Indianapolis — While the Indianapolis Colts knew back in February who they would be playing during the 2012 regular season, there were plenty of questions about the dates, locations and times of those games.
National Football League officials, however, made things a lot clearer Tuesday night when the full schedule was officially released to the public.
Indianapolis will begin the 2012 campaign on the road at Chicago on Sunday, Sept. 9 and will take on Minnesota a week later on Sept. 16 in the home opener. Both games are set to begin at 1 p.m.
The Colts will open AFC South play in the third week of the season when Jacksonville comes to Indianapolis on Sept. 23.
“We are looking forward to a very competitive schedule, especially an always tough AFC South slate,” first-year Indianapolis coach Chuck Pagano said Tuesday evening in a prepared statement.
“The first few weeks of offseason workouts have been spirited and we are working extremely hard to meet our offseason goals. This team continues to gel and build chemistry with each passing day and we will continue to labor at a high level.”
With a new quarterback, presumably former Stanford standout Andrew Luck, taking over for former four-time league MVP Peyton Manning, the Colts appear to have a favorable early portion of the schedule in terms of home and away games.
Indianapolis will play three of its first four contests, and five of its first eight, at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Colts’ third home game, though, will be against Green Bay, which won the Super Bowl after the 2010 season and posted a 15-1 record last year.
Starting out the year against the Bears in Chicago isn’t an easy task either. The two teams will meet for the second time in the regular season since Indianapolis won Super Bowl XLI in February of 2007. The Colts are 22-18 against Chicago in the all-time regular season series. Indianapolis won its last road trip to Soldier Field (41-10) in 2004.