Dominic Rhodes

3.3908227847881 (1264)
Posted by sonny 04/27/2009 @ 02:13

Tags : dominic rhodes, football players, football, sports

News headlines
Buffalo Bills Position Battles to Keep an Eye On - Bleacher Report
The battle fans should be watching as the offseason goes on is between Fred Jackson and Dominic Rhodes, although Xavier Omon could also factor into the decision. Jackson just re-signed with the Bills for a four year, $7.5 million deal this offseason....
Ask the experts - Indianapolis Star
QUESTION: Help convince me why it was not a better path to re-sign Dominic Rhodes and draft a wide receiver in the first round. I like Donald Brown, but we are thin at receiver and one injury away from having Peyton Manning throwing to a bunch of...
Colts 2009 Outlook: No Dungy, No Problem - Bleacher Report
When the Colts line up this season, they will be without the services of the all-time greatest wide receiver in team history, Marvin Harrison, the should-have-been 2006 Super Bowl MVP running back Dominic Rhodes, the talented but often unused punter...
Fred Jackson signs extension with Bills - Buffalo News
The Bills signed Indianapolis Colts free agent Dominic Rhodes, who also has designs on the starting job. Jackson doesn't look at Rhodes as a threat, but as good competition for him and Lynch. "You see some of the things he's done and some of the plays...
AFC East Running Backs Preview - Bleacher Report
Marshawn Lynch, Fred Jackson, and Dominic Rhodes. The word, "stacked," comes to mind. With the signing of Rhodes to a two year deal, and the four year extension of backup Jackson, Lynch and the Bills seem set for quite some time....
Organized Team Activity: Day 2 - BuffaloBills.com
Dominic Rhodes was practicing with his new teammates Tuesday and got some reps in during team work, though he was working behind Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson in the rotation. After missing day one Rhodes intends to be at One Bills Drive for the...
Colts cut another key franchise piece - Stampede Blue
Dom is credited with finding Jeff Saturday and Dominic Rhodes. “He played a major role in our success and in the development of an outstanding department and staff,” Polian said in a statement. “We will miss him greatly. On a personal level,...
Colts Putting Together an Impressive Ground Game - NFL GridIron Gab
The Colts had one of the best rushing attacks of Edgerrin James and Dominic Rhodes. It went on for a while, until after the 2005 NFL season, when James left to play for the Cardinals. Then it was just Dominic Rhodes and James Mungro, all by themselves....
State of the Bills Roster: Running Backs - Buffalo Rumblings
With former Colts back Dominic Rhodes brought in via free agency, the Bills now boast perhaps the deepest and most productive trio of running backs throughout the entire league. Getting touches for all three (when all three are available,...
Around the League with Edgerrin James, Anquan Boldin, and More - Bleacher Report
Well, with Marshawn Lynch gone for the first three weeks because of suspension, Jackson probably has the edge over free-agent signee Dominic Rhodes. Look for a one-two punch here, but I would bank on Jackson, with his youth and knowledge of the...

Dominic Rhodes

Dominic Dondrell Rhodes (born January 17, 1979 in Waco, Texas) is an American football running back for the Buffalo Bills the National Football League. He was signed by the Indianapolis Colts as an undrafted free agent in 2001. He played college football at Midwestern State.

Rhodes also played for the Oakland Raiders between stints with the Colts. He earned a Super Bowl ring with the Colts in Super Bowl XLI.

After attending Abilene Cooper High School, Rhodes was recruited by many major college programs including Texas Tech University and Texas Christian University. He signed instead with Tyler Junior College in Tyler, Texas. Rhodes played two years at Tyler Junior College, where he earned All-America honors and twice was named an all-conference selection. Rhodes then attended Midwestern State University where he was a standout running back. There he was the subject of perceived racism, which is why he refuses to acknowledge his college during telecasts.

After two years at Midwestern State University, Rhodes decided to go the NFL. Despite his college career, he was not chosen in the 2001 NFL Draft. He was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Indianapolis Colts.

In a 2001 game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Rhodes returned a punt for a touchdown. In that game, the Indianapolis Colts' starting running back, Edgerrin James, injured his knee and ended his season. As a result, Rhodes was the starting running back for the rest of the Colts' 2001 season. That year, Rhodes ran for the most rushing yards by an undrafted rookie in NFL history, with 1,104, despite only starting the final nine games of the season. Rhodes missed the entire 2002 season due to a torn ACL. After recovering, he backed up James from 2003-2005.

During the 2006 NFL season, Rhodes split time with rookie running back Joseph Addai, as James left to play for the Arizona Cardinals. Rhodes finished the year with 641 yards and five touchdowns. On February 4, 2007, in Super Bowl XLI, he scored a one-yard touchdown and rushed for over 100 yards to help the Colts claim a 29-17 victory.

Rhodes became a free agent for the 2007 free agency period. On March 9th, he signed a two-year, $7.5 million contract with the Oakland Raiders. On July 3rd he was suspended for four games for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.

Rhodes was released by the Raiders on April 28 - just two days after the team drafted running back Darren McFadden fourth overall in the 2008 NFL Draft.

On May 7, 2008, Rhodes returned to the Colts on a one-year, $605,000 contract.

On April 17, 2009, Rhodes signed a 2-year contract with the Bills.

On February 20, 2007 Rhodes was driving 81 mph (130 km/h) in a 55 mph (89 km/h) zone on Interstate 65 in Indianapolis, Indiana at 3 a.m. He was pulled over by the Indiana State Police and arrested for drunk driving. Rhodes claimed at the time that he had only "two or three" alcoholic drinks; he failed two sobriety tests with a blood alcohol content of .09. He has subsequently pleaded guilty and on March 21, 2007, was given a suspended 180-day sentence and fined $2,000 .

To the top



Cooper High School (Abilene, Texas)

Cooper High School (commonly referred to as Abilene Cooper) is a public, co-educational secondary school in Abilene, Texas. It opened in 1960, in part to handle the increase in school age youth resulting from the Post World War II Baby Boom. Cooper High is named for Oscar Henry Cooper, who was president of Baylor University from 1898 to 1902. Prior to such time, his advocacy for a state-supported and state-controlled university led to the establishment of the University of Texas. After his time at Baylor, Dr. Cooper was president of Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene until 1909. Thereafter, he headed "Cooper's Boys' School" in Abilene until 1915.

From opening until the Fall of 2008, Cooper was in the largest, 5A, high school classification in Texas. Enrollment Decline Continues In the Spring of 2008, bi-annual UIL enrollment re-alignment reclassified Cooper as a 4A school and moved it to District 4-4A..

Educators at Cooper who taught from the time the school opened through 2006 included Robert Holladay and Rose Williams. Cheryl Haynes taught for 30 years at Cooper. Jim Short, who taught Government, was later principal of Cooper (1995–1997) and L. D. Bell High School (Hurst, Texas), and is currently an Assistant Superintendent in the Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School District. Texas author Lou Halsell Rodenberger (1926-2009) taught English and journalism at Cooper High School from 1982-1984.

Abilene is the home of Dyess Air Force Base , and Cooper students have benefited from retired officers, and spouses of officers, from Dyess becoming teachers at Cooper. Retired US Air Force Colonel James Alderman, a mathematics and science teacher at the school, explained to his students that he worked on the development of the Gamma Ray Spectrometer and did research relating to nuclear fusion while in the United States Air Force. Retired US Air Force Colonel James Zumwalt taught Honors Calculus and, in 1981–1982, was zoo keeper over his homeroom class that called itself the "Zoo." Members of the Zoo included many of the top graduating students in 1982 and yet still managed to win the intramural sports championship. In the years 1979 to 1982, Cooper consistently fielded teams for UIL competitions that finished in the top of their subject areas, including Speech, Creative Writing, Orchestra, Math, Band, and Choir. Cooper graduates frequently were named as Scholars, Finalists, Semi-finalists, and Commended by the National Merit Scholarship Program. Six members of the Class of 1982 received the Scholar designation.

Cooper won Team state championships in 1982, 1983, and 1984. Bob Estes, Class of 1984, won the individual state title in 1983. As a collegiate golfer at the University of Texas, Bob was selected as an All-American, received the Jack Nicklaus award, and was named 1988 College Player of the Year. Mike Standly, Class of 1982, played for the University of Houston, finished in second place to Scott Verplank at the 1986 NCAA championship, won his first tournament in 1993, the Freeport-McMohan Classic in New Orleans, and can still be found on professional golf tours.

Ricky Meyers won the state singles title in 1976 and Ryan Hughes did the same in 1995. David Meyers and Scott Meyers (identical twins) won boys doubles state in 1982.

Jana Hanks won the state singles title in 1975 and 1976, Susie Ingram and Julie Jones won the state doubles title in 1976, and Leanne Hill and Stephanie Burnam won the state doubles title in 1982.

In 2008, the Cooper High School tennis team was ranked 5 in the state in 4a being moved down helped their competition tremendously.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the team consistently finished near the top in District. Baseball teams from Cooper have played in four state championship games, 1967, 1985, 1986, and 1993, winning the 5A state championship twice with consecutive wins in 1987 and 1988. Consecutive championships have only been accomplished by 3 other schools in the history of Texas high school baseball. Cooper players recognized in UIL records include Chris Feris and Robert McAdams in 1987 for Most Extra base hits (doubles) in tournament play, Chris Feris in 1987 for Most Hits in a Game (3), Philip Carpenter in 1988 for Most Hits in a Game (3) and Robert McAdams in 1987 for a .600 batting average in a two game series with at least 5 at bats.

In the late 70s and early 80s, the team consistently finished in the top 3 in Texas.

In the late 70s and early 80s, the team consistently finished near the top in District.

Dominic Rhodes and Justin Snow were members of the 2007 NFL champion Indianapolis Colts. Rhodes joined the Oakland Raiders for the 2007 NFL season, but has rejoined the Colts.

With the exception of a few periods, the Cougars have been a team which contended for the district title. The teams of the mid 90s to the early 2000s were consistently in the playoffs. The 1996 team featuring Dominic Rhodes made it to the state championship game, playing Austin Westlake led by quarterback Drew Brees. Randy Allen, Head Coach at Cooper from the 1991 season through the 1998 season , was named to the Texas High School Coaches Association's Hall of Honor in 2006. History came full circle, as Coach Allen was on the 1967 team, the only other Cooper team to advance to the state finals to date. The 1967 game was a thriller. The Cougars lost by one point to then powerhouse Austin, Texas Reagan High School (Reagan went on to defeat Permian High School in the 1968 and 1970 state championship games) when the officials declined to rule a possible touchdown in favor of Cooper on the final play of the game.

Prior to the 2008 season, Cooper played in the district known around Texas as The Little Southwest Conference. Member schools other than Cooper were Abilene High School (Eagles), Midland High School (Bulldogs), Robert E. Lee High School (Rebels) in Midland, Texas, Odessa High School (Bronchos), and Permian High School (Panthers, particularly, black panthers to match the school colors) in Odessa, Texas. Cooper won the district championship in 1967, 1969, 1971, 1979, 1996, 1997, and 2002.

Beginning in the Fall of 2008, Cooper will compete in District 4-4A, a district consisting of San Angelo Lakeview, Plainview, Hereford, Woliforth Frenship and former Little SWC team Big Spring..

In the years 1979 to 1982, the team had a large, two story tall workout barn that housed a weight room, coach's office, and an open Astro turf area large enough for the team to run plays when the weather was too bad or to prevent scouting by opposing teams. Next to the barn was a fieldhouse containing the Trainers' room, a common bathroom, and three locker rooms. As you entered the field house, a huge, red state of Texas was painted on one wall. A big blue star showed Abilene's location and above the state was painted, "Think State." The entry to the varsity locker room was just past that mural. The locker room had red and blue deep pile carpet, central a/c and heating, quad stereo, and its own showers and equipment room. The lockers were made of metal, painted blue, had doors with combination locks, and were about 5 feet tall by close to 3 feet wide.

The football program during the years 1979 to 1982 was ahead of its time, probably on the level of many colleges. Each week during the season, the coaches studied scout game films intensely and then showed the players what formations to look for and tell-tale idiosyncrasies of the opposing players they would be keying on. Players were required to report to the locker room at 8 am on Saturdays for a review, and critique, of the film from the prior evening. Non-varsity players ran the offenses and defenses of upcoming opponents at full speed into the No. 1 varsity offenses and defenses. Thursday nights during the season were all you could eat steak cook-outs and game film watching parties. On days of away games, varsity players met at the fieldhouse, gathered their equipment, and loaded on to chartered buses. Old Yellow buses would not have been sufficient for trips ranging from 90 miles to San Angelo to 180 miles to Odessa. On arrival, the team was treated to a meal of pancakes, orange juice, and ice tea. After a quiet time to digest, some players had various joints, mostly ankles and knees but also shoulders, wrists, and groins, wrapped with athletic tape to prevent injury by limiting range of movement. Eventually, everyone put on game pants (white with a red and blue stripe on the outsides of each legs) and undershirts and went over assignments with the coaches. Shoulder pads, game jerseys (white mesh with red and blue numbers) and Football helmets came last, before marching out and bursting through a banner onto the football field. Mental preparedness was stressed as much as physical. After games, the buses would stop at a cafe near the stadium (such as Zentner's, in San Angelo) and the players would chow down on chicken-fried steak dinners. Many of these things which contributed to the success of the Cooper program would not have been possible without the Cooper Booster Club, including the Steak Nights, the pre and post game food, and the safe buses.

During the seasons mentioned under this topic, only one team from each district, the district champions, went to the play-offs. Also, Class 5A was not broken into divisions, so only one school could claim the state championship in any given year.

Ray Overton was head football coach for Cooper in 1979. Coach O was inducted into the Texas High School Coaches Association's Hall of Honor in 1978 and received of the Tom Landry Award in 1994. In 2003, Coach O was honored by the Texas House of Representatives with resolution HR 1934.

He was an excellent coach and quite a character, sometimes affectionately referred to as Shady Ray. In media interviews, he referred to his players as Kiddos and, when telling them what he thought they would do for a fun evening, would say they would probably be going home to "eat ice-cream and watch Spanky." Coach O was also known to good-naturedly refer to girlfriend's of his players as "Flossie Jane".

The 1979 Cougars were ranked #1 in Texas in Class 4A, the largest classification at the time, for 11 weeks (all 10 weeks of the season plus 1 week in the playoffs). Also, they received a higher Power Rating than the 1978 Stratford High School Texas state championship team coached by legendary Texas High School head coach Oscar Cripps, a member of the Texas High School Coaches Association's Hall of Honor, that featured Craig James, who went on to excellent careers in college and the pros and is now a television network sportscaster. During the season (and the 1980 and 1981 seasons), when performing the practice-ending spell-out jumping jacks, the team would shout, "C - O - U - G -A - R - S, Cougars, State, Champs!" While gathering for those jumping jacks during the last practices before game day, defensive players would raise their arms over their heads to each make a circle / zero and shout to each other, "Goose Egg", announcing their intent to "pitch" another "shut-out" (a baseball reference meaning a game where the opponent does not score any points).

In 1979, members of The Little Southwest Conference were Abilene High School (Eagles), Big Spring High School (Steers), Cooper, Midland High School (Bulldogs), Robert E. Lee High (Rebels) in Midland, Odessa High School (Bronchos), Permian High School (Panthers) in Odessa, and Central High School (Bobcats) in San Angelo.

Of the largest classification State Championship games since 1920, teams from The Little Southwest Conference (not including the former teams from Pampa, Texas, Borger, Lubbock and Amarillo) have played in 31 games and won 16. Teams from Permian High School have led the way, playing in 11 championship games and winning 5.

From the 1961 season, Cooper's first, through the 2006 season, only one team in the district, the San Angelo Central Bobcats (1966, 315/26, 8.25%), beat, or even matched, the 1979 Cougar's points allowed to points scored percentage. Also, in the same time period, only Permian High School (1979, 51 points allowed) and the 1966 Bobcats have allowed fewer points in a season.

Terry Orr, Fullback and Linebacker, was a Parade Magazine High School All-American and second team All-State offense and hailed by sportswriters and University of Texas fans as "The Next Earl Campbell." Terry scored the winning touchdown for the University of Texas in the 1982 Cotton Bowl against Paul "Bear" Bryant's University of Alabama Crimson Tide, played eight seasons with the Washington Redskins , and was named to the all-decade Texas high school football team (1970s). Alvin Jenkins, Tight End also played at the University of Texas and in the NFL. Greg Berry, Linebacker, was first team All-State defense, started at Texas A&M as a true freshman, and was made key stops in a game that season against a University of Georgia team featuring Herschel Walker. Paul Mergenhagen (aka "Gooch"), Lineman, was second team All-state offense.

