In addition to facing three AFC South teams in the usual home-and-home format, the Colts are slated to face their Super Bowl XLIV opponent — New Orleans — in an Oct. 23 road game along with 2010 AFC champion Pittsburgh in a Sept. 25 home game.
Both contests will be nationally televised by NBC Sports, along with a Dec. 4 road game with New England. The Colts and Patriots will be meeting for the ninth consecutive regular season.
Indianapolis will also travel to Tampa Bay for an Oct. 3 meeting that will be carried by ESPN. Fox Sports will broadcast the Colts' Nov. 6 home game with Atlanta and the Nov. 27 home game with Carolina. The NFL Network will televise Houston's Dec. 22 visit to Lucas Oil Stadium.
Depending on when/if the league and the National Football League Players Association come to an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement, which would end the current lockout by NFL owners, the Colts' 2011 regular season will start on Sunday, Sept. 11 with a divisional road game at Reliant Stadium against the Texans.
It will mark the second consecutive year that Indianapolis has played its first regular-season game at Houston. The Colts will conclude the season with a New Year's Day game at AFC South rival Jacksonville.
The 2011 opponents' combined 2010 record was 133-123, giving Indianapolis the fifth-hardest schedule in the league.
Also, instead of recent seasons when the Colts had a relatively early bye week, this year Indianapolis will have Week 11 off. That's the weekend before Thanksgiving.
Click here for the full schedule.
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