2012 Indianapolis Colts Schedule: Full Listing of Dates, Time and TV Info

Chris Trapasso@ChrisTrapassoAnalyst IApril 17, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 27:  Reggie Wayne #87 of the Indianapolis Colts catches a pass while defended by R.J. Stanford #25 of the Carolina Panthers at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 27, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The NFL has released the Indianapolis Colts' 2012 NFL schedule, and the rebuilding franchise has quite the formidable road ahead of them next season.

Regardless of their schedule, we're expecting Indianapolis to experience a great deal of growing pains. Presumptive No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck will face a few formidable defenses this year, but we'll see up against premier signal-callers like Matthew Stafford, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady.

In addition to playing their regular division games, the Colts will play teams in the AFC East and the NFC North. 

No easy task. 

Now, let's look at their entire schedule:

 

Schedule 

Week 1 (9/9): at Chicago Bears, 1 P.M. CBS

Week 2 (9/16): vs. Minnesota Vikings, 1 P.M. FOX

Week 3 (9/23): vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, 1 P.M. CBS 

Week 4: Bye Week 

Week 5 (10/7): Green Bay Packers 1 P.M. FOX

Week 6 (10/14): at New York Jets, 1 P.M. CBS

Week 7 (10/21): vs. Cleveland Browns, 1 P.M. CBS

Week 8 (10/28): at Tennessee Titans, 1 P.M. CBS 

Week 9 (11/4): vs. Miami Dolphins1 P.M. CBS 

Week 10 (11/8): at Jacksonville Jaguars, 8:20 P.M. NFL Network 

Week 11 (11/18): at New England Patriots1 P.M. CBS 

Week 12 (11/25): vs. Buffalo Bills1 P.M. CBS 

Week 13 (12/2): at Detroit Lions1 P.M. CBS 

Week 14 (12/9): vs. Tennessee Titans1 P.M. CBS 

Week 15 (12/16): at Houston Texans1 P.M. CBS 

Week 16 (12/23): at Kansas City Chiefs1 P.M. CBS 

Week 17 (12/30): vs. Houston Texans1 P.M. CBS 


Analysis 

The Colts' division isn't necessarily difficult, but the Houston Texans remain the class of the AFC South and a legitimate Super Bowl contender in the AFC.

Playing the NFC North will be tremendously tough, but it'll be a great learning experience for Luck and many of the youthful players on Indianapolis' roster. 

The AFC East is typically over-hyped because of the Patriots' mystique and the boisterous nature of the New York Jets.

New England is still the favorite in the AFC, and the Buffalo Bills revamped their defensive line via free agency. 

We'll really see how far along they are in games against the Bills, Bears, Jaguars and Titans in 2012.  

 

Most Pivotal Matchup 

Outside of the always-important divisional games, the most pivotal matchup is the Nov. 25 game with the Buffalo Bills at home. Buffalo rebuilt its defensive line this offseason, and it will certainly test the pocket awareness of Andrew Luck—again, assuming the Colts pick him in the draft—as he enters the home stretch of his rookie campaign. 

The Bills are certainly beatable.

It'll be a good measuring stick for the rebuilding Colts late in the season.