2020 Indianapolis Colts Schedule: Full Listing of Dates, Times and TV InfoMay 7, 2020
The Indianapolis Colts will be led by new quarterback Philip Rivers, their third starter under center in as many years, and now the team's new schedule has been revealed for the 2020 campaign.
The Colts finished 7-9 last season and missed the playoffs for the fourth time in five years. Jacoby Brissett was thrust into the starting quarterback job when 2012 top overall pick Andrew Luck announced his retirement at the age of just 29 last August.
Indy started strong at 5-2 with impressive back-to-back victories over the eventual champion Kansas City Chiefs and AFC South rival Houston Texans.
However, the season was derailed when Brissett suffered an MCL sprain in Week 9. The 27-year-old only missed one game, but his accuracy was noticeably worse in the second half of the year. The Colts went 2-6 after his injury.
The offense was further hampered because No. 1 wide receiver T.Y. Hilton was limited to 10 games with a calf injury, while the defense ranked 16th overall, 10th against the pass and 26th against the run.
Here's a look at the schedule Indianapolis will have to confront en route to bouncing back from a lackluster 2019.
Colts' 2020 Schedule
Rivers signed with the Colts on a one-year deal, leading many to believe this is a rental to see if the 38-year-old can put the team over the edge.
Injuries, and subsequently consistency, at quarterback have been an issue for the Colts dating back to Luck's laundry list of injury concerns.
Rivers has been incredibly durable since beginning his NFL career in 2004, though:
However, the former Los Angeles Chargers star looked like a shell of himself at times throughout their 5-11 season last year. The eight-time Pro Bowler finished with 4,615 yards, 23 touchdowns and 20 interceptions—one shy of his career-worst 21 picks that led the league in 2016.
Rivers' 48.6 QBR ranked 22nd and just one slot below Brissett's 50.1 (h/t ESPN). Indianapolis will presumably enter 2020 with Rivers as the guy, but if he proves ineffective, it would not be surprising to see head coach Frank Reich go back to Brissett.
The Colts gave Rivers some help by selecting former USC wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. (No. 34) and former Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor (No. 41) in the second round of April's draft.
Rivers was the Colts' headlining move in free agency, but the organization also traded their 2020 No. 13 overall pick to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for defensive tackle DeForest Buckner. The 26-year-old tallied 7.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and 62 tackles (34 solo) in 16 regular-season contests last year.
Buckner will join All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard in bolstering the Colts' pass rush. Leonard led the league with 163 tackles as the AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2018 and followed that up with a strong sophomore campaign.
The Colts are tied with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as having the 16th-toughest 2020 schedule, according to CBS Sports' John Breech, with an opponents' combined record of 128-127-1.
However, if Rivers turns in a vintage version of himself and the Colts defense takes another step, it could be enough to tilt Indy above .500 and toward a postseason run.
The AFC South traditionally gets written off as one of the weaker divisions, but that assumption backfired last season when the Houston Texans (10-6) and Tennessee Titans (9-7) both made the playoffs.
The Titans shocked everybody by making it to the AFC Championship Game as the No. 6 seed before falling to Kansas City.
The Colts are in position to mimic the Titans' miraculous run, and it will start by bettering their 3-3 divisional record from last year. Overall, Indianapolis leads the all-time series with 10 of its 2020 opponents. The outliers are the Steelers and Raiders. The Colts lost to Pittsburgh 26-24 and Las Vegas (then Oakland) 31-24 last season.
It will be particularly interesting to watch the different quarterbacks stop through Indianapolis and play against Rivers.
The Ravens' Week 9 trip will mark reigning league MVP Lamar Jackson's first to Lucas Oil Stadium as Baltimore last in Indianapolis six years ago, per the team's official website. Other matchups to circle will be rookie top overall pick Joe Burrow and the Bengals in Week 6 as well as two-time MVP Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in Week 11.
On the road, Indianapolis will especially be challenged in Pittsburgh and Cleveland.
The Steelers defense was dominant during a 2019 in which Ben Roethlisberger and backup Mason Rudolph were lost to injury.
Meanwhile, Browns running back Nick Chubb will test how much—if at all—the Colts' lackluster run defense has improved.