The 2016 season is still quite a ways away, but word came Tuesday from the offices of the NFL that the unofficial start to the 2016 season begins with the Colts and Packers playing in Canton, OH. Must of us know that the game means less then nothing, however, the Colts become part of the festivities surrounding two former Indy greats being inducted into the Hall of Fame. It is always an honor to see former players make it into the elite company of those enshrined in the halls and especially so this year due to Tony Dungy and Marvin Harrison sporting their gold jackets this year. Also, the Packers have an equally important part in the ‘Ol Gunslinger Brett Favre having his likeness entered in the hall of fame as well.
As I stated previously, the game provides little context for the season and what may occur when real games are played, but none-the-less both teams get to play part in a little form of honor to all three legends going in for each team. Although the game means little in terms of solid football, it is still exciting to see the Colts open up before a national audience starving to see America’s game played again. At this point we don’t know many of the players who will be playing that game, but we do know that this season should provide (hopefully) a vast departure from last season both on and off the field. Similarly, the Packers also saw their season not play out the way they expected so both teams have a lot of questions to answer. Especially from critics who saw both teams as Super Bowl darlings.
Besides, the level of hype surrounding the teams face similar circumstances heading into the 2016 season. For example, both have elite quarterbacks, questions in their running the game, defenses that left a lot to be desired, and offensive-centric teams. Clearly, Aaron Rodgers is at the top of his game, but Andrew Luck has much to prove after a season plagued by poor play and injuries. Add this to the status of Luck’s contract and it’s easy to see why it’s important for him to have a turnaround season after encountering a somewhat sub-par year.
Besides opening up the preseason, both teams get to start training camp earlier than the rest of the league to prepare for the game and also get an extra game to evaluate potential talent on the roster. The teams will also face each other in the regular season at Lambaugh at some point this season. There are lots of reason to complain about the game from a competitive standpoint, but as fans of the Colts we have this to look forward to as the start of the 2016 season and hopefully one that is more successful than last.