NFL 2021 Indianapolis Colts: Full Schedule, Predictions & Key Games
For the fourth consecutive season, the Indianapolis Colts are going to have a new quarterback atop their depth chart to begin the season. This year, it will be Carson Wentz's turn to lead the Colts after they logged an 11-5 record and made the playoffs as a No. 7 seed in the final season of Philip Rivers' NFL career. Now, the Colts will be looking to improve on what they did last year.
Wentz wasn't good for the Eagles last year, and that's part of the reason the team was willing to send him to the Colts. Wentz will be looking to rebound under the tutelage of Frank Reich, who coordinated his best, MVP-caliber season with the Eagles, so there's a chance that the QB could enjoy a bounce-back campaign.
The Colts don't have the easiest schedule. They are playing against seven teams that made the playoffs last season. However, they also arguably have the best roster in the AFC South, and they face the Texans and Jaguars twice each. As long as they can beat up on their weaker competition, they will have a chance to win the division and make the playoffs.
Here is a complete breakdown of the Colts’ 2021 schedule, including dates, start times, and analysis for all 17 games.
2021 NFL Indianapolis Colts: Full Schedule
The Colts open the season at home on Sunday, Sept. 12, against the Seattle Seahawks. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET on FOX. These are the teams that they are scheduled to play during the 2021 NFL season.
|Week||Date||Opponent||Kickoff time (ET)||TV|
|1||Sept. 12||vs. Seahawks||1 p.m.||Fox|
|2||Sept. 19||vs. Rams||1 p.m.||Fox|
|3||Sept. 26||at Titans||1 p.m.||CBS|
|4||Oct. 3||at Dolphins||1 p.m.||CBS|
|5||Oct. 11 (Monday)||at Ravens||8:15 p.m.||ESPN|
|6||Oct. 17||vs. Texans||1 p.m.||CBS|
|7||Oct. 24||at 49ers||8:20 p.m.||NBC|
|8||Oct. 31||vs. Titans||1 p.m.||CBS|
|9||Nov. 4 (Thursday)||vs. Jets||8:20 p.m.||Fox/NFLN/Amazon|
|10||Nov. 14||vs. Jaguars||1 p.m.||CBS|
|11||Nov. 21||at Bills||1 p.m.||CBS|
|12||Nov. 28||vs. Buccaneers||1 p.m.||Fox|
|13||Dec. 5||at Texans||1 p.m.||CBS|
|15||Dec. 18/19||vs. Patriots||TBD||TBD|
|16||Dec. 25 (Christmas)||at Cardinals||8:15 p.m.||NFLN|
|17||Jan. 2||vs. Raiders||1 p.m.||CBS|
|18||Jan. 9||at Jaguars||1 p.m.||CBS|
2021 NFL Indianapolis Colts: Key games
Week 3 at Tennessee Titans: The Colts haven't won the AFC South since 2014, but it came down to the wire for the Colts and Titans last year. That could happen again this season, so both matchups against Tennessee will be important.
Week 11 at Buffalo Bills: The Colts' 2020 season was ended by the Bills in Buffalo, and they will have a chance to avenge that 27-24 game this season.
Week 7 at San Francisco 49ers: This could end up being a fun matchup, as it's possible we could see two North Dakota State quarterbacks going at it in Wentz and Trey Lance. The 49ers also have a solid defense, so this will be another test to see how potent Indy's offense can really be, reported CBS.
2021 NFL Indianapolis Colts: Predictions
Week 1 – vs. Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks have their own difficult quarterback situation, as Russell Wilson may well be playing his final year in Seattle. Because the Colts have a better head coach-QB relationship than their Week 1 opponent right now, we’re giving the edge to Indianapolis.
Indianapolis Colts schedule prediction: Colts 30, Seahawks 27
Week 2 – vs. Los Angeles Rams
Both these teams are welcoming in new quarterbacks, but one landed the superior player. Los Angeles overpaid in the Matthew Stafford trade, but it landed a quarterback capable of pushing a team to the Super Bowl. Expect the gap between Stafford and Wentz to decide this matchup.
Indianapolis Colts schedule prediction: Rams 23, Colts 17
Week 3 – @ Tennessee Titans
The AFC South is a two-team race and we might see history repeat in 2021. Tennessee beat Indianapolis in the final matchup, which made the difference in the final NFL standings. The Titans’ defense looks a lot better on paper this year, but these teams always put up a ton of points against one another. Playing at home, Tennessee gets the edge.