Eleven players were named to the All-District Team: Orr, Jenkins, Berry, Mergenhagen, Kyle Stuard, Jay Zumwalt, Mike Howle, Kyle Ford, Ronny Houston, Steve Malpass, and John Slaughter. Two seniors received athletic scholarships to Baylor University, Mergenhagen Defensive Tackle and Malpass Linebacker, two seniors received athletic scholarships to the University of Texas, Orr and Jenkins, and two seniors received athletic scholarships to Texas A&M University, Berry (Linebacker) and Stuard (Punter).

Ray Berry, Linebacker, a sophomore squadman in 1979 and younger brother of Greg Berry, was a Parade Magazine High School All-American after his senior season in 1981. Ray received an athletic scholarship to Baylor University, where coach Grant Teaff described Ray as the second best Linebacker he ever coached (Mike Singletary being the first)]]., was Sports Illustrated College Defensive Player of the week for his performance in Baylor's 1985 win over the University of Southern California Trojans in Los Angeles, California, and played seven seasons for the Minnesota Vikings of the NFL. Ray was inducted into the Baylor Athletics Hall of Fame in 2005 and honored as a Legend of Baylor Football during the 2006 season. sophomore players Mike Stills, Rodney Jones, Oscar Riggins, and Scott Reedy contributed sufficiently to be lettermen in 1979.

Before the 1979 season, the Cougars were known as the "Big Blue Crew" due to their blue uniforms. In warm-ups for the first game of the 1979 season against the Brownwood High School Lions coached by legendary coach Gordon Wood, a member of the Texas High School Coaches Association's Hall of Honor, the team wore the traditional blue jerseys. However, when they returned to the field to begin the game, they burst through the banner in shiny red jerseys. Soon after Coach Overton left in the 1980s, Cooper returned to the blue. You can see these blue uniforms, and scenes at Shotwell Stadium, in the film about Permian High School football, Friday Night Lights.

The 1979 team and its supporting classes put together a 3 year record of 24 wins, 5 losses, and 2 ties (16 - 3 - 2 in district play) 20 years before, Abilene High School left a legacy for future teams from Abilene by reaching and winning the state game 3 years in a row in 1954, 1955, and 1956. Since the 1982 season, opportunities to carry forward this legacy are different, although no easier, as more than one team from each district have gone to the playoffs and Class 5A has been split into divisions. That being said, Midland Robert E. Lee High School football teams captured the 5A state championship in 1998, 1999, and 2000. Former University of Texas and current NFL running back Cedric Benson played an important role in this accomplishment. Also, the football teams of Carroll Senior High School (Southlake, Texas) won class 5A state championships in 2002, 2004,2005, and 2006 and lost the state championship game in 2003.

Cooper High School will have to change its cougarhead logo, used since the 1960s, because of it being "nearly identical to a trademarked image used by Washington State University." The Collegiate Licensing Company asked school officials to change the logo because of how similar it was to the university's. After speaking with attorneys, Cooper High's principal, Gail Gregg, said the school did not have any other choice but to comply. An estimate of how much it will cost to change the logo on all things related to Cooper High School is $50,000. As of December 12, 2007, there had not been a deadline set for the school to complete the changes to its logo.

To the top



History of the Indianapolis Colts

Memorial Stadium with 33rd Street in the foreground

The Indianapolis Colts are a professional football team based in Indianapolis, Indiana. They are 2006 champions of the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football League (NFL).

The team began play in 1953 as the Baltimore Colts. A previous Baltimore Colts team played between 1947 and 1950. The original Colts team began play in 1946 as the Miami Seahawks, a member of the upstart All-America Football Conference. They relocated to Baltimore as the Colts in 1947, and joined the NFL in 1950 after the AAFC merged into the older league. However, the franchise folded after one NFL season. After fans in Baltimore protested, the NFL formed another Colts team out of the ashes of the failed Dallas Texans for the 1953 season. While in Baltimore, the club won four NFL Championships, including Super Bowl V.

In December 28, 1946, the bankrupt Miami Seahawks of the All-America Football Conference were purchased and relocated in Baltimore by a group headed by Bob Rodenberg. As the result of a contest in Baltimore, won by Charles Evans of Middle River, Md., the team was renamed the “Colts.” On September 7, 1947, wearing the green and silver uniforms, the Colts, under Head Coach Cecil Isbell, won their initial AAFC game, 16-7, over the Brooklyn Dodgers. The team concluded its inaugural season before a record Baltimore crowd of 51,583 by losing to the New York Yankees, 21-7. The Colts finished with a 2-11-1 record, good for a fourth place finish in the Eastern Division. The Colts completed the 1948 season with a 7-8 record, tying the Buffalo Bills for the division title. The Colts compiled a 1-11 mark in 1949. Y. A. Tittle was the Colts starting quarterback.

The AAFC and NFL merged in 1950, and the Colts joined the NFL. After posting a 1-11 record for the second consecutive year, the franchise was dissolved by the league on January 18, 1951, because of its failing financial condition. But many Baltimore fans protested the loss of their team and continued to support the marching band (the second in professional football, after that of the Washington Redskins) and fan club, both of which remained in operation and worked for the team's revival.

After two seasons without professional football, NFL Commissioner Bert Bell challenged Baltimore in December of 1952 to sell 15,000 season tickets within six weeks in order to re-enter the NFL. That 15,000-ticket quota was reached in four weeks and three days. On January 23, 1953, under the principal ownership of Carroll Rosenbloom, the NFL’s Dallas Texans franchise was moved to Baltimore where, keeping the “Colts” nickname, the Texans team colors of blue and white were inherited. This is the franchise that exists today in Indianapolis.

The Texans had a long and winding history; they started as the Boston Yanks in 1944 and merged with the Brooklyn Tigers (previously known as the Dayton Triangles, an original NFL team established in the 1910s) for the 1945 season before moving to New York as the Bulldogs in 1949. The team then became the Yanks in 1950, and many of the players from the New York Yankees of the All-America Football Conference were added to the team. The Yanks moved to Dallas after the 1951 season, but played their final two "home" games of the 1952 season at the Rubber Bowl in Akron, Ohio.

Although debatable from an historical perspective, neither the Colts Franchise or the National Football League consider the 1953-present Colts to be an official continuation of the Triangles/Dodgers/Tigers/Seahawks/Yanks/Bulldogs/Yankees/Texans franchise.

The Colts began the season with a blockbuster trade, swapping five Baltimore players for 10 Cleveland Browns. Among the players who came over were future coach Don Shula; Bert Rechichar, Carl Taseff and Art Spinney, among others. The 2nd incarnation of the Baltimore Colts first took the field at Memorial Stadium on September 27th, with Coach Keith Molesworth. The Colts would stun the Bears that day 13-9 to get the new franchise off on the right foot. However, the Colts struggled to a 3-9 season in their inaugural year.

The young Colts continued to struggle in their first season under Coach Weeb Ewbank, duplicating their 3-9 inaugural season record.

The team got off to a 3-0 start. However, the team would only win 2 more games the rest of the season finishing with a 5-6-1 record.

QB George Shaw was lost to injury in the 4th game of the season. The backup named Johnny Unitas took his place. The Colts split the 8 remaining games to finish with a 5-7 record.

Johnny Unitas' first full season as starting QB, the Colts began with a 3-0 start. After losing 3 in a row, then winning 4 in a row, the Colts at 7-3 would lose their final 2 games of the season and finish 7-5.

Winning their first 6 games; on the way to a 9-1 start the Colts won the Western Division Title. However the Colts lost their final 2 games of the season.

On December 28th Baltimore faced the New York Giants in the NFL Championship game at Yankee Stadium. The Colts went to halftime with a 14-3 lead after scoring 2 TDs in the 2nd Quarter. The 4th Quarter would end tied a 17, meaning the NFL would have to use overtime for the first time ever. The rule was simple who scored first won. Unitas hit WR Raymond Berry with a clutch pass that gave the Colts a 1st down in Giants territory. The Colts continued to drive down to the 1-yard line, with first and goal. Unitas handed off to Alan Ameche who dove across the goal line to give Baltimore a 23-17 win, in what many call the greatest game ever played. The game would server as a launching point for the NFL's remarkable boom in popularity.

The Colts use a season ending 5-game winning streak to win their 2nd straight Western Division Championship with a 9-3 record.

Baltimore had a Championship Game rematch with New York Giants, with the game this time being played at Baltimore's Memorial Stadium. For the first 3 quarters the Colts fell behind 9-7. Johnny Unitas led the Colts back in the 4th Quarter scoring 24 unanswered points, and Baltimore to claim their 2nd straight NFL Championship with a 31-16 victory.

The Colts were a strong contender for the Western Division Title again with a 6-2 start. However, the Colts would drop their final 4 games as their season ended with a disappointing 6-6- record.

The Colts finished with an 8-6 record.

The Colts struggled finishing with a 7-7 record. Following the season Coach Weeb Ewbank would be fired, and replaced by Don Shula who had played with Colts in their inaugural season of 1953.

The Colts struggled early in their first season under Coach Don Shula. However they would end the season strong by winning their final 3 games to finish with an 8-6 record.

After losing the first game of the season to the Vikings the Colts went on a 10-game winning streak on the way to winning the Western Division Championship with a 12-2 record. Johnny Unitas wins the NFL MVP after amassing 2,824 yards passing.

The Colts faced the Cleveland Browns. However, nothing would go right n Cleveland as the Colts were shut-out 27-0.

The Colts appear to be a strong contender for the Western Division Championship again. However injuries to QB Johnny Unitas and back up Gary Cuzzo, forced the Colts to turn to Tom Matte in a must win season ending game in Los Angeles against the Rams. Wearing a plastic wrist brace that carried the team's list of plays, Matte led Baltimore to a 20-17 victory that gave the Colts a share of the Western Division Title at 10-3-1 with the Green Bay Packers. The Colts and Packers would battle into overtime with the game tied at 10. However, there was no magic for the Colts this time as the Packers won the game on a FG a little over a minute into the 2nd overtime period.

The Colts finished 9-5.

Led by Johnny Unitas who wins the NFL MVP with 3,428 yards passing the Colts tear through the NFL going undefeated through the first 13 games of the season with a record of 11-0-2. However, the Colts still needed to beat the Rams in Los Angeles to claim the Coastal Division Championship. Unfortunately for the Colts the Rams would win the game 34-10 to win the Division title and advance to the postseason, as the Colts went home despite an 11-1-2 record.

Johnny Unitas misses most of the season with an elbow injury. The Colts backup QB Earl Morrall steps in and wins the NFL MVP award, while leading the Colts on a record breaking 13-1 season. While Morrall led the offense, the Colts defense shut out 3 opponents while allowing a record low 144 points. In the Divisional Playoff round the Colts beat the Minnesota Vikings 24-14 before a sold out crowd at Memorial Stadium.

Going into Super Bowl III the Colts were favored by 18 points. They faced the New York Jets who were coached by their former head coach Weeb Ewbank. The Jets came in confident as QB Joe Namath guaranteed a victory. The first half was a defense struggle as the Jets had a 16-0 lead early in the 4th Quarter. Desperate to make a comeback the Colts put Johnny Unitas into the game, and he would get the Colts on the board with a long touchdown drive. With less then 4 minutes the Colts recovered an on side kick to keep their hopes alive. However, the Jets completed the biggest upset in NFL history 16-7.

Still suffering from a Super Bowl hangover the Colts stumble out of the gates losing their first 2 games. The Colts struggled to finish with an 8-5-1 record. Following the season Coach Don Shula who fell out of favor with owner Carroll Rosenbloom was allowed to resign and he took the coaching job with Miami Dolphins. Assistant Coach Don McCafferty would replace Shula.

Prior to the 1970 season, Rosenbloom, Art Modell of the Browns, and Art Rooney of the Pittsburgh Steelers agreed to have their teams join the ten AFL teams in the AFC as part of the AFL-NFL merger giving each conference an equal amount of teams, and divisions. The Colts win the Eastern Division while posting an 11-2-1 record. During the season the Colts would get revenge for Super Bowl III, by beating the New York Jets, who are now a division rival. In the Divisional Playoffs the Colts defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 17-0 before a rockus crowd at Memorial Stadium. The Colts then defeated the Raiders 27-17 to advance to the Super Bowl.

Baltimore returned to the Super Bowl and their opponents were the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys jumped out to a 6-0 lead on 2 FGs before the Colts tied it on a 75-yard pass form Johnny Unitas to John Mackey. However the Colts had the PAT blocked and the game remained tied. The Cowboys would jump out in front again and went into the 4th Quarter holding a 13-6 lead into halftime. Earl Morrall relieved an injured Unitas in the 2nd half the game as the two teams kept fumbling the ball back-and-forth in a game that got the nickname blunder bowl as both teams combined had 11 turnovers. The Colts would tie the game midway through the final period on a 2-yard plunge by RB Tom Nowatzke. With less then 2 minutes left Cowboys RB Dan Reeves fumbled the ball setting up the Colts in Dallas territory. Baltimore would win the game on a 32-yard FG from Jim O'Brien with 5 seconds left.

The Colts settled for the Wild Card after finishing the season at 10-4. In the Divisional Round the Colts would defeat the Browns in Cleveland 20-3 to advance to the AFC Championship Game. The Dolphins coached by Don Shula shut out the Colts 21-0 ending the Colts hopes for a 2nd straight Super Bowl.

The Colts got off to a 1-4 start and Coach Don McCafferty was fired. The Colts would go 4-5 in their final 9 games under John Sandusky to finish with a 5-9 record, their first losing mark in 16 years. Following the season the Colts Johnny Unitas was traded to the San Diego Chargers. However, Unitas would not leave without coming off the bench his final game at Memorial Stadium. Leading the Colts on a 55-yard Touchdown pass late in the 4th Quarter to help beat the Buffalo Bills 35-7. Memorial Stadium gave the legend a standing ovation as a small plane flying overhead carried a banner reading "Unitas We Stand".

Howard Schnellenberger becomes the Colts head coach. The young Colts struggled early with QB Marty Domres during a 2-10 start. However, in the final games of the season the rookie Bert Jones replaced Domres, and led the Colts to a stunning upset of the Miami Dolphins as the Colts won their final 2 games to end the season at 4-10.

The Colts would get off to a 0-3 start when Coach Howard Schnellenberger is fired and replaced by Joe Thomas, the Colts would not perform any better under Thomas compiling a miserable 2-12 season.

Under new coach Ted Marchibroda the Colts would get off to a 1-4 start. However, the Colts would start winning as QB Bert Jones, and RB Lydell Mitchell came of age and led the Colts on a 7 game winning streak. The Colts would go on to win their last game of the season to claim the AFC East with a 10-4 record. However, in the Divisional Playoffs the young Colts were no match for the Steelers in Pittsburgh, suffering a season ending 28-10 loss.

Ted Marchibroda resigned as head coach. However, after players threatened mutiny Marchibroda was rehired. The Colts would go on to have a stellar season led by QB Bert Jones who wins the NFL MVP, by passing for 3,104 yards. The Colts put together a solid season and win the AFC East with an 11-3 record. However in the Divisional Playoffs the Colts are defeated again by the Pittsburgh Steelers 40-29.

After a 9-1 start the Colts lose 3 straight and face a must win game for the AFC East title in the final game of the year at Memorial Stadium against the New England Patriots. The game would be a shoot out as the Colts won their 3rd straight Division Title with a 30-24 victory to finish with a 10-4 record. In the Divisional Playoff the Colts would host the Oakland Raiders in a back and forth battle that went into double overtime. However, the Colts would lose to the Raiders 37-31.

The Colts march to a 4th straight AFC East Title was over before it began as QB Bert Jones was injured and the Colts lost their first 2 games by a combined 80-0 score. Jones would return but would be injured again as the Colts defense gave up 421 points in a disappointing 5-11 season.

Veteran QB Greg Landry replaces Bert Jones as starter, as the Colts continue to struggle finishing with another 5-11 record. Following the season Coach Ted Marchibroda would be fired, and replaced by Mike McCormick.

