For the Colts in 2011 will feature the NFC South and AFC North as well as division winners the Kansas Chiefs and New England Patriots. A lot of teams in both divisions have plenty of talent seven of the Colts ten opponents had ten or more wins that includes three opponents from the NFC South. Not to mention the Cleveland Browns who may not have come close to double digit wins this season but had quality wins against the Saints and Patriots and they also do one thing the Colts struggle the most against, running the football. Peyton Hillis is a big powerful running back and could potentially cause problems for the Colts.
Hopefully this offseason the Colts get a little bit better on defense especially against the run as they face a lot of teams that feature big running backs. The Colts last year were eighth worst in the league when it came to stopping the run and the Jets showed in the post season the best way to beat Peyton Manning is to keep him off the field by running the ball right at them.
There are a couple of matchups to look forward; the Colts will make the trip to New Orleans to face off against the Saints for the first time since the Super Bowl. Every Colts fan and especially Manning will be looking for some type of redemption that Sunday. The last time the Colts made a trip to Tampa Bay they pulled off one of the biggest comebacks in NFL history as they scored 28 points in the fourth quarter and kicked a field goal to win it in overtime. This should be another good one as the Bucaneers will field a young team looking to prove themselves against one of the NFLs best.
Then finally there is the dreaded trip to Foxboro to face off against the Bill Belichick led Patriots who always give Manning and the Colts headaches. Last year it looked like Manning was going to lead the Colts to a fourth quarter comeback but threw a late interception to seal the loss for the Colts 28-31. The Colts have a pretty tough home schedule where they’ll face the Falcons and Steelers but shouldn’t have much trouble with Chiefs or the Panthers.
It’ll be another exciting year for the Colts if they can stay healthy and make a few adjustments in the offseason the path won’t be as rough. However if it’s another year where the Colts suffer from an injury plagued season there will definitely be some struggle against some of the better teams on their schedule.