The 2012 schedule is out and everyone is taking a crack at the impossible: trying to predict records before the draft.
I can't resist getting in on the game. I'm going to go through the schedule of all four teams in the AFC South and try to find the probable wins and losses, as well as map out a best and worst case scenario.
Up first is the Indianapolis Colts. Games that I project to be sure losses (less than a 20 percent chance to win) are in bold italics. Games that are sure wins (80 percent chance to win) are in bold. Afterward, I'll pick a best-case scenario build around the Colts winning 75 percent of the toss-up games.
Week 1: @ Chicago L
I can't see the Colts beating the Bears on the road in Andrew Luck's first game.
Week 2: Minnesota W
Even for a potentially terrible team like the Colts, there have to be wins on the schedule somewhere. This is one of them.
Week 3: Jacksonville W
It's hard to expect the Colts to win any game this year, and this will be a good early test of their progress. If Blaine Gabbert hasn't improved, there's a very real chance the Colts could start off 2-1.
Week 4: Bye
Week 5: Green Bay L
How many games do the Colts win?
I was there in 1997 when the 0-10 Colts stunned the Packers. That's not going to happen this year. Indy's defense simply will not be ready for the Packers.
Week 6: @ New York Jets L
I can't see Luck solving Rex Ryan in a road game six weeks into his career.
Week 7: Cleveland W
These teams met last year at Lucas Oil Stadium and the Colts were clearly the better team with a worse quarterback. Indy is going to win this game to pull to 3-3 on the season.
Week 8: @ Tennessee L
Maybe this should be a sure loss, but division games are funny. I don't expect the Colts to pull it off, but it could possibly be close.
Week 9: Miami L
The Colts' season will be made or broken in games like this one. If they are going to win five to six games, this would be one of them. I don't think they will.
Week 10: @ Jacksonville (Thursday Night Football) L
By this point, either Gabbert has improved or Chad Henne has replaced him. Either way, the Jaguars are a better team in Week 10 than they were in Week 3.
Week 11: @ New England L
Week 12: Buffalo L
Like the Miami game, if the Colts can somehow become mediocre, this is a winnable game.
Week 13: @ Detroit L
The Lions have too much offense and Indy's secondary won't be ready for a passing attack like this.
Week 14: Tennessee W
The 2011 Colts won at home against the Titans, so I can see the 2012 version doing the same.
Week 15: @ Houston L
Week 16: @ Kansas City L
The Chiefs are no great shakes, but it should be the first real outdoor winter test for Luck. I don't like the rookie's chances.
Week 17: Houston L
This could be a win if the Texans don't need to win the game because they have the division locked up.
Projected record: 4-12
Sure Wins: 2
Sure Losses: 6
Best-Case Scenario: 8-8
Worst-Case Scenario: 2-14