Bert Jones regains the starting job at Quarterback, and has a solid 3,134 yard passing season. However the Colts would play inconstant football as the defense struggle during an unrewarding 7-9 season.

The Colts started the season on the right foot winning their first game of the season in New England 29-28 over the Patriots. However, the Colts would not win again until they played the Patriots at home in the final game of the season compiling a miserable 2-14 season, in which the Colts allowed 533 points. Following the season QB Bert Jones is traded to the Los Angeles Rams despite a strong 3,094-yard season. In addition Coach Mike McCormick is fired and replaced by Frank Kush.

Attendance begins to dwindle at Memorial Stadium as the Colts struggle during a season interrupted by a 2-month strike. Actually the strike provided relief for the Colts, as the possibly avoided one of the worst seasons in NFL history. The Colts would go winless while tying 1 game in a 9-game season.

With the number 1 pick in the NFL Draft the Colts select QB John Elway from Stanford. However, Elway refused to play for the Colt's head coach Frank Kush and threatened to play minor league baseball or in the newly formed USFL. Fearful the Colts would get nothing for his rights the Colts trade John Elway to the Denver Broncos. After starting the season with an overtime win in New England over the Patriots the Colts faced the Broncos in the home opener as Baltimore fans are hostile to Elway. However, fans get to see what they missed when Elway leads a game winning drive in the 4th. Despite losing out on Elway, and 1-year suspension for gambling to QB Art Schlichter, the Colts play solid football compiling a 7-9 record.

As far back as November 1971, Carroll Rosenbloom announced that the Colts would not return to Memorial Stadium when their lease ran out following the 1972 season and that he was not interested in negotiating with the city anymore. He wanted out of Baltimore for a few reasons — money, problems with Baltimore Orioles ownership and a running feud with the Baltimore press. Will Keland, a real estate investor was originally slated to buy the Colts from Rosenbloom. However, Keland could not generate enough funds necessary to purchase the team. His golfing buddy, Robert Irsay who was originally slated to own 1 percent of the team, did have the money available and he realized that he didn't need Keland. On July 13, 1972, Robert Irsay became the owner of the Colts. Under the terms of the arrangement, Irsay bought the Los Angeles Rams for $19 million, then traded them to Rosenbloom for the Colts and $3 million in cash. The players for each team remained in their respective cities.

In 1971 Baltimore mayor William Donald Schaefer and the state's governor, Marvin Mandel, created a stadium committee to examine the city's stadium needs. Their report was a blow to Memorial Stadium. Some of the problems mentioned: 10,000 stadium's seats had views that were "less than desirable"; 20,000 seats were out-dated bench seats that had no back support; 7,000 so called seats were actually poorly-constructed temporary bleachers that were installed for football games only. Also, there was not enough office space adequate enough for the front offices of either the Orioles or Colts, much less both teams combined. Both teams had to share locker rooms, the upper deck of Memorial Stadium did not circle the field, ending instead at the 50-yard line, thousands of potential seats (and added revenue) were missing. Any expansion plans for the stadium had usually mentioned less attractive (and less expensive) end-zone seats, not upper deck seating. And the number of bathroom facilities in Memorial Stadium was deemed inadequate.

Maryland's planners came up with an ambitious project. Nicknamed the "Baltodome", the original plan was to create a facility near the city's Inner Harbor known as Camden Yards. The new stadium would host 70,000 fans for football games, 55,000 for baseball and 20,000 as an arena for hockey or basketball. For an estimated $78 million, the city would build a facility that would have kept all parties; Orioles owner Hoffberger, Colts owner Irsay, the Stadium Complex Authority, Baltimore Mayor Schaefer and the state's governor, Marvin Mandel happy.

But Hyman Pressman, Baltimore's comptroller, was against the use of public funds to build a new complex. During the 1974 elections, Pressman had an amendment to the city's charter placed on the fall ballot. Known as Question P, the amendment called for declaring "the 33rd Street stadium as a memorial to war veterans and prohibiting use of city funds for construction of any other stadium." The measure passed 56 percent to 44 percent, and the same jingoistic ideas that had been used to upgrade the then Baltimore Stadium (Originally built in 1922) in the late 40s and rename it Memorial Stadium, effectively destroyed any chance of a new, modern sports complex being built in Baltimore. It can be reasonably concluded that in this legislation, lay the Colts move to Indianapolis.

Although the Colts made the playoffs for three straight years from 1975-77, there had still been no progress made on a new park for the team. Robert Irsay first spoke with Phoenix, Arizona in 1976 and then Indianapolis, Indiana in 1977 about the possibility of relocating his team to one of those cities. In 1979 Irsay began shopping the Colts around in earnest, talking first to officials from the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission, Memphis, Tennessee and Jacksonville, Florida where he visited the Gator Bowl packed with 50,000 cheering fans trying to convince him that Jacksonville would be the best home for the Colts. That same year Irsay presented Maryland's Governor Harry Hughes with a request for $25 million in renovation to the dilapidated 64,124 seat Memorial Stadium. Irsay's request for $25 million in improvements was decreased to $23 million by the Maryland legislature. The plan added more seats (but none of the revenue-generating skyboxes), improving the plumbing and would've given both teams better office space. The plans approval was contingent on both the Colts and Baltimore Orioles signing long term leases. The Orioles challenged the requested football improvements and refused to sign anything more than a one year lease. Irsay also refused to sign long term. As a result, the funds and improvements never came.

Under the administration of mayor Richard Lugar and then continuing with William Hudnut, Indianapolis was making a serious effort to reinvent itself into a 'Great American City'. In 1979, Indianapolis community leaders created the Indiana Sports Corp. in order to attract major sports events to central Indiana. The next year, Indianapolis Mayor William Hudnut appointed a committee to study the feasibility of building a new stadium that could serve as home to a pro football team and in 1982 construction on the Hoosier Dome (later renamed the RCA Dome) began. On December 18, 1983, The Colts played their final home game in the city of Baltimore. 27,934 fans showed up, 516 more fans than the crowd that had turned out for their first home game in 1947. In February 1983, after relations between Irsay and the city of Baltimore had deteriorated significantly, Baltimore Mayor Schaefer asked the Maryland General Assembly to approve $15 million for renovation to Memorial Stadium. The legislature did not approve the request until the following spring, after the Colts' lease had expired, and only half of that $15 million would go towards improvements that the Colts were seeking (The other half for the Orioles'). However, Baltimore reportedly did offer Irsay a generous $15 million loan at 6.5%, a guarantee of at least 43,000 tickets sold per game for six years, and the purchase of the team's Owings Mills training facility for $4 million. Despite numerous public reassurances that Irsay's ultimate desire was to remain in Baltimore, he nevertheless continued discussions with several cities hungry for an NFL franchise (New York, Phoenix, Indianapolis, Birmingham, Jacksonville and Memphis) eventually narrowing the list of cities to two, Phoenix and Indianapolis. A real estate group in Phoenix, Arizona along with Arizona Governor Bruce Babbitt and other top Arizona officials, had secretly met with Irsay early in January. Preliminary talks seemed promising, another meeting was scheduled. But when word of a second scheduled meeting leaked out and was reported by the Baltimore media on the Friday before the Super Bowl, Irsay canceled. Meanwhile, Indianapolis and local real estate developer Robert Welch, were lobbying the NFL to bring an expansion team to the city, with Welch as team owner. Welch had also had personal discussions with New Orleans Saints owner John Mecom about buying the team and moving it to Indianapolis. In January 1984, NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle announced that expansion had been put on hold. As a result of that announcement, Indiana Pacers' owner Herb Simon contacted Colts officials in order to take negotiations between the club and Indianapolis to the next level. Mayor Hudnut then assigned deputy mayor David Frick to begin secret negotiations with Colts counsel Michael Chernoff. On February 13, Colts representatives came to town to look at the Hoosier Dome construction. Colts owner Robert Irsay visited on February 23rd.

Baltimore Mayor Schaefer, who was promised a call by Irsay if the team was to move, appeared on the front page of the Baltimore Sun in tears. After the Colts left, he placed the building of a new stadium at the top of his legislative agenda.

Indianapolis Mayor Hudnut held a press conference March 29 to announce an agreement had been reached and the team was on its way to Indianapolis. The deal was sealed March 30 with approval by the Capital Improvement Board, which operated the Hoosier Dome.

Understandably, fans in Baltimore were heartbroken. In elections that year, city voters repealed Question P by a measure of 62 percent to 38 percent. The team's move triggered a flurry of legal activity, which ultimately reached the U.S. Supreme Court, and bills were filed in both the U.S. House and Senate seeking to block the move. In December 1985, a U.S. District Court judge threw out the lawsuit which sought to return the team to Maryland. Later, representatives of Baltimore and the Colts organization reached a settlement in March 1986 in which all lawsuits regarding the relocation were dismissed, and the Colts would endorse a new NFL team for Baltimore. Nonetheless, many of the prominent old-time Colts (many of whom had settled in the Baltimore area) chose to cut all ties to the relocated Colts team. Most notable and vocal among them was Johnny Unitas, who recognized himself solely as a player for the Baltimore Colts until the day he died, with his estate defending that stand to this day. However, the NFL officially recognizes his achievements and records as the history of the Colts organization and as such are attributed to the current Colts organization and not the Ravens Organization.

Despite agreeing to do so in the official agreement to end all litigation between the City of Baltimore and the Irsay family, the Irsay family refused to endorse Baltimore's bid for an NFL expansion franchise in 1993. This decision, helped set in motion the Browns relocation to Baltimore. On November 6, 1995, Cleveland Browns owner Art Modell announced his intention to move Cleveland's team to Baltimore. The decision also triggered a flurry of legal activity. Many Cleveland fans, refused to give up the city's NFL franchise name. Finally, representatives of both cities and the NFL reached a settlement on February 9, 1996. It stipulated that the Browns' name, colors, and history of the franchise were to remain in Cleveland. Modell took his players and organization to Baltimore, but it would be technically regarded as an expansion team. After the Browns relocated to Baltimore, Modell offered the Irsay family $5 million dollars for the rights to the Colts heritage. Jim Irsay replied that it would take at least $50 million dollars to relinquish the Colts name. Therefore, the new Baltimore team was named the Ravens after a fan vote.

This was the Colts' first season in Indianapolis. Jim Irsay was named general manager of the team. Frank Kush was head coach - until the final game when he was replaced by Hal Hunter. Prior to the start of the season the team received 143,000 requests in two weeks for season tickets. The Colts had two first-round draft picks in 1984. They chose Leonard Coleman and Ron Solt. Coleman could not reach an agreement with the Colts until early in 1985, and spent 1984 playing in the U.S. Football League. Other notable picks that year included Kevin Call in the 5th round and Eugene Daniel in the 8th. The Colts finished the 1984 season with 4 wins and 12 losses.

Rod Dowhower was named head coach in January 1985. The Colts' first-round draft pick was linebacker Duane Bickett. Their record was 5-11 but they finished the season strong, winning their last two games and averaging 5.0 yards per attempt to lead the NFL. Rohn Stark won his second NFL punting title.

The Colts drafted Jon Hand in the first round, Jack Trudeau in the 2nd and Bill Brooks in the 4th round. More than 10,000 fans visited the new Colts Complex during an open house. The team had a terrible season, losing the first 13 games before winning the last 3. Dowhower was replaced by Ron Meyer on Dec. 1.

The Colts' number one draft pick was Cornelius Bennett. Two weeks into the regular season the players went on a 24-day strike. One week of games was cancelled, and for three weeks the teams played with replacement players. On Oct. 31 the Colts obtained Eric Dickerson from the L.A. Rams for six draft picks and two players. The deal also involved Buffalo, sending Cornelius Bennett from the Colts to the Bills and Chuck Banks came over from the Houston Oilers. The Colts finished the season 9-6 and clinched the AFC East title but lost to the Cleveland Browns in the divisional playoff game.

Due to the Dickerson trade the Colts had no draft pick until the third round when they took quarterback Chris Chandler. In the Colts' first Monday Night Football appearance they defeated Denver 55-23 before an ecstatic Halloween night crowd. Dickerson became the first Colt since Alan Ameche in 1955 to win the NFL rushing title. The Colts finished the season 9-7, and did not make the playoffs.

Andre Rison was the Colts' first-round draft pick. On Sept. 10 Dickerson surpassed the 10,000 rushing yards mark in his 91st career game - the quickest pace ever. The team again finished the season 9-7 but did not make the playoffs because of a 41-6 loss to the New Orleans Saints in the last game.

The Colts traded Chris Hinton, Andre Rison and draft picks to the Atlanta Falcons for the first pick of the 1990 draft so they could choose Indianapolis native and quarterback Jeff George. Eric Dickerson, after boycotting training camp and refusing to take physicals, was placed on the non-football injury list for six weeks. He was subsequently suspended four weeks for conduct detrimental to the team and forfeited $750,000 in wages and fines. The team finished the season 7-9.

Indianapolis had no first-round draft pick, but chose Shane Curry in Round-Two. Rick Venturi succeeded Ron Meyer as coach on Oct. 1. The team finished the season an NFL-worst 1-15. This record would not be broken until 2008 when the Detroit Lions went 0-16.

Ted Marchibroda was, once again, named head coach of the Colts on Jan. 28. For the second time he led the Colts to an NFL-best eight-game, one-season turnaround. The Colts had two first-round draft picks and chose Steve Emtman and Quentin Coryatt. In April, the Colts traded Eric Dickerson to the Los Angeles Raiders, ending his sometimes rocky 4 1/2 years with the team. On May 3, 1992, second-year defensive end Shane Curry was shot to death outside a Cincinnati nightclub in a dispute over a car blocking the nightclub's driveway. Then, in a disastrous public relations move, the Colts cut Mark Herrmann the day after he led a season-opening victory at home over Cleveland - and one week after another popular player, Albert Bentley, had been let go. The Colts finished the season 9-7.

Sean Dawkins was the Colts' first-round pick. They suffered all year from the lack of a running game, a passing game (20 quarters without a touchdown) or an effective defense. Amid dwindling crowds, the Colts wobbled into the offseason with a 4–12 record. They ended the year with a four-game losing streak, and had eight losses in their last nine games.

Running Back Marshall Faulk was drafted 2nd overall and Linebacker Trev Alberts was drafted 5th overall in the NFL Draft. The Colts brought in Bill Tobin as 'Vice President of All Football Operations'. In March, Jeff George was traded to the Atlanta Falcons. Despite going undefeated in the preseason the Colts opened the regular season with an all-time low attendance of 47,372. The Colts finished 8-8 - out of the playoffs.

The Colts' first-round draft pick was Ellis Johnson; and in the second round, Ken Dilger. The Colts entered the season with high hopes. "Captain Comeback" Jim Harbaugh became the starting quarterback in Week Three and ended the season as the NFL's top-rated passer. He led the "Cardiac Colts" to a 9-7 season and a trip to the playoffs. In the playoffs, the underdog Colts defeated the San Diego Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs. But, in the AFC championship game, they lost a heartbreaker to the Pittsburgh Steelers 20-16 when a last-second Hail-Mary pass was dropped in the end-zone by Aaron Bailey.

Syracuse Wide Receiver Marvin Harrison was selected by the Colts with the 19th pick in the 1996 NFL Draft, a pick that was obtained in a trade that sent Jeff George to the Atlanta Falcons. In February, in another unpopular move, and despite the success of the 1995 season, the Colts offered head coach Ted Marchibroda only a one-year contract deal which he turned down. Marchibroda, whose 73 career victories with the Colts tied Shula, was replaced by Lindy Infante. Also in February, Robert Irsay's wife, Nancy, and his son, Jim, filed petitions seeking guardianship of his estate while he remained incapacitated from a stroke he had suffered the previous November. The Colts finished 9-7, despite being plagued with injuries, and again made the playoffs. They lost, again to Pittsburgh, in a 42-14 thrashing.

The first-round draft pick was Tarik Glenn. Adam Meadows was acquired in the second round. Indicative of the ongoing frustration and futility of the team, was a confrontation between Jim Harbaugh and Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly during which Harbaugh broke his hand. The injury-plagued Colts did not win a game until the 11th game of the season, and finished the year 3-13. Assuming responsibility for his team, Jim Irsay cleaned house in December, firing both coach Linde Infante and director of football operations Bill Tobin. He then named Bill Polian president of the team.

