Since 2001, Hard Knocks has been must-see television for NFL fans and casual football observers. The documentary-style production from HBO and NFL films traditionally follows a single team during training camp and the preseason, chronicling the preparation with impressive access and the ability to showcase top-level storytelling to a mass audience. On Thursday, however, it was announced that Hard Knocks would be shifting gears and breaking new ground with its first-ever in-season production, and the program will follow the Indianapolis Colts during what the organization hopes will be an impressive regular season and playoff run.
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) September 17, 2021
The new show will debut on Nov. 17, with a planned release each Wednesday evening. In addition, the announcement was revealed on NFL Network, and it was also stated that the Colts will be followed during a playoff run, if they can reach the postseason.
This isn’t the first time that a second team will be monitored, as the 2020 edition followed both the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers during a pandemic-challenged training camp. Still, the transition from the 2021 preseason following the Dallas Cowboys to an in-season look at the Colts will be intriguing, and Indianapolis has plenty of storylines to monitor with a new quarterback in Carson Wentz and a team that won 11 games a year ago.
It will certainly be interesting to see what kind of format this show takes, particularly as the Colts are going through game-plan activities with specific opponents in mind. After two decades and 18 Emmy’s, though, the duo of NFL Films and HBO have earned the benefit of the doubt, and this should be an entertaining watch, particularly for Colts fans.