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Colts' 4 Primetime Matchups Feature Plenty of Star Power

The Colts have four big primetime matchups on the 2022 schedule that feature plenty of star power.

The Indianapolis Colts appear to be a team on the rise.

With a talented, young offense led by a seasoned vet in Matt Ryan who's been there and done that, coupled with a potentially elite defense on the other side — all of which are led by an energetic coaching staff — there is plenty of reason to be excited about the 2022 Colts.

The NFL schedule-makers apparently took notice and granted the Colts four primetime games, two of which are at home in Lucas Oil Stadium on Monday Night Football.

The four opponents that the Colts will face in front of nationally-televised audiences are all intriguing matchups, featuring a combined 19 Pro Bowlers and nine All-Pros from last season. The Colts themselves had seven Pro Bowlers and five All-Pros.

Week 5 @ Denver Broncos

  • Oct. 6 at 8:15pm (Thursday Night Football)

Arguably the biggest move of the NFL offseason was the Broncos trading for nine-time Pro Bowler Russell Wilson, who has been considered one of the league's true superstars throughout his career. Wilson inherits quite a deep pass-catching group including Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, Tim Patrick, K.J. Hamler, Albert Okwuegbunam, and Greg Dulcich. One of the better running back duos in the league in Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon sets up shop behind Wilson while Garett Bolles and Dalton Risner block things up front. On the other side of the ball, Denver features a few studs in cornerback Patrick Surtain II, safety Justin Simmons, and edge defender Bradley Chubb.

After opening the season with matchups against the AFC South's two weakest teams in the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars, the Colts' primetime showdown with the Broncos will be their third straight playoff-caliber affair trailing Week 3 against the Kansas City Chiefs and Week 4 against the Tennessee Titans.

Week 12 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Nov. 28 at 8:15pm (Monday Night Football)

The defense is still a star-studded group but the Steelers' offense continues to change. After signing Mitchell Trubisky in free agency and making Kenny Pickett the first quarterback off the board in the draft, Pittsburgh will have a new quarterback to replace Ben Roethlisberger. Whoever is under center will have Pro Bowler Najee Harris at running back as well as a talented group of pass-catchers in Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, George Pickens, and Pat Freiermuth. Defensively, Cameron Heyward, T.J. Watt, and newcomer Myles Jack will hold things down in the front seven while the sharp, playmaking Minkah Fitzpatrick roams the secondary.

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The Colts haven't hosted a Monday Night Football game since Week 2 of 2015, and now this matchup against the Steelers brings the first of two in the same season.

Week 13 @ Dallas Cowboys

  • Dec. 4 at 8:20pm (Sunday Night Football)

No one draws an audience like the Cowboys. Why else do you think they're on multiple primetime games each season? Featuring one of the league's most potent passers in Dak Prescott, who still has two-time rushing champ Ezekiel Elliott beside him. Tyron Smith and Zack Martin continue to form one of the league's best offensive line pairs. The Cowboys' receiving corps will look a little different with the departures of Amari Cooper and Cedrick Wilson, but CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup, James Washington, and Dalton Schultz are still a formidable group. Defensively, Demarcus Lawrence, Dante Fowler, and Micah Parsons form an incredibly talented group of pass-rushers, with the tenacity of linebacker Leighton Vander Esch behind them and the ball-hawking ability of All-Pro cornerback Trevon Diggs and his unmatched 11 interceptions in 2021.

The Colts blanked Dallas the last time the two teams played, the Colts dominating at home, 23-0 in Week 15 of 2018. Don't count on that this time, though.

Week 16 vs. Los Angeles Chargers

  • Dec. 26 at 8:15pm (Monday Night Football)

Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert is on the shortlist of players that many would say they would start a franchise with. Drafted sixth-overall by Los Angeles in 2020, the former Offensive Rookie of the Year and 2021 Pro Bowler has lived up to the hype. Herbert has a solid foundation around him with premium left tackle Rashawn Slater, and skill-position players Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen, and Mike Williams. Defensively, the Chargers are loading up. They already had perennial Pro Bowl edge Joey Bosa and star defensive back Derwin James, but then in the last two offseasons, they've added Kenneth Murray and Asante Samuel Jr. in the draft and Khalil Mack and J.C. Jackson in free agency. This team is set for years to come and could soon unseat the Rams as the kings of Los Angeles.

The matchup between the Colts and Chargers at Lucas Oil Stadium could be incredibly entertaining. At quarterback, it's old guard vs. new guard in Ryan vs. Herbert, and the two defenses are quite similar in terms of the level of talent. While it could be a shootout because of the offenses, don't be surprised if the defenses provide some fireworks of their own.

*The Colts also have two late-day, 4:00pm kickoffs at home against former quarterback Carson Wentz and the Washington Commanders in Week 8 and away against Derek Carr and the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 10*

What do you think of the Colts' schedule? Drop your thoughts below in the comment section!

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