Indianapolis Colts schedule prediction: Titans 34, Colts 31
Week 4 – @ Miami Dolphins
As the Colts tread water in the AFC, the Miami Dolphins are quickly rising. Tua Tagovailoa will be fully healthy and have a vastly superior supporting cast to what he played with as a rookie. Pair that with a top-10 defense, with the potential to be even better than that, this matchup lands in the Dolphins’ favor.
Indianapolis Colts schedule prediction: Dolphins 21, Colts 14
Week 5 – @ Baltimore Ravens
Indianapolis lost to Baltimore in 2020 largely due to a blown call. It’s been an active spring for the Ravens, with its offense adding significant talent (Rashod Bateman, Sammy Watkins, Kevin Zeitler) but losing its top pass rushers. That’s good news for Wentz, 48.6 passer rating when pressured. But a defense that allowed opponents to average 402.8 total yards per game from Week 11-16 and didn’t improve much this offseason, could be in trouble.
Indianapolis Colts schedule prediction: Ravens 24, Colts 20
Week 6 – vs. Houston Texans
Frank Reich should be very happy that he is in the AFC South. The Texans provide two games that should be practical locks as Colts’ victories. Given everything we’ve seen from Houston’s defense in recent years, a 200-yard performance wouldn’t be a surprise for Taylor.
Indianapolis Colts schedule prediction: Colts 31, Texans 10
Week 7 – @ San Francisco 49ers
Whether the San Francisco 49ers start Trey Lance or Jimmy Garoppolo, this figures to be a low-scoring game. Both teams want to win with their defense and controlling the clock. Long drives, plenty of field goals and Wentz making just enough plays in the final minutes to secure a victory.
Indianapolis Colts schedule prediction: Colts 17, 49ers 13
Week 8 – vs. Tennessee Titans
The battle between the Colts and Titans is going to be an underrated storyline for the 2021 NFL season. Both clubs got victories on the road in 2020, we’re expecting the reverse outcome this time around. If Wentz protects the football and Indianapolis contains Derrick Henry, it should be enough for a convincing victory.
Indianapolis Colts schedule prediction: Colts 27, Titans 16
Week 9 – vs. New York Jets
Among the top rookie quarterbacks, it might take Zach Wilson the longest to adjust. He played behind a dominant offensive line at BYU and had skill players superior to the defenses they faced. That’s far from the case in New York, a team that is really just starting to rebuild.
Indianapolis Colts schedule prediction: Colts 30, Jets 20
Week 10 – vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
It’s going to take some time for Urban Meyer to adjust to the NFL, especially the losing. Indianapolis is just a more talented and experienced team, which should result in two divisional victories.
Indianapolis Colts schedule prediction: Colts 26, Jaguars 14
Week 11 – @ Buffalo Bills
We might not see the Colts get into a ton of shootouts in 2021, but this might be one of those matchups. Buffalo couldn’t generate pressure last season and did very little to improve the secondary, a way to offset the issue. The Bills do have one of the NFL’s best offenses and in a matchup between these two quarterbacks, give us Josh Allen.
Indianapolis Colts schedule prediction: Bills 34, Colts 31
Week 12 – vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay is the first reigning Super Bowl champion to bring back all 22 of its starters. This is a team putting all of its chips on the table and Tom Brady boasts an 11-3 record against Indianapolis. There will be weeks when the Colts look like a Super Bowl contender, this matchup will be a reminder of why they aren’t.
Indianapolis Colts schedule prediction: Buccaneers 27, Colts 17
Week 13 – @ Houston Texans
The Houston Texans are the worst team in the NFL and there’s a real possibility they go 0-17. Wentz should have no trouble against Houston’s secondary and Jonathan Taylor will power through and run circles around the defense. If Indianapolis doesn’t get two double-digit victories over the Colts in 2021, it would be a disappointment.
Indianapolis Colts schedule prediction: Colts 34, Texans 7
WEEK 14 BYE
Week 15 – vs. New England Patriots
The New England Patriots basically waved the white flag before the 2020 season. After a rough year, Bill Belichick got extremely aggressive with huge moves to upgrade his roster on both sides of the ball. The Hall of Famer seems to have the Colts’ number. With a great defense, Hall of Fame coaching and the ground attack, the Patriots could sneak out with a victory.
