Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 4/21/12
The 2012 schedules are out. The Colts get matchups against four top-ten defenses, and three top-five passers. Welcome to the league, Luck.

Week 1: @ Chicago Bears
In Short: Andrew Luck gets a warm welcome in Chicago. What better way to break the ice than against Brian Urlacher and company? The defense will present its new physical mindset, but to no avail against the Bears’ offense. This game will show just how deep into the rebuilding process Indianapolis is.
Bottom Line: Look for an occasional bright spot for the young quarterback, but no victory just yet.

Record: 0-1

Week 2: vs. Minnesota Vikings
In Short: The Vikings visit Lucas Oil. We’ll get to size up the home crowd in Indianapolis as the tables turn and Chuck Pagano’s defense gets their shot at a young quarterback. Luck will have his chance to shine against a poor Minnesota defense.
Bottom Line: The defense slows Adrian Peterson enough to get the W. 

Record: 1-1

Week 3: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
In Short:Jacksonville provides the first of the 2012 divisional matchups for the Colts. These two have been highly competitive in the past; expect nothing less for this go-around.
Bottom Line: Luck is confident after a great home-field debut performance in week 2 and puts up another collection of solid numbers. Expect the defense to flex their pass-rush muscle as they get after Blaine Gabbert. (Replace with Chad Henne if he swipes the starting position.)

Record: 2-1

Week 4: BYE

Week 5: vs. Packers
In Short: Round one of the top-five quarterback bouts. The new coaching staff will have an extra week to prepare for the high octane offense of Green Bay. The Pack will be the first true measuring stick for the Colts’ defense. Luck’s confidence will carry over to this Sunday afternoon game at home, and he performs well.  
Bottom Line: The Colts will be more competitive than expected, but fall short to the overpowering Pack.

Record: 2-2

Week 6: @ Jets
In Short: The New York media circus should be in mid-season form at this juncture. Audiences will be affixed on a heated Tebow/Sanchez battle for fan support, and a starting job. Regardless of any shenanigans on the offensive side of the ball, the Jet’s defense will be ready to play.
Bottom Line:
This is a tough matchup for the Colts’ offense, Luck’s stat line will drop, as the Colts drop the game in the lap of the Jets.

Record: 2-3

Week 7: vs. Browns
In Short:Week 7, back home to play a Browns team that certainly will change between now and then. The Browns present a certain mystery in the draft, and few are bold enough to make a definite prediction of who they will take with the third pick. The Browns will fall to the bottom of the barrel in 2012.
Bottom Line:This will be an easy mark in the win column for the Colts as they recover from a tough loss in week 6.

Record: 3-3

Week 8: @ Titans
In Short:The Colts travel to Tennessee where they will play the second-best team in the AFC south. These two know one another well, well; they use to know each other well. This will be a matchup of squads looking to form an identity.
Bottom Line: Expect a pair of close scores; Colts fall short on the road.

Record: 3-4

Week 9: vs. Dolphins
In Short:The Miami Dolphins travel to Indianapolis for a midseason matchup that revisits an old relationship. David Garrard quarterbacked in Jacksonville for three years from 2008-2010. Miami looks to be a solid offensive team, providing that Garrard still has it, and they bring a defense that was ranked 6th in 2011.
This game will begin a painful stretch for the Colts as they play 3 of the next four on the road.
Bottom Line:Colts lose to an explosive Miami team.

Record: 3-5

Week 10: @ Jacksonville Jaguars 
In Short:The Colts visit the Jaguars for a rematch of week 3. The Colts will face an uphill battle in Jacksonville. The first game was an easy win for the Colts, but now they are on the road, and hurting from a pair of tough losses. Jacksonville’s offense will be more cohesive than earlier in the year.
Bottom Line:Maurice Jones-Drew sticks it to Indy and serves up a salty defeat.

Record: 3-6

Week 11: @ New England Patriots
In Short:The Colts travel to Foxboro for round two of the top-five quarterbacks. This matchup has long been home to great quarterbacking, and while it may very well be home to two great quarterbacks in 2012, it won’t have quite the hype it has in years past.
Tom Brady wants no part in a Colt quarterback finding success in New England. You can bet on Bill Belichick being on the same page. The Patriots will not pull any punches in this one.
Bottom Line:Patriots’ offense outscores the Colts, and leaves us to reflect upon the end of a rivalry.

Record: 3-7

Week 12: vs. Buffalo Bills
In Short:Buffalo visits Indianapolis in this week 12 matchup. Buffalo has a stable of running backs that include Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller. Jackson left the 2011 season early due to injury, look for a strong return season in 2012. This pair of backs is sure to trouble the Colts’ defense.
On the flip side, Buffalo’s defense will provide plenty of opportunity for the Colts’ offensive attack, as they allowed 371 yards per game last season.
Bottom Line:Expect a high scoring affair, Buffalo steals one late.

Record: 3-8

Week 13: @ Detroit Lions
In Short:Round three of the top-five passer bouts will take place in the Motor City. This is another tough match-up for the Colts. Calvin Johnson’s reputation will precede him in this one, with machine-like attributes being put on bright display against the undersized Colts’ defense.
Bottom Line:A one sided; high-scoring affair. Detroit wins at home.

Record: 3-9

Week 14: vs. Tennessee Titans
In Short:Just like the previous match-up, this will be a highly competitive game. Even though these two teams may not have the noisiest of home crowds by the time week 14 rolls around, the location will decide the winner.
Bottom Line:The Colts get their revenge in a close rematch.

Record: 4-9

Week 15: @Houston Texans
In Short:If for nothing more than to make things interesting, the Colts will end the season with two of three against division rival Houston. The Colts are a commanding 17-3 all time against Houston. Look for the Texans to put the fourth tally in the win column.
Houston will look for their first season sweep of the Colts. It’s a prime time to do so. If they can avoid the health issues that plagued them last year, they will be a dominant force in the AFC where the throne is up for grabs.
Bottom Line:Houston closes out the passing of the AFC south’s torch ceremony with a big win over Indianapolis at home.  

Record: 4-10

Week 16: @ Kansas City Chiefs
In Short:Kansas City. Arrowhead Stadium. This looks like a rough place to play in 2012. It would not be surprising to see rowdy crowds affect the Colts’ young offense. Kansas City, much like Houston just a year ago, was plagued with injuries across the board. They could easily be a playoff contender in 2012.
Bottom Line:Kansas City wins a close field goal filled affair.  

Record: 4-11

Week 17: vs. Houston Texans
In Short:Houston will be resting starters? Believe it, people. This will be a scrimmage in which the Colts look for momentum to take into 2013.
Bottom Line:Indianapolis wins in a relatively meaningless game for Houston. A good show for fans.

Record: 5-11
 

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