NFL Fact or Fiction: Indianapolis Colts Will Go Winless
The Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots matchup in Week 13 had been scheduled to be shown in prime time, but the NFL announced this week it was bumping the game off of its "Sunday Night Football" slot.
It's a logical move by the NFL. Why put a winless mess of a team on your prime time spot?
The Colts sit at 0-9, and the only question that remains is if they can win any game this season. Peyton Manning's neck injury has completely gutted the once powerhouse Colts, and with serious doubt that he could play any contests this season, the prospects for Indianapolis is exceptionally dim.
Will the Colts go winless this season? Let's take a look at all of their remaining contests and see why it's a very sad fact.
Week 10: Home Against Jacksonville
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Of all the remaining games on the Colts schedule, this one looks the most winnable. The Jaguars are only 2-6 on the season, and the Colts will get to face them in Indianapolis to boot.
Jacksonville's Maurice Jones-Drew has been the leading rusher in six of the eight games the Jaguars have played so far this season for either side. He'll have a field day against the Colts weak defense.
Week 12: Home Against Carolina
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images
Carolina may be 2-6 currently on the season, but can you imagine a fired up Cam Newton letting this one slip away? I can't either.
Carolina has the ninth most dangerous offense in terms of yards per game, while the Colts give up the most yards of any team in the NFL.
Newton and the Panthers won't get many wins this season, but it isn't from lack of will, it's from lack of total team talent. That said, no team lacks more talent than the Colts, so in a head-to-head matchup, the Panthers should snag a victory here and keep the Colts winless.
Week 13: Away Against New England
This looked like such a promising game when the schedules were released, but that was back before the severity of Manning's injury became apparent. Now, it's just the worst team in the NFL versus one of its best.
Tom Brady and the Patriots may have some tough games on their schedule, but this one should be a breeze for the Patriots at home.
New England's porous defense could certainly yield some points even to the Colts' offense, but there is no way that Brady could possibly lose against the Colts.
Week 14: Away Against Baltimore
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
The Ravens are second in the league in least points allowed so far this season. The Colts are sixth worst in terms of points scored. Doesn't exactly sound like a recipe for successful for Indianapolis.
Baltimore is in one of the toughest divisions and has to compete with Pittsburgh and Cincinnati for the division playoff spot or a wild-card slot. They've already had one bad loss so far this season (a 12-7 loss to Jacksonville in Week 7), so they absolutely can't afford another one here.
Of all of the games on Indianapolis' schedule, this one is probably the least winnable.
Week 15: Home Against Tennessee
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Indianapolis already had one shot against the Titans earlier this season and loss 27-10 in Week 8 in Tennessee. The outcome will be unlikely to change even if the venue is more friendly to the Colts.
The Titans have been an unpredictable team all season, especially with Chris Johnson's utterly disappointing season. In their first matchup against the Colts, Johnson had just 34 yards while Colts quarterback Curtis Painter had 77 yards.
If that isn't motivation for Johnson, nothing is. Aside from the home game against Jacksonville, I'd rate this as the Colts' best chance to get a win, but it greatly depends on which Titans team shows up.
Week 16: Home Against Houston
Bob Levey/Getty Images
The Texans currently lead the AFC South, a division long dominated by Indianapolis.
Is it possible that the Texans could lose a game to the very team that has kept them from winning the division for years? I don't think so.
When these two teams played in Week 1 in Houston, the Texans crushed the Colts 34-7. Since then, the Texans have only gotten better and the Colts have only gotten worse.
Arian Foster will finally face the Colts while healthy, and by Week 16, hopefully Andre Johnson will be back. A completely healthy Texans squad is primed to compete, not primed to lose to the NFL's worst team.
Week 17: Away Against Jacksonville
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Indianapolis will get their final chance to win a game with a trip to Jacksonville to rematch the Jaguars.
While it's possible that Colts could beat the Jags in Indianapolis, it's not as likely when they're the away team. Jacksonville won't just hand the Colts the win, since they'll be out of the playoffs as well and will be fighting for pride. Losing to a 0-15 team on your home turf would just be too much.
Of all of the games Indianapolis has left, the home games against the Jaguars and the Titans look the most promising. But the Colts haven't just been bad, they've been dismal. And with matchups against the Patriots, the Ravens and the Texans, it doesn't look promising at this point.
Indianapolis will most likely finish the season 0-16. But hey, it could be worse, Colts fans. Andrew Luck could decide to stay at Stanford for another season.