On December 21, 1997, the Colts lost to the Vikings and finishing the season 3-13. The very next day, Bill Polian was hired as President to try and turn the team around. Polian was General Manager of the Buffalo Bills from 1986-1993. "When Bill Polian was promoted to the GM position, the Bills were suffering from back to back 2-14 seasons and fan interest was at an all-time low. Polian had expertly put the pieces together that would make the Bills a "championship caliber team," appearing in an NFL record, 4 straight Super Bowls. Because of his accomplishments, Bill Polian won the NFL Executive of the Year Award twice, in 1988 and in 1991. Polian then became General Manager of the Carolina Panthers from 1994-1996. He tried to create the quickest Super Bowl winner in history, and nearly did so, building a team that went to the NFC Championship game in only its second year of existence.

As the Colts GM and President, Polian opted not to keep QB Jim Harbaugh, who had led the team to the AFC Championship game following the 1995 season. Instead, he decided to build through the draft as the Colts would have the number 1 overall pick for 1998, and 2 of the most hyped quarterbacks would be coming out of college (Ryan Leaf and Peyton Manning). Polian chose Manning. The San Diego Chargers would take Ryan Leaf second; Leaf's abbreviated career appears to have shown the wisdom of Polian's choice.

Jim Irsay began to shape the Colts one year after assuming control from his father by firing Coach Lindy Infante and hiring Bill Polian to run the organization. Polian in turn hired Jim Mora to coach the team and drafted University of Tennessee Volunteers quarterback Peyton Manning, the son of New Orleans Saints legend Archie Manning, with the first pick in the 1998 NFL Draft.

In January, Jim Irsay and the city agreed to a revised lease at the RCA Dome which provided the Colts with $8 million a year in dome-generated revenues and assured the city the team will be here at least 10 more years. The Colts were 3-13 in 1998. RB-Marshall Faulk’s 2,227 scrimmage yards set a club seasonal mark, while QB-Peyton Manning (326-575-3,739, 26 TDs) set NFL rookie records in every passing category.

The Colts' first-round draft pick was running back Edgerrin James, a surprise to many who thought they would take Ricky Williams, the Heisman Trophy winner. Two days before the draft, Marshall Faulk was traded to the St. Louis Rams. Third-round pick, Brandon Burlsworth, was killed in an automobile accident in Arkansas April 28. James caught on quickly and Manning and Marvin Harrison clicked as a potent passing combination. In October, Steve Muhammad's wife died as did the baby she was carrying when she went into premature labor following a car accident. After her death it was revealed that 10 days before the accident Muhammad had been arrested for battery on his pregnant wife. The Colts finished the season 13-3 - in what was the greatest one-year turnaround in NFL history - and won the AFC East. They hosted Indianapolis' first ever playoff game but were defeated by the eventual AFC Champion Tennessee Titans 19-16. At 13-3 In winning the division title, Manning, RB-Edgerrin James and WR-Marvin Harrison earned Pro Bowl honors, while K-Mike Vanderjagt won the NFL scoring title.

The Colts drafted BYU Linebacker Rob Morris in the first round (28th overall) of the NFL Draft. Both the team and their fans entered the 2000 season with high expectations. After winning the AFC East with a 13-3 record in 1999, and with young stars Peyton Manning and Edgerrin James just hitting their strides many predicted this would be the year the Colts would do even better and march straight to the Super Bowl. Jim Irsay even talked about winning three Super Bowls in a row. But things didn't quite turn out that way. The Colts' offense had impressive moments, sprinting through defenders with a no-huddle offense that left their opponents little time to catch their breath. But the Indianapolis defense was erratic - sometimes performing well but more often seeming unable to do what had to be done at crucial moments. Eight games into the season the Colts were 6-2, though some of the wins had been heart-stoppers with last-minute heroics overcoming earlier mistakes. Then they lost four of the next five games, and suddenly even making it into playoffs was in doubt. With three games left in the season the Colts only chance was to win all three - and they did. The back-to-back 10+-victory seasons were a first for the club since 1976-77. Manning (4,413) and James (1,709, 2,303) won the NFL passing, rushing and scrimmage yards titles. They earned a wildcard spot in the playoffs, but lost the game 23-17 to the Miami Dolphins. The organization entered the off-season knowing the area most in need of attention was the defense.

Reggie Wayne was selected with the 30th pick in the NFL Draft. The 2001 season was a major disappointment. However, Manning (4,131) and Harrison (109) had outstanding yardage and reception seasons. The team finished 6-10, managing only two wins in its last nine games. And, as in 2000, the defense took the brunt of the criticism. It ranked No. 30 in total yards allowed, tied for No. 26 in generating takeaways and No. 31 in points allowed. But the defense wasn't the only problem. The special teams' performance was often really bad and Peyton Manning was plagued by turnovers. The team was also hurt by injuries throughout the season, the most serious occurring on Oct. 25, when running back Edgerrin James tore his ACL in the sixth game of the 2001 season, and while backup Dominic Rhodes proved a capable starter in becoming the first undrafted rookie to rush for over 1000 yards, the loss of James and a defense that gave up the most points in a season of any NFL team since 1981 proved too much to overcome. Coach Jim Mora was fired with one year remaining on his contract, reportedly due to a disagreement with general manager Bill Polian over defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. Tony Dungy, who had been fired as coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was given a five-year contract to coach the Colts on Jan. 22, 2002.

The firing of Mora led to the hiring of head coach Tony Dungy, the former head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Colts owner Jim Irsay was so committed to bringing Tony Dungy aboard that he, not Colts GM Bill Polian, initiated the contact. Late on January 19th 2002, Irsay phoned Dungy at his home in Tampa. "I just wanted him to know from the start that there was no other coach on the planet I wanted to coach my football team," Irsay said. "Not Steve Spurrier. Not Bill Parcells." Dungy became the 35th coach in NFL history to earn 100 career victories (including playoffs) with a 38-20 win at Houston on Oct. 23, 2005. Dungy is only the sixth coach to win 100-plus regular-season games in the first 10 years as a head coach (113, George Seifert; 105, Don Shula; 103, John Madden; 102, Dungy; 101, Joe Gibbs; 101, Mike Ditka).

He is the NFL's winningest head coach from 1999-2005 with a mark of 78-34 (30-18 with Tampa Bay, 48-16 with Colts), and his .638 winning percentage ranks second among active head coaches. He has directed the Colts to 10-6, 12-4, 12-4 and 14-2 records, becoming the only coach in club history to produce 10-plus victories and playoff berths in the first four seasons with the team.

Dungy has seven career double-digit victory seasons and stands as the only NFL head coach to defeat all 32 NFL teams.

Dwight Freeney was selected by the Indianapolis Colts with the 11th selection in the 2002 NFL Draft. The Colts finished the season with a 10-6 record, earning a wild-card slot in the playoffs. In that game however, the Colts were humiliated with a 41-0 shutout at the hands of the New York Jets. Marvin Harrison had a stellar year, breaking several club and NFL records, but running back Edgerrin James was hampered by injuries most of the season. Peyton Manning was often brilliant but threw 19 interceptions, most of them in games the Colts went on to lose. In a troubling pattern, the Colts repeatedly squandered the first half of a game, often falling so far behind that despite second half rallies, they could not overcome the deficit. Freeney set an NFL rookie record in 2002 with 9 forced fumbles, three of which occurred in a single game against former Syracuse football player, Donovan McNabb. Freeney was the runner up for the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award.

The Colts finished the season 14–5 - and won the AFC South with a regular season record of 12-4. Peyton Manning was named co-MVP of the NFL, along with Tennessee Titans quarterback Steve McNair, and In the playoffs, Manning and the Colts put an emphatic halt to talk they could not win the "big one," rolling over the Denver Broncos 41–10. They then defeated the Kansas City Chiefs, at Kansas City, 38–31. However, in the AFC title game at New England, the Patriots defense was all over the Colts. Manning threw only one touchdown pass and was intercepted four times. The Patriots won the game 24–14 putting an end to the hopes of the team and the fans that this was the season the Colts would go all the way.

Safety Bob Sanders was selected in the 2nd round (44th overall) of the 2004 NFL Draft. The 2004 season ended almost exactly the way the 2003 season had, with the New England Patriots pummeling the Colts, in the cold at Foxboro, and knocking them out of the playoffs. After a year in which the offense broke numerous team and league records, the Colts could manage to score only one field goal in their final game, losing 20-3. For the second year in a row, Peyton Manning was named the league's Most Valuable Player and his 49 regular-season touchdowns broke a record that Dan Marino had held since 1984. The wide receiving trio of Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne and Brandon Stokley each had at least 10 touchdowns and more than 1,000 yards for the season - also a league first. Edgerrin James ended the season ranked fourth in the NFL with 1,548 yards, an average of 4.6 yards per carry. And although questions continued to surround the defense, Dwight Freeney led the league with 16 sacks.

University of Michigan Cornerback Marlin Jackson was selected with the 29th overall pick of the 2005 NFL Draft. Dungy led the Colts to a franchise-record 14 wins and a third consecutive divisional title, the fifth for the club in its 22-year Indianapolis era. The Colts became the 4th team in league history to win their first 13 games, but the season ended with a loss to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Divisional Playoffs.

Manning and Marvin Harrison broke Steve Young and Jerry Rice's NFL record for most touchdowns by a quarterback-receiver tandem, notching their 86th in a Monday Night home game against St. Louis Rams in week 6. Two weeks later Peyton Manning logged his first victory at New England against the Patriots, ending a six game New England win streak. After defeating Jacksonville in week 14 they became only the fourth team in NFL history to reach a record of 13–0 and clinched home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The dream of a perfect record for the Colts ended the next week however as the San Diego Chargers defeated the Colts 26–17.

In week 16, the Colts played without coach Tony Dungy following the suicide of his son James earlier in the week. With the team resting most of their key players, the Colts lost their second straight to the eventual NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks. Dungy returned to the sidelines for the last regular season game as the Colts beat the Arizona Cardinals 17–13 while resting most of the team's usual starters. The team's final record of 14–2 marked the best 16-game season in the franchise's history.

On January 15, 2006, the Colts were eliminated in the divisional round by the eventual Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers, 21–18. Trailing 21–10 late in the game, the Colts regained possession and put 8 points on the board to make it 21–18. After a Jerome Bettis fumble on the goal line, Nick Harper picked up the fumble and almost ran it back, but was tackled at the 40 yard line by Ben Roethlisberger. The Colts then drove down the field, only to have Mike Vanderjagt miss a 46-yard field goal attempt wide right.

Runningback Joseph Addai was selected in the first round (30th overall pick) of the 2006 NFL Draft out of Louisiana State University. After becoming the first team in NFL history to begin two consecutive seasons by winning nine games, the Colts proceeded to lose three of the next four, largely due to the league's worst run defense. However, they still captured their fourth consecutive AFC South title by defeating the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football in Week 15 of the season with, ironically, a strong showing from their defense. The Colts finished the season with a 12–4 record, giving them the number three seed in the playoffs. The record also marked their fifth consecutive season with ten victories or more. In week 13 against the Titans, the quarterback-wide receiver combination of Manning to Harrison became the all time leader in touchdowns in NFL History.

In the Colts' first-round playoff game, they defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 23-8, despite Peyton Manning throwing three interceptions. The Colts defense managed to hold the Chiefs to 44 yards on the ground and 2 yards passing in the first half. The Chiefs did not earn a first down until 3:33 remained in the third quarter.

The Colts defeated the Baltimore Ravens 15-6 in the division playoff round, thanks to kicker Adam Vinatieri's five field goals and another impressive defensive showing. They played the New England Patriots at home in the AFC title game for the rights to the Super Bowl; it was the Colts' third conference championship game in the Indianapolis era. The game marked the first time that the AFC title game was played in a domed stadium. After trailing at one point 21–3, the Colts stormed back, defeating the arch-rival Patriots for the third consecutive time. With a final score of 38–34, the 18-point comeback was the largest ever in an NFL conference championship game, and tied the record for the fourth largest NFL postseason comeback.

The Colts defeated the Chicago Bears 29-17 on February 4, 2007 in Dolphin Stadium, after overcoming a rocky start that saw the Bears' Devin Hester return the opening kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown and the Colts' Peyton Manning throw an early interception. Rain fell throughout the game, for the first time in Super Bowl history, significantly contributing to the six turnovers committed by both teams in the first half. Peyton Manning was awarded the MVP after completing 25 of 38 passes for 247 yards and a touchdown, caught by Reggie Wayne.

Colts' running backs Dominic Rhodes and Joseph Addai combined for 190 rushing yards and a touchdown, while kicker Adam Vinatieri converted 3 of his 4 field goal attempts. Defensively, safety Bob Sanders and cornerback Kelvin Hayden each intercepted Bears' quarterback Rex Grossman late in the game, with Hayden returning his for 56 yards and a touchdown, essentially sealing the Colts' victory.

Indianapolis became the first "dome team" to win a Super Bowl in an outdoor stadium, the first to win in the rain, and the first to win after having the statistically worst rushing defense in the league during the regular season. Tony Dungy became only the third man to have won the Super Bowl as both a head coach {XLI} and a player {XIII} (along with Tom Flores {IV-player, XV and XVIII-coach} and Mike Ditka {VI-player, XX-coach}), as well as the first African-American Head Coach to win a Super Bowl (a distinction that would have occurred regardless of which team won, as the Bears were coached by another African-American coach, Lovie Smith). With the win the Colts became the only team to date to win a Super Bowl from the AFC South. Also the Colts have made it to the Super Bowl three times, all three in Miami.

Ohio State Wide Receiver Anthony Gonzalez was selected with the 32nd pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. Earlier on February 19, 2007, the Colts placed the franchise tag on Freeney following the expiration of his rookie contract. This move allowed Bill Polian and the Colts front office time to work on a long term contract. On July 13, 2007 Dwight Freeney signed a six-year, $72 million contract with $30 million in guarantees making Freeney the highest paid defensive player in the NFL. In 2007, the Colts finished 13-3, winning a club-record fifth straight division title and becoming the first NFL team with five consecutive seasons with 12+ victories and became one of four NFL teams to open three consecutive seasons with 5-0 starts in topping Tampa Bay, 33-14. Indianapolis joined Green Bay (1929-31), Minnesota (1973-75) and St. Louis (1999-2001) with three straight 5-0 starts. And then becoming the first team in 76 years to start three consecutive seasons with 7-0 starts. Peyton Manning (288) broke the club record for career touchdown passes held by Johnny Unitas (287), while Tony Dungy notched his 74th win to break the franchise record he had shared with Don Shula (73) and Ted Marchibroda (73). The club fell in the Divisional Playoffs to San Diego, 28-24. Dungy became the only coach in Colts history to post 10+ wins and earn playoff appearances in six straight seasons.

Arizona State Offensive Guard Mike Pollak was taken with the Colts second round selection (59th overall) in the 2008 NFL Draft. On January 21, 2008 Tony Dungy announced he would return for at least one more season. The Colts also announced that Assistant Head Coach Jim Caldwell would be promoted to Associate Head Coach and would assume the position of Colts Head Coach whenever Tony Dungy decided to retire. The 2008 season was the Colts' inaugural season playing at the newly completed Lucas Oil Stadium. 2008 was the first season that the Colts did not win the AFC South title. After a 3-4 start on the season, the Colts went on a nine-game winning streak and finished the season at 12-4 and earned a wild card berth in the playoffs. They extended their league mark with six consecutive 12+ victory seasons. The club became the first in NFL history to win at least seven consecutive games in five consecutive seasons. QB Peyton Manning won his third AP NFL MVP award. Indianapolis fell in the Wild Card Playoffs in overtime at San Diego, 23-17.

Tony Dungy retired on January 12, 2009 and On January 13, Jim Caldwell who had been named his successor previously, was formally announced as the new Head Coach. Making the Colts franchise the first in NFL league history to hire more than one minority Head Coach.

Colts Owner Jim Irsay has tapped Colts Vice President of Football Operations Chris Polian to replace his father Bill Polian when he retires. Irsay has also said multiple times that when Peyton Manning retires, his daughter, Vice President of Marketing and Community Relations division, Casey Irsay, will take over his seat as CEO.

