Finally, the NFL gives Colts prime time games

INDIANAPOLIS – Finally.

At long last, after plenty of justified griping and complaining.

The NFL released its 2022 schedule Thursday night, and there they were. Two prime time games for the Colts and the city of Indianapolis. Two Monday Night Football appearances for Lucas Oil Stadium, the first on Nov. 28 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the second hosting the Los Angeles Chargers the day after Christmas.

Maybe the league office liked the move from Carson Wentz to Matt Ryan. Maybe the NFL watched Jonathan Taylor shred the New England Patriots in prime time last December and realized putting one of the best players in the NFL in prime time might help drive ratings.

Maybe the NFL is finally acknowledging it has screwed Jim Irsay, the Colts and the city of Indianapolis far too many times over the last decade or so, and it’s finally trying to make amends.

Sea:Colts schedule 2022: Indianapolis will have one less home game in the upcoming NFL season

If that is the case, it’s been a long time coming.

The numbers don’t lie. Indianapolis has been stiffed on prime time home games for more than a decade; even when Andrew Luck was the quarterback. The Colts have played just 30.6% of their prime time games at home since 2011, the lowest rate in the entire NFL.

And up until the NFL released the 2022 schedule on Thursday night, the problem was getting worse, not better. The Colts played just 23.5% of its prime time games at home since 2016, a laughable number that’s impossible to defend.

All of the traditional counter-arguments fall flat.

Indianapolis is one of the NFL’s smaller markets, true, but the size of the city matters very little to a TV audience tuning into the game from the comfort of their own couches.

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