The Colts ended the Frank Reich era by missing the playoffs for two consecutive seasons. After finishing 4-12-1 in 2022, they decided to make a coaching change, hiring offensive-minded Shane Steichen away from the Eagles.
Indianapolis couldn't find the desired results with two more veteran starting quarterbacks, Carson Wentz and Matt Ryan. For the first time since Andrew Luck in 2012, that prompted the team to draft a first-round QB, Anthony Richardson.
While the Colts determine when Richardson will start over Gardner Minshew, who followed Steichen from Philadelphia, they are hoping to show some improvement from last season.
Here is a complete breakdown of the Colts' 2023 schedule, including dates, start times and analysis for all 17 games.
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Indianapolis Colts schedule 2023
|1||Sept. 10||vs. Jaguars||1 p.m. ET||Fox|
|2||Sept. 17||at Texans||1 p.m. ET||Fox|
|3||Sept. 24||at Ravens||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|4||Oct. 1||vs. Rams||1 p.m. ET||Fox|
|5||Oct. 8||vs. Titans||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|6||Oct. 15||at Jaguars||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|7||Oct. 22||vs. Browns||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|8||Oct. 29||vs. Saints||1 p.m. ET||Fox|
|9||Nov. 5||at Panthers||4:05 p.m. ET||CBS|
|10||Nov. 12||at Patriots (Frankfurt, Germany)||9:30 a.m. ET||NFL Network|
|12||Nov. 26||vs. Buccaneers||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|13||Dec. 3||at Titans||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|14||Dec. 10||at Bengals||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|15||Dec. 16/17||vs. Steelers||TBD||TBD|
|16||Dec. 24||at Falcons||1 p.m. ET||Fox|
|17||Dec. 31||vs. Raiders||1 p.m. ET||CBS|
|18||Jan. 7*||vs. Texans||TBD||TBD|
Drawing three games in the weak NFC South on top of the six in the AFC South does help in padding the win total toward respectability. That's balanced out a bit by facing the loaded AFC North, too.
Indianapolis does have the advantage of a few more climate comfortable games than usual, with only a few trips in the elements and no travel to the Mountain or Pacific time zones.
MORE: NFL strength of schedule breakdown for all 32 teams
Colts strength of schedule
The Colts' schedule is favorable no matter how one examines strength of schedule. Based on the combined 2022 winning percentage of this season opponents (124-162-2, .434), Indianapolis has the fourth-easiest slate. When using the 2023 projected team win totals, per Sharp Football Analysis, the Colts are also ranked No. 4.
Toughest tests: The pair of away games against AFC North heavyweights, the Ravens and the Bengals stand out. Going to New England is also difficult, on top of the road dates inside the division. At home, facing the Steelers and Saints are trickier than they appear.
Biggest breaks: Given the Texans and Titans also are transitioning in the division behind the Jaguars, the Colts have four very winnable games there. Then beyond New Orleans coming to Indy, Tampa Bay at home and both Atlanta and Carolina on the road makes for a fine interconference slate on top of the Rams at home.
Bottom line: The Colts have a projected win total of over/under 6.5, which says their ceiling is a three-game improvement from last season. It's unknown when they will roll with Richardson as the starting QB, if at all in 2023. Should they go with Gardner Minshew early with a smooth midseason transition to Richardson, that might set up the best-case scenario, given there's some volatility with either veteran or rookie. The Colts will be a little better, but it's fair to go more conservative with the results with one significant variable.
Record prediction: 6-11