After 24 years of playing at the RCA Dome, the Colts moved to their new home Lucas Oil Stadium. The Colts began playing in Lucas Oil Stadium in the fall of 2008. In December 2004, the City of Indianapolis and Jim Irsay agreed to a new stadium deal that would benefit both the city and the team at an estimated cost of $675 million. In a deal estimated at $122 million, Lucas Oil Products won the naming rights to the stadium for 20 years.

It is a seven-level stadium with a retractable roof seating 63,000 for football. It can be reconfigured to seat 70,000 or more for NCAA basketball and football and concerts. It will cover 1,800,000 square feet (167,000 m2). The stadium features a retractable roof allowing the Colts to play home games outdoors for the first time since arriving in Indianapolis. Using FieldTurf, the playing surface will be roughly 25 ft (7.6 m) below ground level. The new stadium will be bigger and better than the RCA Dome in many ways, including: 58 permanent concession stands, 90 portable concession stands, 13 escalators, 11 passenger elevators, 800 restrooms, high definition scoreboards and replay monitors and 142 luxury suites. Other than being the home of the Colts, the stadium will host games in both the Men's and Women's NCAA Basketball Tournaments and will serve as the back up host for all NCAA Final Four Tournaments. It will also host numerous events and conventions. The stadium will host the Super Bowl for the 2012 season (Super Bowl XLVI) and has a potential economic impact estimated at $286,000,001.

In an ironic twist, a company based near Baltimore, "Controlled Demolition", oversaw the demolition of the RCA Dome. "It's a little ironic that a demolition company from Baltimore had the opportunity to take down the stadium to where the Colts fled when they left Baltimore," said Mark Loizeaux, president of Controlled Demolition and a Baltimore Ravens fan.

To the top



2008 Indianapolis Colts season

AFCS-Uniform-IND.PNG

The 2008 Indianapolis Colts season was the 56th season for the team in the National Football League and the 25th in Indianapolis. It was the first season since 2002 that the Colts did not win the AFC South title. However, after a 3-4 start on the season Peyton Manning led the Colts to a nine-game winning streak, a 12-4 record, and a wild card berth in the playoffs. The Colts' season came to an end in San Diego when they were upset in their wild-card round playoff game against the Chargers.

The 2008 season was the Colts' inaugural season playing at Lucas Oil Stadium after playing at the RCA Dome for 24 seasons. This marks Tony Dungy's 7th season as head coach, and Peyton Manning's 11th season as the starting quarterback. As a result of his play over the final two months of the regular season, Manning was awarded his third MVP award.

When the Colts won their seventh straight game in Week 15, they became the only team in the history of the NFL to have seven consecutive wins in five consecutive seasons. With their final win-loss record of 12-5, they became the only team in NFL history to have twelve wins in six consecutive seasons.

On January 21, 2008 Tony Dungy announced he would return for at least one more season. The Colts also announced that Assistant Head Coach Jim Caldwell would be promoted to Associate Head Coach and would assume the position of Colts Head Coach whenever Tony Dungy decides to retire.

In May, ESPN The Magazine released the findings of its annual survey of over 80,000 fans entitled the "Ultimate Standings: Fan Satisfaction Rankings". The Colts ranked as the best major league sports franchise out of 122 teams from MLB, NFL, NBA, and the NHL. In August, ESPN.com ranked Colts' fans as the 16th best in the National Football League.

The Colts participated in the Hall of Fame Game on August 3 against the Washington Redskins with the Redskins winning 30 to 16.

During the kickoff weekend the Indianapolis Colts hosted the Chicago Bears on NBC Sunday Night Football, the first regular-season game at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Colts' regular season schedule was released on April 15, 2008.

The Colts began their 2008 campaign with their first official home game at Lucas Oil Stadium. For this Sunday night interconference duel, they took on the Chicago Bears in a rematch of Super Bowl XLI. In the first quarter, Indianapolis was first out of the gate as kicker Adam Vinatieri got a 39-yard field goal. The Bears responded with RB Matt Forté getting a 50-yard TD run. In the second quarter, the Colts responded with Vinatieri nailing a 34-yard field goal. However, Chicago increased its lead with kicker Robbie Gould getting a 41-yard field goal, DE Adewale Ogunleye tackling RB Joseph Addai in his endzone for a safety (first time Indy gave up a safety since November 2000), and Gould nailing a 25-yard field goal. In the third quarter, Indianapolis tried to rally as QB Peyton Manning completed a 6-yard TD pass to WR Reggie Wayne, yet the Bears replied with LB Lance Briggs returned a fumble 21 yards for a touchdown. In the fourth quarter, Chicago sealed the win with FB Jason McKie getting a 1-yard TD run.

With the loss, the Colts began their season at 0-1.

Hoping to rebound from their home loss to the Bears, the Colts flew to the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome for a Week 2 interconference duel with the Minnesota Vikings. In the first half, Indianapolis trailed as Vikings kicker Ryan Longwell got a 45-yard and a 27-yard field goal in the first quarter, along with a 53-yard field goal in the second quarter. It marked the first time that the Colts got shut out in the first half since October 2006.

In the third quarter, Minnesota increased its lead with Longwell nailing a 46-yard and a 28-yard field goal. Afterwards, Indianapolis started to rally as RB Joseph Addai got a 1-yard TD run. In the fourth quarter, the Colts drew closer as QB Peyton Manning completed a 32-yard TD pass to WR Reggie Wayne, followed by a 2-point conversion run by RB Dominic Rhodes. Afterwards, near the end of game, Indianapolis completed its comeback as kicker Adam Vinatieri nailing the game-winning 47-yard field goal.

With the win, the Colts improved to 1-1.

Coming off their last-second road win over the Vikings, the Colts went home for a Week 3 AFC South duel with the Jacksonville Jaguars. In the first quarter, Indy was first out of the gates as QB Peyton Manning completed a 4-yard TD pass to WR Marvin Harrison. In the second quarter, the Jaguars took the lead with kicker Josh Scobee getting a 26-yard field goal, along with CB Rashean Mathis returning an interception 61 yards for a touchdown. The Colts reclaimed the lead before halftime as RB Joseph Addai got a 3-yard TD run.

In the third quarter, Jacksonville regained the lead with RB Maurice Jones-Drew getting a 6-yard TD run. In the fourth quarter, the Jaguars increased their lead with Scobee kicking a 21-yard field goal. Afterwards, Indianapolis responded with Addai's 2-yard TD run. However, the Jaguars got the last laugh as Scobee nailed the game-winning 51-yard field goal.

With the loss, the Colts entered their bye week at 1-2.

Coming off their bye week, the Colts flew to Reliant Stadium for a Week 5 AFC South duel with the Houston Texans. In the first quarter, Indianapolis drew first blood as kicker Adam Vinatieri got a 46-yard field goal, along with RB Joseph Addai getting a 1-yard TD run. In the second quarter, the Texans responded with RB Steve Slaton getting a 1-yard TD run, kicker Kris Brown getting a 37-yard field goal, and QB Sage Rosenfels completing a 5-yard TD pass to WR Andre Johnson.

In the third quarter, Houston increased its lead with Brown nailing a 43-yard field goal. In the fourth quarter, the Texans continued its run as Slaton got a 1-yard TD run. The Colts rallied with QB Peyton Manning completing a 7-yard TD pass to rookie TE Tom Santi, LB Gary Brackett returning a fumble 68 yards for a touchdown, and Manning completing a 5-yard TD pass to WR Reggie Wayne.

With the win, Indianapolis improved to 2-2.

Coming off their comeback divisional road win over the Texans, the Colts went home for a Week 6 duel with the Baltimore Ravens. In the first quarter, Indianapolis got a fast start as QB Peyton Manning completed a 67-yard TD pass to WR Marvin Harrison and a 22-yard TD pass to WR Reggie Wayne, while kicker Adam Vinatieri got a 37-yard field goal. In the second quarter, the Colts continued their dominating start as Manning completed a 5-yard TD pass to Harrison. In the third quarter, Indianapolis continued its victory march as RB Dominic Rhodes got a 1-yard TD run. The Ravens would get their only score of the game as kicker Matt Stover nailed a 37-yard field goal.

With the win, not only did the Colts improve to 3-2, but they finally got their first win in their new stadium.

Coming off their home rout over the Ravens, the Colts flew to Lambeau Field for a Week 7 interconference duel with the Green Bay Packers. In the first quarter, Indianapolis trailed early as Packers kicker Mason Crosby got a 31-yard field goal. The Colts would take the lead as RB Dominic Rhodes got a 3-yard TD run. In the second quarter, Green Bay regained the lead as QB Aaron Rodgers completed a 12-yard TD pass to TE Donald Lee, along with RB Ryan Grant getting a 11-yard TD run.

In the third quarter, the Packers increased their lead as Free Safety Nick Collins returned an interception 62 yards for a touchdown, along with Crosby nailing a 29-yard field goal. In the fourth quarter, Green Bay finished its domination as Safety Aaron Rouse returned an interception 99 yards for a touchdown. Indianapolis's only response would be Rhodes' 1-yard TD run.

With the loss, the Colts fell to 3-3.

Hoping to rebound from their road loss to the Packers, the Colts went to LP Field for a Week 8 MNF interconference duel with the undefeated Tennessee Titans. In the first quarter, Indianapolis trailed early as Titans kicker Rob Bironas got a 34-yard field goal. The Colts responded with QB Peyton Manning completing a 10-yard TD pass to TE Dallas Clark. In the second quarter, Tennessee drew closer as Bironas got a 44-yard field goal.

In the third quarter, Indianapolis increased its lead as Manning hooked up with Clark again on a 19-yard TD pass. Afterwards, the Titans tied the game as RB LenDale White got a 1-yard TD run. In the fourth quarter, Tennessee pulled away as Bironas nailed a 48-yard field goal, White got another 1-yard TD run, and RB Chris Johnson got a 16-yard TD run. The Colts tried to rally as Manning got a 1-yard TD run, but the Titans defense stiffened and prevailed.

With the loss, Indianapolis fell to 3-4.

Trying to rebound from their MNF divisional road loss to the Titans, the Colts went home for a Week 9 Sunday night duel with their hated rival, the New England Patriots. In the first quarter, Indianapolis got off to a fast start as QB Peyton Manning completed a 12-yard TD pass to WR Anthony Gonzalez. In the second quarter, the Patriots responded as kicker Stephen Gostkowski got a 29-yard and a 35-yard field goal. In the third quarter, New England took the lead as RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis got a 6-yard TD run (with a failed 2-point conversion). The Colts would answer with Manning hooking up with Gonzalez again on a 9-yard TD pass, along with completing a 2-point conversion pass to WR Reggie Wayne. In the fourth quarter, the Patriots tied the game with Gostkowski getting a 25-yard field goal, yet Indy replied with former Patriot kicker Adam Vinatieri nailing a 52-yard field goal. Afterwards, Indianapolis's defense prevented New England's last attempt at a comeback.

With the win, the Colts improved to 4-4.

Coming off their Sunday night home win over the Patriots, the Colts flew to Heinz Field for a Week 10 duel with the Pittsburgh Steelers. In the first quarter, Indianapolis trailed early as Steelers RB Mewelde Moore got a 1-yard TD run. The Colts immediately responded with QB Peyton Manning completing a 65-yard TD pass to WR Reggie Wayne. In the second quarter, Pittsburgh answered with Moore getting another 1-yard TD run, along with kicker Jeff Reed getting a 42-yard field goal. Indianapolis closed out the half with Manning completing a 2-yard TD pass to TE Dallas Clark.

In the third quarter, the Colts tied the game with kicker Adam Vinatieri getting a 36-yard field goal. In the fourth quarter, the Steelers regained the lead as Reed nailed a 24-yard field goal. Indianapolis took the lead as Manning completing a 17-yard TD pass to RB Dominic Rhodes, along with the defense preventing any Pittsburgh comeback.

With the win, the Colts improved to 5-4.

Coming off their road win over the Steelers, the Colts went home for a Week 11 AFC South rematch with the Houston Texans. In the first quarter, Indianapolis trailed early as Texans kicker Kris Brown got a 28-yard field goal. The Colts responded with kicker Adam Vinatieri getting a 40-yard field goal. Houston would answer with Brown making a 34-yard field goal. In the second quarter, Indy tied the game as Vinatieri got a 39-yard field goal. The Texans retook the lead as RB Ahman Green got a 1-yard TD run. Indianapolis closed out the half as Vinatieri made a 32-yard field goal.

In the third quarter, the Colts took the lead as QB Peyton Manning completed a 23-yard TD pass to RB Joseph Addai. Houston would reply as RB Steve Slaton got a 71-yard TD run, yet Indy regained the lead as Addai got a 7-yard TD run. In the fourth quarter, the Texans tried to comeback as Green got a 2-yard field goal, yet Indianapolis pulled away with Vinatieri nailing a 31-yard field goal. On the Texans' final drive, QB Sage Rosenfels was intercepted by safety Melvin Bullitt (who was filling in again for the injured Bob Sanders), Ironically, it was Bullitt who picked off Rosenfels on the Texans' final drive when they played the Colts in Week 5. Manning then took a knee, preserving the Colts' third consecutive victory.

With the season-sweep, the Colts improved to 6-4.

Coming off their divisional home win over the Texans, the Colts flew to Qualcomm Stadium for a Week 12 Sunday night game with the San Diego Chargers. In the first quarter, Indianapolis took the lead as kicker Adam Vinatieri got a 23-yard field goal. In the second quarter, the Chargers took the lead as kicker Nate Kaeding made a 35-yard field goal, while QB Philip Rivers completed a 39-yard TD pass to WR Vincent Jackson. The Colts would tie the game as QB Peyton Manning completed a 13-yard TD pass to WR Anthony Gonzalez.

In the third quarter, Indianapolis took the lead as Manning completed a 1-yard TD pass to RB Dominic Rhodes. In the fourth quarter, the Colts added onto their lead as Vinatieri got a 38-yard field goal. San Diego cut the Colts' lead to 3 as Rivers completed a 1-yard TD pass to FB Jacob Hester, and then Kaeding kicked a 47-yard field goal to tie the game. However, Indianapolis sealed the deal as Vinatieri nailed the game-winning 51-yard field goal. By making the kick, Vinatieri redeemed himself after missing a game-winning 29-yard field goal against San Diego in the previous season.

With the win, the Colts improved to 7-4.

Coming off the Sunday Night road win over the Chargers, the Colts flew to Cleveland Browns Stadium for a Week 13 duel with the Cleveland Browns. In the first quarter, Indianapolis trailed early as Browns kicker Phil Dawson got a 34-yard field goal. The Colts would respond with kicker Adam Vinatieri getting a 30-yard field goal. In the second quarter, Cleveland took the lead as Dawson nailed a 25-yard field goal. After a scoreless third quarter, Indianapolis's defense made the game's key play in the fourth quarter, as DE Dwight Freeney forced a fumble, allowing fellow DE Robert Mathis to return the fumble recovery 37 yards for a touchdown. From there on out, Indy's defense prevented any possible comeback.

With the win, the Colts improved to 8-4.

With a low-scoring road win over the Browns behind them, the Colts went home for a Week 14 game with the Cincinnati Bengals. In the first quarter, Indy got the early lead as RB Dominic Rhodes got a 17-yard touchdown run. The Bengals would answer in the second quarter with kicker Shayne Graham nailing a 19-yard field goal, yet Indianapolis replied with QB Peyton Manning completing a 5-yard TD pass to WR Marvin Harrison. Manning would even deliver two third-quarter scores for the Colts, as he completed a 2-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez and a 4-yard touchdown pass to TE Dallas Clark. Indianapolis closed out the game with CB Kelvin Hayden returning an interception 85 yards for a touchdown.

With their win, the Colts improved to 9-4.

Coming off their win over the Bengals, the Colts stayed at home for their Week 15 interconference game with the winless Detroit Lions. Indianapolis delivered the game's opening hit in the first quarter as running back Dominic Rhodes got a 1-yard touchdown run. The Lions would respond with a 51-yard field goal from kicker Jason Hanson. The Colts would add onto their lead in the second quarter as rookie running back Chad Simpson got a 2-yard touchdown run, yet Detroit answered with quarterback Dan Orlovsky completing a 33-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Calvin Johnson. Indianapolis would close out the half quarterback Peyton Manning completing a 3-yard touchdown pass to tight end Dallas Clark.

