Colts 2013 schedule: Four long road trips could be a huge challenge for Indianapolis

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Colts are looking to unseat the Texans as the division champs, but face a tough road schedule that could derail their journey to the top of the AFC South.

The Indianapolis Colts were one of the most inspirational stories of last season, but are now breaking in a new offense for the second consecutive year after losing offensive coordinator Bruce Arians to Arizona. However, the new offensive play-caller, Pep Hamilton, was Colts' quarterback Andrew Luck's coordinator at Stanford, so Luck may be even more comfortable heading into his second season. Luck's maturation will play a major role in the team's success this season.

Indianapolis will face challenges early in the year with a road trip out west against the 49ers and two home games against the Broncos and Seahawks. The Colts will also have a tough pair of tests immediately after the bye, with a divisional clash against the Texans in Houston and a home game against the Rams.

Despite the Colts early challenges, Indianapolis will only play in one divisional game before the bye week. The Texans are the Colts' biggest challenge in the division and are hoping to keep their stranglehold on the division title.

Week Date Opponent Time (ET) TV
1 Sep. 8 vs. Oakland 1 p.m. CBS
2 Sept. 15 vs. Miami 1 p.m. CBS
3 Sept. 22 @ San Francisco 4:25 p.m. CBS
4 Sep. 29 @ Jacksonville 1 p.m. CBS
5 Oct. 6 vs. Seattle 1 p.m. FOX
6 Oct. 14 @ San Diego 8:40 p.m. ESPN
7 Oct. 20 vs. Denver 8:30 p.m. NBC
8 Nov. 3 @ Texans 8:30 p.m. NBC
9 Nov. 10 vs. St. Louis 1 p.m. FOX
10 Nov. 14 @ Tennessee 8:25 p.m. NFLN
11 Nov. 24 @ Arizona 4:05 p.m. CBS
12 Dec. 1 vs. Tennessee 1 p.m. CBS
13 Dec. 8 @ Cincinnati 1 p.m. CBS
14 Dec. 15 vs. Houston 1 p.m. CBS
15 Dec. 22 @ Chiefs 1 p.m. CBS
16 Dec. 29 vs. Jacksonville 1 p.m. CBS

Toughest out: Broncos (home)

The setting in Indianapolis in Week 7 should be nothing short of electric, as former Colts quarterback and future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning returns to his old stomping grounds with the Denver Broncos. The Colts' defense will have their hands full against Manning, Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker on Sunday Night Football. This game will also feature Von Miller's season debut, as his suspension will conclude after Week 6.

Must win: Jaguars (away)

The Colts need to beat the Jaguars in Week 4 in order to keep pace with the Texans, as the Jags bookend games against NFC West powerhouses in the 49ers and the Seahawks. The Jaguars should be a winnable game that the Colts need to take advantage of. Luck needs to target the Jaguars weak secondary, and the Colts' defense has to keep Maurice Jones-Drew in check.

Don't overlook: Arizona (away)

While the Cardinals' offensive line leaves a lot to be desired, long road trips are always tough on the traveling team. Arizona's new head coach Bruce Arians knows Luck's strengths and weaknesses, which will help him plan against the young star. The Cardinals' defense has talented secondary players that could force the Colts to play the ground game, which is not their strength.

For all your Indianapolis Colts news, make sure to head to Stampede Blue.

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