By David Schroeder
Editors note: This article was originally printed in our September-October double issue, and we are in the process of publishing our content to our online platforms.
October will be a big month for the Indianapolis Colts. They will play their second primetime, and only Thursday night game, of the season in Houston against the divisional foe Texans. They’ll also take a trip into Pittsburgh to face a Steelers team that a lot of analysts picked as a favorite for the Super Bowl. At the very least, by the end of October we should have a pretty good idea as to what the Colts are capable of.
Photo by A.J. Macht, Indianapolis Colts
The Indianapolis Pro Football Team Travels to Baltimore 10/5
This would have been Robert Mathis’ first game back with the Colts after his suspension for violating the league’s performance enhancing drugs policy. It won’t be, because Mathis tore his Achilles’ tendon while working out in Atlanta before week 1 of the season ever kicked off. Instead all eyes will be on second year outside linebacker Björn Werner (pronounced Verner). Werner will be tasked with leading a pass rush that was non-existent outside of Mathis and his 19.5 sacks last year. In the Colts fifth game of the season, it’ll be telling of their Super Bowl aspirations whether they can apply pressure to Raven’s quarterback Joe Flacco.
Final score: Colts, 20 - Ravens, 13
3rd Divisional Game, 3rd Primetime Game of the Season 10/9
Coming off of a very short week, the Colts will play the Houston Texans in Texas on Thursday Night Football. This will be the third primetime game for a Colts team that could barely get one primetime game two years ago. It speaks to the confidence the NFL has in the Colts to be a true competitor that they gave the team five primetime games. This will be the first time that Andrew Luck and the Colts offense will have to deal with two time All Pro defensive linemen and former Defensive Player of the Year JJ Watt AND 1st overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft Jadeveon Clowney. Many expect the tandem of Watt and Clowney to wreak havoc on backfields for the foreseeable future.
Final score: Colts, 33 - Texans, 28
A Shot at Revenge 10/19
Last year the Cincinnati Bengals humiliated the Colts in Cincinnati to the tune of a 28-42 shellacking. This year the Colts get the Bengals at home in Lucas Oil Stadium. Third year QB Andy Dalton signed a new contract in the offseason that will pay him $115 million over the next six years but that hasn’t silenced his naysayers. Dalton has proven capable as a starter in the NFL, but there are concerns about his ability to play in the post-season. The Bengals have a true number one receiving threat in AJ Green and he and second year running back Giovanni Bernard will complement each other to truly open up the offense in the air and on the ground.
(Game will be played at Lucas Oil Stadium and broadcast at 1:00 pm on CBS)
Black and Yellow Black and Yellow 10/26
The Colts will close October out with a trip to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers at Heinz Field. The Steelers are coming off of an 8-8 record in 2013 where they missed the playoffs and are hoping to rectify that. Numerous sports outlets have pegged the Steelers and Colts as true contenders for the Super Bowl so this will definitely be a game to watch. This game could affect home field advantage in the playoffs if both of these AFC teams can hold it together through the season. Steelers 1st round pick linebacker, Ryan Shazier will be someone to watch to see if he can play with a team known for its hard as nails defenses.
(Game will be played at Heinz Field and broadcast at 4:25 pm on CBS)
All dates and times from colts.com