The Lions would begin to catch up in the third quarter as Hanson got a 30-yard field goal. In the fourth quarter, Detroit tied the game with running back Kevin Smith getting a 1-yard touchdown run, followed by Orlovsky's 2-point conversion pass to tight end Casey FitzSimmons. The Colts would pull away with Rhodes getting another 1-yard touchdown run, followed by kicker Adam Vinatieri nailing a 31-yard field goal.

With the win, Indianapolis improved to 10-4.

Coming off their home win over the Lions, the Colts flew to Jacksonville Municipal Stadium for a Week 16 AFC South rematch with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday night. Indianapolis trailed early in the first quarter as Jaguars David Garrard completed a 28-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Dennis Northcutt. In the second quarter, the Colts' deficit increased to 14 points as Garrard scored on a 2-yard touchdown run. Indianapolis responded with quarterback Peyton Manning's 41-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Reggie Wayne. The Colts had an opportunity to cut the Jacksonville lead to 4, but Adam Vinatieri missed a 30-yard field goal. The scoreless Colts possession left 1:03 on the clock, enough time to enable Jacksonville to close out the half with a 44-yard field goal from kicker Josh Scobee.

The Colts would hack at the Jaguars' lead in the third quarter with Manning's 10-yard touchdown pass to running back Dominic Rhodes, yet Jacksonville answered with running back Montell Owens to take a 24-14 lead. In the fourth quarter, Indianapolis took the lead on the following scores: Manning's 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Dallas Clark, kicker Adam Vinatieri's 45-yard field goal, and defensive back Keiwan Ratliff's 35-yard interception return for a touchdown. The Jaguars would get a late-game drive into Colts' territory, yet defensive end Dwight Freeney delivered the game-winning sack, preserving Indianapolis' slim lead.

With the win, not only did the Colts improve to 11-4, but they also clinched the AFC's #5 seed. They also gave head coach Tony Dungy his 10th-straight playoff appearance (an NFL record).

Coming off their playoff-clinching road win over the Jaguars, the Colts closed out the regular season at home in a Week 17 AFC South rematch with the Tennessee Titans. Indianapolis would get the early first quarter lead as quarterback Peyton Manning completed a 55-yard touchdown pass to running back Joseph Addai, followed by kicker Adam Vinatieri getting a 28-yard field goal. The Colts would increase their lead in the second quarter as Vinatieri nailed a 21-yard and a 38-yard field goal. After a scoreless third quarter, Indianapolis closed out the game in the fourth quarter as center Jamey Richard recovered rookie running back Lance Ball's fumble in the endzone for a touchdown.

With the shutout win, the Colts closed out the regular season at 12-4.

Peyton Manning (7-7 for 95 yards, 1 touchdown) would acquire his NFL record ninth-staighth 4,000-yard passing season, wide receiver Marvin Harrison (7 receptions for 31 yards) would pass Cris Carter for second on the NFL's all-time career receptions list with 1,102, and tight end Dallas Clark (6 receptions for 59 yards) would set a franchise record for the most single-season receiving yards by a tight end with 848.

Entering the postseason as the AFC's fifth seed, the Colts began their playoff run at Qualcomm Stadium in the AFC's Wild Card game against the #4 San Diego Chargers, in a rematch of their Week 12 contest. Indianapolis got the lead in the first quarter as running back Joseph Addai got a 1-yard touchdown run. The Chargers would strike back in the second quarter as running back LaDainian Tomlinson got a 3-yard touchdown run. The Colts would answer with kicker Adam Vinatieri's 43-yard field goal, yet San Diego got the halftime lead with running back Darren Sproles getting a 9-yard touchdown run.

With the loss, Indianapolis' season would end with an overall record of 12-5.

To the top



Super Bowl XLI

Super Bowl XLI logo.svg

This game featured two teams ending long Super Bowl appearance droughts. The Colts made their first appearance in a Super Bowl game since winning Super Bowl V in the 1970 season during the team's tenure in Baltimore; they moved to Indianapolis in 1984. Meanwhile, the Bears made their first appearance since winning Super Bowl XX in the 1985 season. It was only the second time that two pre-expansion era (pre 1960) teams met in the Super Bowl. The first was Super Bowl XIV between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Los Angeles Rams.

Colts quarterback Peyton Manning was named the game's Most Valuable Player, completing 25 of 38 passes for 247 yards and a touchdown, with one interception. This was Peyton Manning's first Super Bowl title after being one of the league's most dominant quarterbacks throughout his ten-year-old career.

Dolphin Stadium won the bid to host Super Bowl XLI on September 17, 2003 after a campaign against Arizona, Tampa Bay, New York City, and Washington D.C. With this game, the Miami Metropolitan Area tied New Orleans, Louisiana as the city to host the most Super Bowls (9).

This was the fourth Super Bowl at Dolphin Stadium, which has also been known as "Joe Robbie Stadium" and "Pro Player Stadium". The venue previously hosted Super Bowls XIII (broadcast on NBC), XXIX (on ABC), and XXXIII (on FOX). Super Bowls II, III, V, X, and XIII were also in Miami, but held at the Miami Orange Bowl.

In February 2006, the NFL and the South Florida Super Bowl XLI Host Committee unveiled the slogan "one game, one dream" for the game, referring to the entire South Florida region working together to present the event. The Super Bowl XLI logo was also unveiled, featuring the colors orange (to represent the sun) and blue (for the ocean). The "I" in the Roman numeral "XLI" was drawn to resemble a pylon placed at each corner of an end zone because "the goal is to get to the game." This year's logo has the same shade of orange as the logo of the host city's home team, the Miami Dolphins. The "XL" part is similar to that of Super Bowl XL's logo.

Chicago finished the season with an NFC best 13-3 record and advanced to the second Super Bowl in franchise history. The team excelled on defense, ranking third in fewest points allowed (255) and second in fewest points allowed per drive. They also ranked second in scoring (427 points), although only tenth in points per offensive drive thanks to a league leading 65 points scored on defensive or special teams plays.

The Bears offense was led by quarterback Rex Grossman, the team's first round draft pick in 2003. Over the previous three seasons, Grossman had played in just 8 regular season games due to injuries, but he recovered to start in all 16 games in 2006. By the end of the season, he finished with 3,193 yards and 23 touchdowns, the most by a Bears quarterback since 1995. Grossman had difficulty avoiding turnovers, however, and threw 20 interceptions and lost five fumbles during the year. In the last seven games of the season, he turned the ball over 18 times. Many fans and sports writers expected head coach Lovie Smith to bench him at some point, but Smith insisted that Grossman would be the starter throughout the entire season.

Receivers Muhsin Muhammad (60 receptions, 863 yards, 5 touchdowns) and Bernard Berrian (51 receptions, 775 yards, 7 touchdowns) provided the main deep threat on the team, along with tight end Desmond Clark, who caught 45 passes for 626 yards and 6 touchdowns. Chicago's running game was led by running backs Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson. Jones rushed for 1,210 yards and caught 36 passes, while Benson rushed for 647 yards and scored 6 touchdowns.

Chicago's defense allowed the 5th least total yardage, allowed less than 100 yards per game on the ground, and allowed the fewest yards per drive of any NFL team. The line was anchored by Adewale Ogunleye, who had 6.5 sacks, and Pro Bowler Tommie Harris, who recorded 5, along with rookie Mark Anderson, who led the team with 12 sacks. Behind them, two of the three Bears starting linebackers, Lance Briggs, and Brian Urlacher, were selected to the 2007 Pro Bowl. In the secondary, cornerbacks Ricky Manning, Jr. and Charles Tillman each recorded five interceptions.

The loss of Harris to injury after the twelfth game of the season coincided with a decline in defensive performance. Before his loss, the Bears allowed only two opponents to score more than twenty points (23 points to the Arizona Cardinals in week six and 31 to the Miami Dolphins in week 9). After his injury, Chicago opponents scored more than 20 points in six of the seven remaining games, including two of three playoff games. Only the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship game were held below 21 points.

The Bears special teams unit was considered by many to be the best in the league. This unit sent 3 players to the Pro Bowl, including special teams ace Brendon Ayanbadejo, kicker Robbie Gould (who led all NFL kickers with 143 points), and rookie return man Devin Hester, who gained 600 punt return yards with a 12.8 yards per return average, the second highest in the NFL. He also set a league record with 6 touchdowns on special teams.

The Colts's first trip to the Super Bowl in 36 years was the culmination of a nine year long building process. In 1998, they drafted quarterback Peyton Manning to lead the team. Over the next four seasons, Manning, along with other stars such as receiver Marvin Harrison and running back Edgerrin James, turned the Colts into one of the best offensive teams in the NFL, but the team struggled to find consistency on defense and always ended up with either a losing season or elimination from the playoffs in the first round. In 2002, Indianapolis fired head coach Jim Mora and replaced him with Tony Dungy. Dungy had developed one of the best defenses in the NFL while coaching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and it was hoped he could solve the Colts' defensive problems as well.

Over the next four seasons, the Colts won 48 of 64 games, but still could not find much success in the postseason. In 2002, they were blown out 41-0 in the wildcard round by the New York Jets. In 2003, they won their first two playoff games behind impressive offensive performances, and reached the AFC title game. There they lost to the eventual champion New England Patriots 24-14, with Manning throwing four interceptions. In 2004, the Colts had one of the most spectacular offensive seasons in NFL history, scoring 522 points and gaining 6,582 yards, while Manning set NFL records for most touchdown passes and highest passer rating. But again the Patriots defense (and snowy conditions) proved too formidable, as they lost 20-3 in the divisional round of the playoffs.

In 2005, the Colts defense improved, making the team the clear favorites in the NFL. They won the first 13 games of the season and finished with a 14-2 record, while ranking second in the NFL in both points scored and fewest points allowed. But once again they lost in the divisional round of the playoffs, this time to the #6 seeded Pittsburgh Steelers, 21-18. After another disappointing loss, Manning had developed a reputation of being unable to make it to a championship, a reputation that followed him from college after he was unable to win an NCAA title with the Tennessee Volunteers (who won a title the year after he graduated). The Colts lost some key players after the 2005 season, including James, who departed the Colts for the Arizona Cardinals, and kicker Mike Vanderjagt, the NFL's all-time leader in field goal percentage, who left for the Dallas Cowboys.

Still, the Colts remained one of the AFC's top teams in the 2006 NFL season. Manning made the Pro Bowl for the 7th time in his career, completing 362 of 555 passes for 4,397 yards and an NFL best 31 touchdowns, with an additional 4 rushing touchdowns and with only 9 interceptions and 15 sacks. His favorite target was Harrison, who caught 95 passes for 1,366 yards and 12 touchdowns. Receiver Reggie Wayne was also a major deep threat with 86 receptions for 1,310 yards and 9 touchdowns. Tight ends Ben Utecht and Dallas Clark were also reliable targets, each recording over 30 receptions for over 300 yards. On the ground, rookie running back Joseph Addai led the team with 1,081 yards and 4.8 yards per carry average despite not starting any games in the regular season. He also caught 40 receptions for 325 yards and scored 8 touchdowns. Running back Dominic Rhodes was also a major contributor, rushing for 641 yards and catching 36 passes for 251 yards. The offensive line was led by Pro Bowlers Jeff Saturday and Tarik Glenn. On special teams, the Colts signed kicker Adam Vinatieri to replace Vanderjagt. While Vinatieri's career field goal percentage was lower, the Colts considered him to be an improvement because of his reputation for making "clutch" kicks, a reputation aided by his game winning field goals in Super Bowl XXXVI and Super Bowl XXXVIII.

Indianapolis' defense ranked second in the NFL in fewest passing yards allowed. Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis (who recorded 9.5 sacks and forced 4 fumbles) were widely considered to be among the best pass-rushing defensive ends in the NFL. Behind them, linebacker Cato June led the team in tackles (92) and interceptions (3). The Colts run defense, however, was a major problem, giving up 2,768 yards on the ground, an average of 173 per game and last in the NFL. Another major issue for the Colts was their coverage teams, as they ranked #30 out of 32 teams in average kickoff return yardage allowed and #31 in average punt return yardage allowed.

Indianapolis started out the season winning their first nine games, but ended up losing four of their next seven and finished with a 12-4 record, giving them the #3 playoff seed. Thus, they would have to win three games to make it to the Super Bowl.

The chart below provides a comparison of regular season statistics in key categories (overall rank amongst 32 teams in parentheses).

Although the Colts' rushing defense looked extremely weak during the season, it ended up being a key factor on their road to the Super Bowl. First, Indianapolis defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 23-8, holding Chiefs running back Larry Johnson (who rushed for 1,789 yards during the season) to just 32 yards on 13 carries. Then, they defeated the Baltimore Ravens 15-6, winning on a playoff record-tying five field goals by Vinatieri and holding running back Jamal Lewis (who rushed for 1,132 yards during the season) to just 53 yards.

Then the Colts faced their arch-rival New England Patriots in the AFC title game. New England jumped to an early 21-3 lead, but Indianapolis stormed back in the second half, outscoring the Patriots 32-13 with an additional field goal late in the first half. The Colts' final scoring drive did much to help Manning lose his image of always choking in big games. With 2:22 left in the game, the Colts had the ball on their own 20-yard line trailing 34-31. On the first four plays of the drive, Manning completed three passes, moving the ball 69 yards to the Patriots 11-yard line in just 24 seconds. Three plays later, Addai scored a 3-yard touchdown run to put them in the lead, 38-34 with only 60 seconds left in regulation. The Patriots responded with a drive to the Colts 45-yard line, but defensive back Marlin Jackson ended the drive with an interception to give Indianapolis the win. This happened to be the biggest comeback in AFC-NFC Conference Championship history.

Meanwhile, the Bears started out their post-season with a 27-24 win over the Seattle Seahawks with Robbie Gould's 49-yard field goal in overtime. One week later, they defeated the New Orleans Saints 39-14. Chicago dominated most of the game, jumping to a 16-0 early lead. Two touchdown passes from Saints quarterback Drew Brees, cut the score to 16-14, but the Bears responded with 23 unanswered points to propel them to their first Super Bowl since 1985. Thomas Jones finished the game with a franchise postseason record 123 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

It was the first time since the 1996 postseason that the home team won both of the conference championship games. The Colts were the first dome team to win the Super Bowl in an outdoor game. (The St. Louis Rams were the first dome team to win a Super Bowl (XXXIV). The 2006 Indianapolis Colts were the first division champion to win a Super Bowl with four postseason wins and the second division champion (2003 Carolina Panthers) to win a conference title with three postseason wins.

The Indianapolis Colts held pre-game practices for Super Bowl XLI at the Miami Dolphins Training Facility on the campus of Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Florida. The Colts' "Team and Family" hotel was the Marriott Harbor Beach. At the 2007 Indianapolis 500 pre-race ceremonies on May 27, 2007, eventual Super Bowl XLI MVP Peyton Manning stated to ABC Sports commentator Brent Musberger that the day before the game that two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves gave a pep talk to the Colts team.

The Chicago Bears held pre-game practices for Super Bowl XLI at the Miami Hurricanes Football Facility, on the campus of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida.

Chicago defensive tackle Tank Johnson was required to request a judge's order to leave the state of Illinois due to an arrest for unlicensed ownership of six firearms and two assault rifles. On January 23, 2007, the judge granted him permission to travel out of state to play in the Super Bowl.

Chicago and Indianapolis are the two closest cities, geographically, to ever play in a Super Bowl (at 182-mile (293 km) apart, they are slightly closer than New York and Baltimore, whose teams played each other at III and XXXV). This prompted Colts coach Tony Dungy to joke to Jim Nantz, at the end of the AFC Championship game, that the two teams should split the difference and play the game in Fort Wayne. The game was also referred to by many Indiana and Illinois residents as the I-65 Super Bowl, as the cities are connected by the interstate.

The game was televised in the United States by CBS in high-definition with play-by-play announcer Jim Nantz and color commentator Phil Simms. This was the first Super Bowl announced by Nantz. Additionally, the game had Steve Tasker (Bears sideline) and Solomon Wilcots (Colts sideline) reporting on the sidelines and Lesley Visser (Bears sideline) and Sam Ryan (Colts sideline) in the stands.

