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2011 NFL Schedule Release: Breaking Down the Colts Schedule

The 2011 NFL schedules were released last night. Here is my breakdown on each game for Indianapolis:

Week One at Houston Texans

Indianapolis will be opening up against Houston once again. Last year, Indianapolis got pummeled as Arian Foster had a big day, rushing all over Indy for a 34-24 defeat. Indianapolis can not allow this to happen again. They know what will be coming. This Texans team was very disappointing last year, and they look for revenge and finally try to live up to the hype. Will the Colts allow that to happen? I think not.

Week Two vs. Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland Browns are not to be messed with. They could be changed, however, they still look like they may need some more rebuilding to do. This will be another rushing team the Colts will have to face, as they need to stop Peyton Hillis. That is the main person really. Shut down Hillis and Indianapolis could be good to go.

Week Three vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

This will be one of the toughest games of the season as the Colts host the AFC champions/Super Bowl runner-ups on Sunday night. It will be Manning’s hot offense versus the Steelers’ tough defense. I wouldn’t be surprised if this could turn out as a passing attack game as Ben Roethlisberger has indicated several times that he wants the Steelers to be a little bit more pass-happy as an offense.

Week Four at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Colts will face a new-look Buccaneers in a Monday Night match-up on ESPN. The Bucs finished 10-6 last year and Indy will be looking at a young team led by Josh Freeman at quarterback. Not only does Tampa Bay look dangerous on passing, but they got a solid second-year back in LaGarrette Blount in the rushing game. Indy needs to shut those two down for a victory.

Week Five vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Indianapolis was able to shut down Kansas City, as they were the first team to beat them that year. Kansas City looks to be more hungry after a tasteless defeat from the Baltimore Ravens in the playoffs last year. Kansas City wants revenge, but I don’t think the Colts will let that happen.

Week Six at Cincinnati Bengals

This will start the three-game road-trip Indianapolis will be on, but it won’t be that bad if you look at the teams they will be facing. The Bengals? Really? Cincinnati looks like they will be in major rebuilding mode if you look at what has been going on with them in the off-season as of late. I see Indianapolis cruising.

Week Seven at New Orleans Saints

This will be another big game as it will be the rematch of the 2010 Super Bowl. Manning knows one thing for sure: do not allow an interception, especially to Tracy Porter. But hopefully, that will not happen, and the Colts will roll. Manning will be back in his hometown, hopefully looking for a victory.

Week Eight at Tennessee Titans

This game will close out the three-game road-trip. This means it is a total of eight hours of driving time between all the cities. Indianapolis is close to home against all these teams, so it isn’t all that bad. The Colts will face Chris Johnson once again, and they did a great job of shutting him down when these two last met in the 2010-11 season.

Week Nine vs. Atlanta Falcons

This is another big game as the Atlanta Falcons will be traveling to Lucas Oil Stadium. Both teams are great offensively, but really didn’t show huge flashes defensively. When it all goes down, it will be Peyton Manning and Matt Ryan down to the wire.

Week Ten vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

The Colts will complete the first-half of their games versus all of their rivals in the AFC South. They will have their first home-match against an AFC South opponent. The Colts had some trouble versus the Jaguars last year, and they can’t allow that to happen this season.

Week Eleven: BYE

You don’t really see it all the time with the Colts, but yes, they are going all the way to Week Eleven for their first bye!

Week Twelve vs. Carolina Panthers

This should be easy, hopefully. The Colts destroyed Carolina in their last meeting a few years ago, and facing a team that finished last in the NFL last year should be another thing to have high hopes on. However, after this game, Indianapolis has a tough road ahead of them with games against teams like the Patriots and Ravens, which are next week — on the road!

Week Thirteen at New England Patriots

The Colts went from down 31-14 to 31-28 as they were in Patriots territory in the last 30 seconds of the game last year. But that game is where Manning started his interception slump, throwing a costly one that cost a game that could have gotten into overtime, or a victory for Indy. Manning is looking for revenge as the Colts head on to Foxborough against last year’s MVP, Tom Brady.

Week Fourteen at Baltimore Ravens

This game is going to be really tough. It will be a hard, physical game as Manning will go against the tough Ravens defense. We’ll see what happens, but this isn’t a game to be completely positive about.

Week Fifteen vs. Tennessee Titans

This starts the AFC South games to finish off the last three games of the year. Indy will face Chris Johnson again, this time at home.

Week Sixteen vs. Houston Texans

This will be easier for Indy, as they don’t have a hard time really versus the Texans at home. Should be a good one.

Week Seventeen at Jacksonville Jaguars

The Colts should be able to pull this one out. Hopefully they can in the tough place like Jacksonville. This should be a good game as well.

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