The Indianapolis Colts are in for a rough week. The final preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals was eye-opening in all the wrong ways, and left even the usually upbeat Chuck Pagano looking drained and frustrated. The offensive line has been about as effective as the barrier to Platform Nine and Three Quarters with about the same turnover as the cast of Game of Thrones, leaving the coaching staff about seven days to figure out how to keep Andrew Luck alive. Defensive leader Robert Mathis‘s suspension for using fertility drugs goes into effect, so he’ll be forbidden to interact with the team in any capacity for the next four weeks. Owner Jim Irsay has (reportedly) reached a plea agreement in his impaired driving case, so now NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will likely descend Olympus to pass final judgement. And if that wasn’t enough, the Colts have to play the angry and vengeful Super Bowl losing Denver Broncos led by once-and-forever hero Peyton Manning.
It’s going to be a deluge of bad news. A series of events that Colts fans would probably rather forget, or possibly even ignore. The Colts are probably going to lose to the Broncos. Manning is probably going to unlock the rare achievement of beating all 32 teams in the league over the course of his career. And then with all evidence pointing toward this turning into a really crummy season, it will be easy to panic (assuming we didn’t already start panicking sometime during the preseason game against the New Orleans Saints).
And then everyone will remember that the Colts supposedly have one of the easiest schedules in the league this year. Even if after the week two game against the Philadelphia Eagles the Colts are 0-2, their next four games are against the Jacksonville Jaguars (possible quarterback controversy), Tennessee Titans (always impossible to figure out), Baltimore Ravens (featuring Mathis’s return in front of a home crowd), and the Houston Texans (prime time Thursday night).
The Colts are in for a rough week. Maybe even a rough two weeks. But by that Thursday night game against the Texans, we should know who they are and where they’re going. This team is in no danger of peaking too soon. It’s too bad because the first week of the season is typically a celebration, something we look forward to all summer. Just in this case, consider ignoring the news for awhile.