This was the first Super Bowl aired on CBS since the Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake incident three years earlier, in Super Bowl XXXVIII; and the first since the Viacom/CBS split at the end of 2005. Extensive pre-game coverage, hosted by The NFL Today team of James Brown, Shannon Sharpe, Boomer Esiason and Dan Marino, whose name graces the address of the game site (2269 Dan Marino Boulevard), began at noon (US EST) with NFL Films’ “Road to the Super Bowl” year in review (narrated by Tom Selleck). This was followed by "The Phil Simms All-Iron Team", and a four-and-a-half hour Super Bowl Today pre-game show followed by game coverage at 6:25 PM. Other contributors to the pre-game show included Katie Couric, anchor of the CBS Evening News, Armen Keteyian, CBS News Chief Investigative Corrrespondent, Randy Cross, who reported from Iraq where U.S. military forces played a touch football game known as "The Baghdad Bowl" and Dick Enberg, who participated in his 12th Super Bowl telecast as a host, play-by-play announcer, or contributor. Westwood One provided radio coverage of the event, with Marv Albert and Boomer Esiason as announcers.

The American Forces Network (AFN) provided coverage of the Super Bowl for U.S. forces stationed overseas and to all U.S. Navy ships at sea.

The opening title sequence of CBS television coverage featured the composition Lux Aeterna, by artist Clint Mansell, in the background.

Nielsen Media Research reported 93 million viewers for Super Bowl XLI, making it at the time the fifth most-watched program in U.S. television history (trailing only the M*A*S*H finale and Super Bowls XLIII, XXX, and XLII).

The Super Bowl was broadcast live in Canada on CBS (which is available in Canada) as well as Global TV and NTV which both took the main CBS commentary, and on the French cable channel RDS. In the United Kingdom the Super Bowl was broadcast on ITV1, Sky Sports 1 & Sky Sports HD1 with Sky Sports taking the main CBS commentary and ITV taking the NFL supplied international commentary feed of Spero Dedes and Sterling Sharpe.

Before the game, Cirque du Soleil, Romero Britto and Louie Vega performed as the pre-game act, and Billy Joel sang the National Anthem, accompanying himself on piano. He also performed at Super Bowl XXIII, which was also played at the same venue. Joel became the second person to sing the National Anthem twice for a Super Bowl; Aaron Neville sang the national anthem before Super Bowl XXIV, in New Orleans, and Super Bowl XL (along with Aretha Franklin), in Detroit.

Marlee Matlin and Jason Hay-Southwell performed the National Anthem in American Sign Language.

Besides participating in the CBS telecast of the pre-game show, Dan Marino also participated in the coin toss along with Norma Hunt, the widow of Lamar Hunt, the former owner of the Kansas City Chiefs and the man who gave the Super Bowl its name.

American singer and musician Prince performed in the Pepsi Super Bowl XLI Halftime Show. The setlist for Prince's performance was a short rendition of "We Will Rock You" by Queen, his signature hit "Let's Go Crazy", "Baby, I'm a Star", cover versions of the Creedence Clearwater Revival hit "Proud Mary", the Bob Dylan composition "All Along the Watchtower", and the Foo Fighters song "Best of You", and in light of the conditions, he fittingly finished the performance with another signature song, "Purple Rain" in the downpour. The 12-minute performance featured Prince accompanied by two dancers he calls “The Twinz” and the Florida A&M University marching band, the Marching 100. Prince had rehearsed with the drum line for a week before the performance. The event also marked the first time that a Microsoft Windows based keyboard workstation, the NeKo developed by Open Labs, Inc., was played live at the Super Bowl. The performance was on a large, central stage which was shaped after the artist's logo, and was outlined with lights. He played before 74,512 fans at Dolphin Stadium (who had been given flashlights to point at the stage during the performance of Purple Rain). The event was carried “to the biggest audience of his life -- 140 million television viewers.” Overall, the show was energetic and quite well-received by the rain-soaked audience surrounding the stage. Music critics were extremely enthusiastic about his performance, one calling it "arguably the best halftime show in Super Bowl history", and others saying it was one of the best ever.

Following the game, however, controversy emerged about a silhouetted camera shot of Prince, projected against a large sheet by a bright light on the other side of the performer. The controversy centered around his guitar, which detractors claimed seemed phallic, critics stating that it "looked embarrassingly rude, crude and unfortunately placed." Though the guitar has been considered by some an extension of a male player's sexuality (especially highlighted by such artists as Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, and even Prince himself), supporters of Prince say that the show did not, in fact, become any more sexually charged than usual, noting that "a guitar at waist level does look like an enormous phallus." ABC late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live responded to this mild controversy by including two satirically pixelized Super Bowl clips on its weekly segment "This Week in Unnecessary Censorship" for the February 9, 2007 episode. The first "censored" clip was the kickoff show introduction for CBS' coverage of the Super Bowl, with the first two letters of "kickoff" blurred out as if "jackoff" were censored, then with a clip of the shadow of Prince playing guitar with the guitar neck blurred out as if an actual penis were being blurred.

Former Colts and Dolphins head coach Don Shula presented the Vince Lombardi Trophy to the Colts after the game, and Peyton Manning was named MVP.

The Bears won the coin toss and elected to receive. For the first time in Super Bowl history, the game was played in the rain, which was continuous throughout the game.

The rain did not hinder Bears' return man Devin Hester, who ran back the opening kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown to give Chicago the earliest lead in Super Bowl history. The Colts avoided kicking to Hester for the rest of the game, allowing him only one punt return, and choosing to squib kick whenever Hester was in the deep kickoff return position.

On Indianapolis' first drive of the game, defensive back Chris Harris intercepted a deep, third-down pass from Peyton Manning and returned it 6 yards to the Bears' 35-yard line. However, Chicago could not gain a first down on their ensuing possession and they were forced to punt. After several short runs and passes, Manning beat the Bears' defense with a 53-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Wayne, cutting the Bears' lead to 7-6 after punter/holder Hunter Smith fumbled the snap on the extra point attempt. On the ensuing kickoff, Chicago tight end Gabe Reid fumbled Adam Vinatieri's bouncing kickoff while being tackled by Robert Mathis; Colts linebacker Tyjuan Hagler recovered the loose ball. However, on the next play, Indianapolis gave the ball back when running back Joseph Addai fumbled the handoff and Bears defensive end Mark Anderson recovered it.

On the first play after the turnover, Thomas Jones' 52-yard run moved the ball to the Colts' 5-yard line. Three plays later, Rex Grossman threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to receiver Muhsin Muhammad, giving the Bears a 14-6 lead. After forcing an Indianapolis punt, Chicago lost another turnover when Cedric Benson's fumble was recovered by Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney on the Bears' 43-yard line. Indianapolis subsequently advanced to the 36-yard line, but decided to punt rather than risk a 53-yard field-goal attempt.

Following a Chicago punt, Indianapolis drove 47 yards and scored with Vinatieri's 29-yard field goal to make the score 14-9. Chicago was forced to punt again on their next drive, and return man Terrence Wilkins returned the ball 12 yards to his own 42-yard line. Manning started out the drive with a 22-yard completion to Marvin Harrison. His next pass went to tight end Dallas Clark for 17 yards. Two more completions moved the ball to the Bears' 11-yard line, and then Dominic Rhodes took the ball to the end zone with three consecutive carries, the last one a 1-yard touchdown run to give his team a 16-14 lead with 6:09 left in the second quarter.

After another Chicago punt, the Colts advanced to the Bears' 36-yard line before defensive back Charles Tillman ended the drive by forcing and recovering a fumble from tight end Bryan Fletcher. But on the next play, Grossman fumbled a snap, and Colts defensive lineman Raheem Brock recovered the ball. Manning then led the Colts to Chicago's 17-yard line. With two seconds left, Vinatieri attempted a 36-yard field goal, but his kick sailed wide left, and the score remained 16-14 at halftime.

Wilkins returned the second half kickoff 26 yards to the Colts's 38-yard line. On the ensuing possession, Addai rushed five times for 25 yards and caught four passes for 19 yards as the Colts drove 56 yards in 13 plays and scored with a 29-yard field goal from Vinatieri, increasing their lead to 19-14. On the Bears' next drive, Jones started out with a 14-yard run, and then Muhammad caught a 9-yard pass, bringing up second down and one on the Colts' 45-yard line. But on the next play, Grossman was sacked for an 11-yard loss by Anthony McFarland. Then, on third down, he fumbled the snap. Grossman recovered the fumble himself, but the Bears were forced to punt, and Wilkins returned the ball 12 yards to the Colts' 36-yard line. Rhodes then gained 52 yards on four carries, with a facemask penalty adding another 10. Chicago managed to halt the drive at their own 2-yard line, but Vinatieri kicked his third field goal to make the score 22–14.

Chicago tight end John Gilmore picked up Vinatieri's bouncing kickoff and returned it 9-yards to his own 45-yard line, with an Unnecessary Roughness penalty on Mathis adding another 15 yards and giving the Bears a first down on the Colts' 40-yard line. Chicago could only gain 14 yards on their ensuing possession, but it was enough for Robbie Gould to make a 44-yard field goal, cutting the score to 22-17. After an Indianapolis 7-play drive ended in a punt, Chicago started on their own 20-yard line with 13:38 left in the game. But four plays later, Colts defensive back Kelvin Hayden intercepted a pass intended for Muhammad and returned it 56 yards for a touchdown.

From that point on, the Colts took over the game. Four plays after the ensuing kickoff, Colts defensive back Bob Sanders intercepted Grossman's pass and returned it 38 yards to the Bears 41-yard line. Chicago's defense eventually forced a punt, but Smith's 32-yard kick pinned the Bears back at their own 8-yard line. The Bears drove to their own 47, but on a fourth down conversion attempt, tight end Desmond Clark dropped a potential first down reception after being leveled by defensive back Matt Giordano. The Colts subsequently called eight consecutive Dominic Rhodes runs before turning the ball over on downs themselves, leaving only 1:42 remaining in regulation. Five plays later, the game was over.

This was the third Super Bowl to have two players rush for more than 100 yards as Dominic Rhodes had 113 for the Colts and Thomas Jones had 113 for the Bears. Tony Dungy is the third man to win the Super Bowl as a head coach as well as a player, following Tom Flores and Mike Ditka.

For the Colts, Rhodes rushed for 113 yards and a touchdown, while also catching an 8-yard reception. Addai rushed for 77 yards and caught 10 passes (a Super Bowl record for running backs) for 66 yards. Wilkins returned four kickoffs for 89 yards and 3 punts for 42 yards. Adam Vinatieri became the first kicker ever to play in five Super Bowls and the first to win four Super Bowl rings. Vinatieri's three field goals and two extra points gave him a total of 49 points for the entire 2006 post-season, an NFL record.

Hester's touchdown for the Bears on the opening kickoff was the first one in Super Bowl history, and the eighth kick return for a touchdown in a Super Bowl; only two of the eight teams who did this went on to win the game (the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXI and the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XXXV). Jones was the Bears' top rusher with 112 yards, while also catching four passes for 18 yards. Desmond Clark was the Bears top receiver with six receptions for 64 yards. Grossman completed 20 of 28 passes for 165 yards and a touchdown, with two interceptions, leaving him with a QB rating of 68.3 for the game. Muhsin Muhammad became the third player ever to score a touchdown in the Super Bowl for two different teams, joining Ricky Proehl and Jerry Rice.

Advertising rates were reported as being slightly higher than in the year before, with CBS confirming a price of $2.6 million for some 30-second spots, compared with $2.5 million during Super Bowl XL. However, CNN reported that after discounts, the average price is likely closer to $1.8 to $2 million. Familiar advertisers in recent years such as Anheuser-Busch, CareerBuilder, General Motors and Coca-Cola bought multiple advertising spots, and other popular advertisers like Go Daddy and Emerald Nuts had commercials this year.

The only major hype related to commercials in the months leading up to Super Bowl XLI involved various campaigns to allow consumers to be involved in the creation of Super Bowl ads, inspired by consumer-generated content sites like YouTube. Frito-Lay announced a campaign in September 2006 to allow the public to submit ads for their Doritos brand and vote on the best one, which aired during the Super Bowl. Doritos actually aired two of the ads due to a close voting margin; the winning ad (featuring a chance meeting with a man and a woman that feature the qualities of Doritos) aired in the first quarter, while a second (with a checkout lady overly enamored with the product) aired in the second quarter. The five finalists each received $10,000 in this contest. General Motors announced a similar contest, open only to college students, for their Chevrolet brand; however, the ad would be produced professionally based on ideas suggested by the public. The winning ad featured men gathering around an HHR model with women in it and stripping off their clothes and giving it a car wash. The NFL itself advertised a similar contest to generate suggestions for a commercial promoting the league, with the winning concept featuring fans' disappointment that their teams' season was over.

The annual USA Today Super Bowl Ad Meter survey chose a Budweiser ad featuring crabs worshiping an ice chest with that particular beer inside as the top ad of Super Bowl XLI, followed by another Bud commercial featuring a stray dog with mud spots climbing onto the brewery's trademark Clydsedale-drawn wagon in a parade. In all, Anheuser-Busch took seven of the top ten spots in the annual survey, sweeping the top three spots. A YouTube user survey chose the Doritos "Snack Hard" ad (produced for the incredible price of $12, the cost of three bags of the snack product) as their top ad, that ad finished fourth in the USA Today survey.

One ad that drew criticism from the gay community was for the Snickers candy bar featuring two men accidentally "kissing" each other after sharing the product in question, then proceeded to rip chest hairs as a manly act as homophobic. The ad proved to be controversial, and the ad was cancelled the next day by Masterfoods USA (Mars, Incorporated's snack food division), and three other versions were deleted from the snickers.com web site. The ad was ninth in the USA Today ad survey, and according to a Masterfoods publicist, not intended to harm anyone.

A different ad for General Motors featured a laid off assembly line robot contemplating suicide, which drew criticism from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The group asked for an apology from GM, and that the ad be taken off the air and the company's website. The suicide scene was replaced with a scene of the robot watching a car being crushed at a junkyard when it was shown again during the 79th Academy Awards on February 25.

The NFL upset many fans by banning the traditional practice of tailgating at Super Bowl XLI. Originally, spokesmen for Dolphin Stadium announced that tailgating would be permitted as usual, however the NFL quickly contradicted this statement announcing an NFL owner-imposed ban on all tailgating and non-ticketed fans were forbidden within a two-block-radius of the stadium.

The NFL upset a large number of fans by threatening churches with lawsuits if they had Super Bowl parties. National Football League assistant counsel Rachel L. Margolies sent a letter to the Fall Creek Baptist Church in Indianapolis, ordering the church to cancel its party and remove the trademarked Super Bowl name from its website. She said that the church could not use the words "Super Bowl" as it violates trademark law, could not charge admission as that violates copyright law, could not use its projection screen (only one television could be used and it could not be over 55 inches), and could not "promote a message" in connection with the game. Regarding the last point, the Fall Creek Baptist church planned to also show an extra video to highlight the Christian testimonies of Colts coach Tony Dungy and Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith. "While this may be a noble message," Rachel L. Margolies wrote, "we are consistent in refusing the use of our game broadcasts in connection with events that promote a message, no matter the content." In contrast, sports bars nationwide were allowed to show the game, as are businesses that televise sports as part of their everyday operations.

The Indianapolis Star picked up the story, and soon pastors across the U.S. were working to cancel their parties. Immediately the NFL received a backlash of bad publicity, with indignant football fans in constant sarcasm (akin to rules imposed about on-field behavior i.e. taunting opposition teams) referring to the NFL as the "No Fun League." For example, the enforcement of this policy earned the NFL a "Worst Person in the World" silver on the February 2, 2007 edition of Countdown with Keith Olbermann.

To the top



Indianapolis Colts

Indianapolis Colts helmet

The Indianapolis Colts are a professional American football team based in Indianapolis, Indiana. The team is part of the South Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) in the National Football League (NFL). While in Baltimore, the Colts won four NFL Championships, including Super Bowl V. In Indianapolis, the Colts won Super Bow XLI in 2006 against the Chicago Bears.

In December 28, 1946, the bankrupt Miami Seahawks of the All-America Football Conference were purchased and relocated in Baltimore by a group headed by Bob Rodenberg. As the result of a contest in Baltimore, won by Charles Evans of Middle River, Md., the team was renamed the “Colts.” On September 7, 1947, wearing the green and silver uniforms, the Colts, under Head Coach Cecil Isbell, won their initial AAFC game, 16-7, over the Brooklyn Dodgers. The team concluded its inaugural season before a record Baltimore crowd of 51,583 by losing to the New York Yankees, 21-7. The Colts finished with a 2-11-1 record, good for a fourth place finish in the Eastern Division. The Colts completed the 1948 season with a 7-8 record, tying the Buffalo Bills for the division title. The Colts compiled a 1-11 mark in 1949. Y. A. Tittle was the Colts starting quarterback.

