Colts Face Tough Slate in 2011

Six teams that made the 2011 National Football League playoffs highlight the Indianapolis Colts 2012 regular season schedule, which was recently released.

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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