9.8 wins Author's Take: "There's some definite volatility here, with a lot of the Colts' upside and downside being dictated by the performance of new quarterback Carson Wentz, who is coming off a rough final season with the Eagles -- but that isn't a surprise at all. The back-to-back challenge of Weeks 11 and 12 (at the Bills, vs. the Bucs) looks especially rough, as both non-divisional opponents feature top-tier QBs who play different styles."
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Author: Jacob Camenker Link to article Prediction: 11-6 Author's Take: "Bottom Line: This year, the Colts' schedule is hit or miss. Their difficult games could prove to be especially challenging, as the Bucs, Ravens, Bills, Rams and even Seahawks have strong teams and quarterback play that could put a lot of pressure on Wentz. But in games where they're playing less complete teams, they seem to have a big advantage. Since the Texans and Jaguars were so bad against the run last year (each ranked in the bottom three), the Colts should make it a goal of theirs to establish the run in divisional games. Jonathan Taylor will give them a chance to do that, and that could help to ease Wentz into things as the franchise quarterback for the Colts. The Colts probably have the best chance to win the AFC South this season after nearly doing so last year. A lot of their upside will depend on Wentz, and he may have some issues against the league's stronger defenses. Still, the Colts should have a shot at double-digit wins."
AP Photo/AJ Mast
Author: Jordan Dajani Link to article Prediction: 10-7 Author's Take: "I predict the AFC South title is again going to come down to the wire between the Titans and the Colts. Indy's ceiling seems to hinge on the play of Wentz, because this roster is ready to compete right now. The Colts could be a Super Bowl sleeper or a 7-10 team. Both the Titans and Colts have to play the NFC West in 2021, so the team that fares best against the toughest division in football could claim the crown. "
Pro Football Network
AP Photo/Zach Bolinger
Author: Oliver Hodgkinson Link to article Prediction: 10-7 Author's Take: "Having your easiest games fall within the division can be a blessing and a curse. On one hand, you get to face easier teams twice in the season. Still, being in the division, those teams usually know your style well, and can often spring a surprise. The Colts cannot afford to drop more than one game against the Jaguars and Texans in 2021. The remainder of the Colts’ 2021 schedule is reasonably tough. The games against the Bills and Ravens will be a good indicator of where Indianapolis sits in terms of the AFC. So much of the Colts’ success this season rides on them getting the best out of Carson Wentz. If they can get him playing to a high level, then a first division crown since 2014 could be in the cards."
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Author: Alex Ballentine Link to article Prediction: 10-7 Author's Take: "Perhaps reuniting with Frank Reich will solve those problems. Wentz was in the top 10 by the same metric in Reich's final season with the Eagles. Phillip Rivers showed last season that the Colts don't need to have top-shelf quarterback play to be successful.
The defense remains largely intact. First-round pick Kwity Paye and fellow draftee Dayo Odeyingbo should help replace Justin Houston, who still hasn't signed anywhere. "