Indianapolis Colts schedule prediction: Patriots 23, Colts 20
Week 16 – @ Arizona Cardinals
While the Colts operated rather covertly this offseason, Arizona made big splashes whenever the opportunity came along. The defense is improved with J.J. Watt and Zaven Collins, pairing with a healthy Chandler Jones to create an excellent front seven. On offense, Kyler Murray has a better supporting cast and an improved offensive line. The combination of a high-powered offense and a dominant pass rush makes this road matchup a little too much for the Colts.
Indianapolis Colts schedule prediction: Cardinals 28, Colts 24
Week 17 – vs. Las Vegas Raiders
Jon Gruden looks every offseason for an upgrade over Derek Carr. He stuck by the Pro Bowl quarterback this year, but tore his offensive line to shreds. The Raiders’ defense is bad and its offensive line is taking a huge step backward. Those are all the ingredients needed for a Colts’ victory.
Indianapolis Colts schedule prediction: Colts 31, Raiders 14
Week 18 – @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Trevor Lawrence is going to be a problem for the Colts, but the rest of the Jaguars’ roster is a work in progress. Jacksonville will provide a tougher test than Indianapolis experienced last year, but these two teams are still separated by a few tiers.
Indianapolis Colts schedule prediction: Colts 27, Jaguars 20
Indianapolis Colts projected record: 9-8
The move to a 17-game schedule did no favors for the Colts. It created the matchup against the Buccaneers, turning a potential 9-7 record into a rather pedestrian mark. Fortunately, the Titans share a majority of the opponents and this will be a race to the finish. The edge may ultimately go to Tennessee, but a wild card spot is very realistic.
2021 NFL Indianapolis Colts: Toughest Matchup
Week: 12 | Date: Nov. 28 | Time: 1 p.m.
Opponent: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers are the reigning Super Bowl champions and Tom Brady is still playing great ball. Additionally, Jason Licht was able to return all 22 Super Bowl starters for 2021, which probably only adds to the confidence of this franchise. The Colts have a few tough matchups this season, but hosting the Buccaneers in Lucas Oil Stadium will certainly be a game fans have marked on their calendars.
How to Watch Indianapolis Colts Games Live
It is possible to watch Indianapolis Colts games live online or on TV without an expensive Cable TV package. Usually, these games are on CBS, but that may change depending on schedule, type of game, or national interest.
Use a TV antenna to watch the games on your TV
If the game is on either CBS, NBC, FOX or ABC, you can likely watch it live free if you have an inexpensive device called a digital TV antenna. A TV antenna allows you to watch your local broadcast channels for free once you've bought the antenna. This however requires your home to be within range of the local station that is carrying the game.
Use official NFL apps to stream games online
While using an over-the-air TV antenna is still the best way to freely watch most NFL games, if the Indianapolis Colts game is on ESPN, NFL Network or is blacked out for attendance reasons, you can still watch it, albeit with a little bit of work involved, No Cable cites.
If you are looking to stream NFL games online using one of their official apps, you have a few options:
NFL Gamepass - NFL Gamepass allows you to stream any NFL game after the live game has ended. This will be your cheapest and easiest option, but obviously you won't be able to watch the games live. There is a free trial available.
NFL Sunday Ticket - NFL Sunday Ticket will allow you to live stream NFL games from any device, but the catch is that you can only watch out-of-market games. This means if you live in the market you are trying to watch the game for, you'll need to mask your location with a VPN (see below).
Removing Local Blackout Restrictions
If the NFL attempts to blackout live streaming of Indianapolis Colts games due to you being within their home viewing area, use a VPN to get around it.
By using a VPN, or virtual private network, your home's exact location is masked. Teams then cannot determine if you are within their blackout "range", thus allowing you to watch whatever sports team you want.
Our favorite VPN service — and one of the most respected — is NordVPN. I recently switched to NordVPN, which is the most trusted VPN service anywhere. I can vouch that they work for this exact use-case because I've done it.
A VPN hides where you actually are on the internet. After purchasing their service, you get an IP address that is registered from some far-away place (think Germany, Italy or Seattle), and that IP is either entered into your home internet router or via their downloaded "VPN app" on whatever device you plan on watching sports on (phone, TV, tablet, etc). This IP address acts as a disguise to the various major sports teams that attempt to "blackout" their streaming services for those of us that can simply watch it on our TVs or computers.
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