INDIANAPOLIS — The NFL opponents were previously known, and now the Indianapolis Colts are aware of the order for the 2020 NFL season.
The schedule, first announced Thursday night by the team in social media, has games against five 2019 playoffs teams, including a Nov. 12 road trip to Nashville, Tenn., to face the AFC South Division rival Tennessee Titans on a Thursday night.
It’s the Colts’ only primetime game and follows a trend. They've played their last six primetime games on the road and 12 of the past 14 away from Lucas Oil Stadium. The Colts are coming off a 7-9 season and have missed the playoffs four out of the past five years.
The Colts then tweeted out an amusing video with player commentary.
Due to the uncertainty of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Colts news release included the note: “The NFL is preparing to play the 2020 season as scheduled and with increased protocols and safety measures in place. The league will be prepared to make adjustments as necessary in order to conduct games in as safe and efficient a manner as possible, based on the latest advice of medical and public health officials and in full compliance with current and future government regulations.
“As such, if a game is canceled and cannot be replayed, or is played under conditions that prohibit fans from attending, ticket refund information can be found at Colts.com/Tickets.”
Based on 2019 records, the Colts are tied for 16th in strength of schedule with the opponents’ win percentage at .502 (128-127-1).
The toughest stretch would appear to be in November as the Colts host Baltimore and face the Titans twice with Green Bay visiting Indy in-between Tennessee meetings. All three teams made the playoffs last year.
The Ravens and reigning NFL MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson visit Lucas Oil Stadium on Nov. 8 while the Packers and two-time NFL MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers visit on Nov. 22. Both are 1 p.m. kickoffs. The Colts are 5-0 at home against the Ravens (8-4 overall) and 13-8-1 at home against the Packers entering the 44th all-time regular-season meeting. The Colts also hold the series edge on the Packers at 22-20-1.
The Colts open at AFC South Division rival Jacksonville on Sept. 13. They’ve lost five in a row on the road to the Jaguars. Then there’s home games against Minnesota and the New York Jets to close out September. The latter game is a 4:05 p.m. kickoff. The Colts are hosting the Vikings for the first time since 2012 and are 10-0 at home against that NFC North Division foe.
The October slate starts with road games at Chicago and Cleveland, then the Colts host Cincinnati before enjoying a bye for the weekend of Oct. 25. The Bears game is the 43rd career meeting, with the Colts owning a 23-19 edge.
November starts with the Colts’ first trip to Detroit since 2012, when quarterback Andrew Luck rallied the team to a last-second victory from a two-score, fourth-quarter deficit. Then the Ravens visit Indianapolis, there’s the primetime road game at Tennessee, then the Packers and Titans are at Lucas Oil Stadium. The two Titans games are just 17 days apart.
The Colts travel to defending division champion Houston on Dec. 6, then Las Vegas to face the relocated Raiders, before returning home to host the Texans on either Dec. 19 or 20, the date and time to be determined. The two Texans games, like the Titans’ matchups, are separated by only one game.
Next is a visit to Heinz Field to face the Pittsburgh Steelers on Dec. 27 before closing out the regular season with their opening opponent, Jacksonville, on Jan. 3 at Indianapolis.
The preseason schedule, which is still in doubt due to the coronavirus pandemic, has the Colts hosting Philadelphia and Washington before traveling to Buffalo and Cincinnati. The Redskins game is scheduled for Aug. 24 at 8 p.m., but the dates and times for the other three games are to be determined.
2020 REGULAR SCHEDULE
Sun., Sept. 13 — At Jacksonville, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Sun., Sept. 20 — Minnesota, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Sun., Sept. 27 — N.Y. Jets, 4:05 p.m. (CBS)
Sun., Oct. 4 — at Chicago, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Sun., Oct. 11 — at Cleveland, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
Sun., Oct. 18 — Cincinnati, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Sun., Oct. 25 — Bye
Sun., Nov. 1 — at Detroit, 1 p.m., CBS
Sun., Nov. 8 — Baltimore, 1 p.m., CBS
Thurs., Nov. 12 — at Tennessee, 8:20 p.m. (FOX/NFLN/AMAZON**)
Sun., Nov. 22 — Green Bay, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Sun., Nov. 29 — Tennessee, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Sun., Dec. 6 — at Houston, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Sun., Dec. 13 — at Las Vegas, 4:05 p.m., (CBS)
Sat. or Sun., Dec. 19 or 20 — Houston, TBD (TV TBD)
Sun., Dec. 27 — at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m., (CBS)
Sun., Jan. 3 — Jacksonville, 1 p.m. (CBS)
(** NFL Network and Amazon simulcast subject to change)
(Phillip B. Wilson has covered the Indianapolis Colts for more than two decades and authored the 2013 book 100 Things Colts Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die. He’s on Twitter @pwilson24, on Facebook at @allcoltswithphilb and @100thingscoltsfans, and his email is email@example.com.)