INDIANAPOLIS – It’s just one game, or is it?
The Indianapolis Colts open the 2022 season Sept. 11 against the Texans in Houston, according to the Texans’ website.
The NFL allowed teams to announce their home openers ahead of Thursday’s 8 p.m. release of the entire schedule, and the Colts have their first game at Lucas Oil Stadium in week 3 against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.
That means two opening games on the road, the first at Houston. It’s the first of 17 games, but that first step has been a treacherous one.
The Colts have lost eight straight season openers and 11 of the last 12. Their last victory to open a season: a 21-17 win in 2013 over the Raiders, who have since relocated to Las Vegas.
Yes, a long time ago. If you need more context to the length of the drought, consider no Colt remains from the ’13 opening win.
Well, that’s not entirely true. The Colts’ leading receiver that day was Reggie Wayne with eight catches for 96 yards and one touchdown. He’s in his first year as their receivers coach.
The Texans should offer the Colts an excellent opportunity to generate necessary momentum going into a season that must eradicate the thoughts of last season’s epic collapse.
Houston finally jettisoned troubled quarterback Deshaun Watson and likely will be led by Davis Mills. Since winning back-to-back AFC South titles in 2018-19, the Texans have fallen badly. They posted a 4-12 record in 2020 and were 4-13 last season.
The Colts swept the Texans last season – 31-3 in Indy and 31-0 in Houston – and have won four straight and nine of 11 in the series.
Also, the Colts will have a different starting quarterback for a sixth consecutive opener.
Mahomes makes his first appearance at Lucas Oil Stadium in week 3. The Colts have won four of the last six meetings in the series, including a 19-13 decision in 2019 in Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium.
You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.