The AAFC and NFL merged in 1950, and the Colts joined the NFL. After posting a 1-11 record for the second consecutive year, the franchise was dissolved by the league on January 18, 1951, because of its failing financial condition. But many Baltimore fans protested the loss of their team and continued to support the marching band (the second in professional football, after that of the Washington Redskins) and fan club, both of which remained in operation and worked for the team's revival.

After two seasons without professional football, NFL Commissioner Bert Bell challenged Baltimore in December 1952 to sell 15,000 season tickets within six weeks in order to re-enter the NFL. That 15,000-ticket quota was reached in four weeks and three days. On January 23, 1953, under the principal ownership of Carroll Rosenbloom, the NFL’s Dallas Texans franchise was moved to Baltimore where, keeping the “Colts” nickname, the Texans team colors of blue and white were inherited. This is the franchise that exists today in Indianapolis.

The Texans had a long and winding history; they started as the Boston Yanks in 1944 and merged with the Brooklyn Tigers (previously known as the Dayton Triangles, an original NFL team established in the 1910s) for the 1945 season before moving to New York as the Bulldogs in 1949. The team then became the Yanks in 1950, and many of the players from the New York Yankees of the All-America Football Conference were added to the team. The Yanks moved to Dallas after the 1951 season, but played their final two "home" games of the 1952 season at the Rubber Bowl in Akron, Ohio.

Although debatable from an historical perspective, neither the Colts Franchise or the National Football League consider the 1953-present Colts to be an official continuation of the Triangles/Dodgers/Tigers/Seahawks/Yanks/Bulldogs/Yankees/Texans franchise.

The Colts began the season with a blockbuster trade, swapping five Baltimore players for 10 Cleveland Browns. Among the players who came over were future coach Don Shula; Bert Rechichar, Carl Taseff and Art Spinney, among others. The 2nd incarnation of the Baltimore Colts first took the field at Memorial Stadium on September 27, with Coach Keith Molesworth. The Colts would stun the Bears that day 13-9 to get the new franchise off on the right foot. However, the Colts struggled to a 3-9 season in their inaugural year.

The young Colts continued to struggle in their first season under Coach Weeb Ewbank, duplicating their 3-9 inaugural season record.

The team got off to a 3-0 start. However, the team would only win 2 more games the rest of the season finishing with a 5-6-1 record.

QB George Shaw was lost to injury in the 4th game of the season. The backup named Johnny Unitas took his place. The Colts split the 8 remaining games to finish with a 5-7 record.

Johnny Unitas' first full season as starting QB, the Colts began with a 3-0 start. After losing 3 in a row, then winning 4 in a row, the Colts at 7-3 would lose their final 2 games of the season and finish 7-5.

Winning their first 6 games; on the way to a 9-1 start Baltimore won the Western Division Title. However the Colts lost their final 2 games of the season.

On December 28 Baltimore faced the New York Giants in the NFL Championship game at Yankee Stadium. The Colts went to halftime with a 14-3 lead after scoring 2 TDs in the 2nd Quarter. The 4th Quarter would end tied a 17, meaning the NFL would have to use overtime for the first time ever. The rule was simple who scored first won. Unitas hit WR Raymond Berry with a clutch pass that gave the Colts a 1st down in Giants territory. Baltimore continued to drive down to the 1-yard line, with first and goal. Unitas handed off to Alan Ameche who dove across the goal line to give Baltimore a 23-17 win, in what many call the greatest game ever played. The game would serve as a launching point for the NFL's remarkable boom in popularity.

The Colts used a season ending 5-game winning streak to win their 2nd straight Western Division Championship with a 9-3 record.

Baltimore had a Championship Game rematch with the New York Giants, with the game this time being played at Memorial Stadium. For the first 3 quarters the Colts fell behind 9-7. Johnny Unitas led the Colts back in the 4th Quarter scoring 24 unanswered points, and Baltimore to claim their 2nd straight NFL Championship with a 31-16 victory.

The Colts were a strong contender for the Western Division Title again with a 6-2 start. However, the Colts would drop their final 4 games as their season ended with a disappointing 6-6- record.

The Colts finishing with an 8-6 record.

The Colts struggled finishing with a 7-7 record. Following the season Coach Weeb Ewbank would be fired, and replaced by Don Shula who had played with the Colts in their inaugural season of 1953.

The Colts struggled early in their first season under Coach Don Shula. However they would end the season strong by winning their final 3 games to finish with an 8-6 record.

After losing the first game of the season to the Vikings the Colts went on a 10-game winning streak on the way to winning the Western Division Championship with a 12-2 record. Johnny Unitas wins the NFL MVP after amassing 2,824 yards passing.

The Colts faced the Cleveland Browns. However, nothing would go right in Cleveland as the Colts are whitewashed 27-0.

The Colts appear to be a strong contender for the Western Division Championship again. However injuries to QB Johnny Unitas and back up Gary Cuzzo, forced the Colts to turn to Tom Matte in a must win season ending game in Los Angeles against the Rams. Wearing a plastic wrist brace that carried the team's list of plays, Matte led Baltimore to a 20-17 victory that gave the Colts a share of the Western Division Title at 10-3-1 with the Green Bay Packers. The Colts and Packers would battle into overtime with the game tied at 10. However, there was no magic for the Colts this time as the Packers won the game on a FG a little over a minute into the 2nd overtime period.

The Colts finished 9-5.

Led by Johnny Unitas who wins the NFL MVP with 3,428 yards passing the Colts tear through the NFL going undefeated through the first 13 games of the season with a record of 11-0-2. However, the Colts still needed to beat the Rams in Los Angeles to claim the Coastal Division Championship. Unfortunately for the Colts the Rams would win the game 34-10 to win the Division title and advance to the postseason, as the Colts went home despite an 11-1-2 record.

Johnny Unitas misses most of the season with an elbow injury. The Colts backup QB Earl Morrall steps in and wins the NFL MVP award, while leading the Colts on a record breaking 13-1 season. While Morrall led the offense, the Colts defense shut out 3 opponents while allowing a record low 144 points. In the Divisional Playoff round the Colts beat the Minnesota Vikings 24-14 before a sold out crowd at Memorial Stadium.

Going into Super Bowl III the Colts were favored by 18 points. They faced the New York Jets who were coached by their former head coach Weeb Ewbank. The Jets came in confident as QB Joe Namath guaranteed a victory. The first half was a defensive struggle as the Jets had a 16-0 lead early in the 4th Quarter. Desperate to make a comeback the Colts put Johnny Unitas into the game, and he would get the Colts on the board with a long touchdown drive. With less than 4 minutes to go, the Colts recovered an on-side kick to keep their hopes alive. However, the Jets completed the biggest upset in NFL history 16-7.

Still suffering from a Super Bowl hangover the Colts stumble out of the gates losing their first 2 games, including a 52-14 humiliation by the Minnesota Vikings in which Joe Kapp tied an NFL record with seven touchdown passes. The Colts struggled to finish with an 8-5-1 record, well behind the Rams, who started 11-0. Following the season Coach Don Shula who fell out of favor with Owner Carroll Rosenbloom was allowed to resign and he took the coaching job with Miami Dolphins. Assistant Coach Don McCafferty would replace Shula.

Prior to the 1970 season, Rosenbloom, Art Modell of the Browns, and Art Rooney of the Pittsburgh Steelers agreed to have their teams join the ten AFL teams in the AFC as part of the AFL-NFL merger giving each conference an equal amount of teams, and divisions. The Colts win the Eastern Division while posting an 11-2-1 record. During the season the Colts would get revenge for Super Bowl III, by beating the New York Jets, who are now a division rival. In the Divisional Playoffs the Colts defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 17-0 before a rockus crowd at Memorial Stadium. The Colts then defeated the Raiders 27-17 to advance to the Super Bowl.

Baltimore returned to the Super Bowl and their opponents were the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys jumped out to a 6-0 lead on 2 FGs before the Colts tied it on a 75-yard pass form Johnny Unitas to John Mackey. However the Colts had the PAT blocked and the game remained tied. The Cowboys would jump out in front again and went into the 4th Quarter holding a 13-6 lead into halftime. Earl Morrall relieved an injured Unitas in the 2nd half the game as the two teams kept fumbling the ball back-and-forth in a game that got the nickname blunder bowl as both teams combined had 11 turnovers. Baltimore would tie the game midway through the final period on a 2-yard plunge by RB Tom Nowatzke. With less then 2 minutes left Cowboys RB Dan Reeves fumbled the ball setting up the Colts in Dallas territory. Baltimore would win the game on a 32-yard FG from Jim O'Brien with 5 seconds left.

The Colts settled for the Wild Card after finishing the season at 10-4. In the Divisional Round the Colts would defeat the Browns in Cleveland 20-3 to advance to the AFC Championship Game. The Dolphins coached by Don Shula shut out the Colts 21-0 ending the Colts hopes for a 2nd straight Super Bowl.

The Colts got off to a 1-4 start and Coach Don McCafferty was fired. The Colts would go 4-5 in their final 9 games under John Sandusky to finish with a 5-9 record, their first losing mark in 16 years. Following the season the Colts Johnny Unitas was traded to the San Diego Chargers. However, Unitas would not leave without coming off the bench his final game at Memorial Stadium. Leading the Colts on a 55-yard Touchdown pass late in the 4th Quarter to help beat the Buffalo Bills 35-7. Memorial Stadium gave the legend a standing ovation as a small plane flying overhead carried a banner reading "Unitas We Stand".

Howard Schnellenberger becomes the Colts head coach. The young Colts struggled early with QB Marty Domres during a 2-10 start. However, in the final games of the season the rookie Bert Jones replaced Domres, and led the Colts to a stunning upset of the Miami Dolphins as the Colts won their final 2 games to end the season at 4-10.

The Colts would get off to a 0-3 start when Coach Howard Schnellenberger is fired and replaced by Joe Thomas, the Colts would not perform any better under Thomas compiling a miserable 2-12 season.

Under new coach Ted Marchibroda the Colts would get off to a 1-4 start. However, the Colts would start winning as QB Bert Jones, and RB Lydell Mitchell came of age and led the Colts on a 7 game winning streak. The Colts would go on to win their last game of the season to claim the AFC East with a 10-4 record. However, in the Divisional Playoffs the young Colts were no match for the Steelers in Pittsburgh, suffering a season ending 28-10 loss.

Ted Marchibroda resigned as head coach. However, after players threatened mutiny Marchibroda was rehired. The Colts would go on to have a stellar season led by QB Bert Jones who wins the NFL MVP, by passing for 3,104 yards. The Colts put together a solid season and win the AFC East with an 11-3 record. However in the Divisional Playoffs the Colts are defeated again by the Pittsburgh Steelers 40-29.

After a 9-1 start the Colts lose 3 straight and face a must win game for the AFC East title in the final game of the year at Memorial Stadium against the New England Patriots. The game would be a shoot out as the Colts won their 3rd straight Division Title with a 30-24 victory to finish with a 10-4 record. In the Divisional Playoff the Colts would host the Oakland Raiders in a back and forth battle that went into double overtime. However, the Colts would lose to the Raiders 37-31.

The Colts march to a 4th straight AFC East Title was over before it began as QB Bert Jones was injured and the Colts lost their first 2 games by a combined 80-0 score. Jones would return but would be injured again as the Colts defense gave up 421 points in a disappointing 5-11 season.

Veteran QB Greg Landry replaces Bert Jones as starter, as the Colts continue to struggle finishing with another 5-11 record. Following the season Coach Ted Marchibroda would be fired, and replaced by Mike McCormick.

Bert Jones regains the starting job at Quarterback, and has a solid 3,134 yard passing season. However the Colts would play inconsistant football as the defense struggle during an unrewarding 7-9 season.

The Colts started the season on the right foot winning their first game of the season in New England 29-28 over the Patriots. However, the Colts would not win again until they played the Patriots at home in the final game of the season compiling a miserable 2-14 season, in which the Colts allowed 533 points. Following the season QB Bert Jones is traded to the Los Angeles Rams despite a strong 3,094-yard season. In addition Coach Mike McCormick is fired and replaced by Frank Kush.

Attendance begins to dwindle at Memorial Stadium as the Colts struggle during a season interrupted by a 2-month strike. Actually the strike provided relief for the Colts, as they possibly avoided one of the worst seasons in NFL history. The Colts would go winless while tying 1 game in a 9-game season.

With the number 1 pick in the NFL Draft the Colts select QB John Elway from Stanford. However, Elway refused to play for Irsay and threatened to play minor league baseball or in the newly formed USFL. Fearful the Colts would get nothing for his rights the Colts trade John Elway to the Denver Broncos. After starting the season with an overtime win in New England over the Patriots the Colts faced the Broncos in the home opener as Baltimore fans are hostile to Elway. However, fans get to see what they missed when Elway leads a game winning drive in the 4th. Despite losing out on Elway, and 1-year suspension for gambling to QB Art Schlichter, the Colts play solid football compiling a 7-9 record. On December 18, 1983, unbeknownst to the team or fans, the Colts played their final home game (against the then Houston Oilers) in the city of Baltimore. 27,934 fans showed up, 516 more fans than the crowd that had turned out for their first home game in 1947.

As far back as November 1971, Carroll Rosenbloom announced that the Colts would not return to Memorial Stadium when their lease ran out following the 1972 season and that he was not interested in negotiating with the city anymore. He wanted out of Baltimore for a few reasons — money, problems with Baltimore Orioles ownership and a running feud with the Baltimore press. Will Keland, a real estate investor was originally slated to buy the Colts from Rosenbloom. However, Keland could not generate enough funds necessary to purchase the team. His golfing buddy, Robert Irsay who was originally slated to own 1 percent of the team, did have the money available and he realized that he didn't need Keland. On July 13, 1972, Robert Irsay became the owner of the Colts. Under the terms of the arrangement, Irsay bought the Los Angeles Rams for $19 million, then traded them to Rosenbloom for the Colts and $3 million in cash. The players for each team remained in their respective cities.

In 1971, Baltimore mayor William Donald Schaefer and the state's governor, Marvin Mandel, created a stadium committee to examine the city's stadium needs. Their report was a blow to Memorial Stadium. Some of the problems mentioned: 10,000 stadium's seats had views that were "less than desirable"; 20,000 seats were out-dated bench seats that had no back support; 7,000 so called seats were actually poorly-constructed temporary bleachers that were installed for football games only. Also, there was not enough office space adequate enough for the front offices of either the Orioles or Colts, much less both teams combined. Both teams had to share locker rooms, the upper deck of Memorial Stadium did not circle the field, ending instead at the 50-yard line, thousands of potential seats (and added revenue) were missing. Any expansion plans for the stadium had usually mentioned less attractive (and less expensive) end-zone seats, not upper deck seating. And the number of bathroom facilities in Memorial Stadium was deemed inadequate.

Maryland's planners came up with an ambitious project. Nicknamed the "Baltodome", the original plan was to create a facility near the city's Inner Harbor known as Camden Yards. The new stadium would host 70,000 fans for football games, 55,000 for baseball and 20,000 as an arena for hockey or basketball. For an estimated $78 million, the city would build a facility that would have kept all parties; Orioles owner Hoffberger, Colts owner Irsay, the Stadium Complex Authority, Baltimore Mayor Schaefer and the state's governor, Marvin Mandel happy.

But Hyman Pressman, Baltimore's comptroller, was against the use of public funds to build a new complex. During the 1974 elections, Pressman had an amendment to the city's charter placed on the fall ballot. Known as Question P, the amendment called for declaring "the 33rd Street stadium as a memorial to war veterans and prohibiting use of city funds for construction of any other stadium." The measure passed 56 percent to 44 percent, and the same jingoistic ideas that had been used to upgrade the then Baltimore Stadium (Originally built in 1922) in the late 40s and rename it Memorial Stadium, effectively destroyed any chance of a new, modern sports complex being built in Baltimore. It can be reasonably concluded that in this legislation, lay the Colts move to Indianapolis.

Although the Colts made the playoffs for three straight years from 1975-77, there had still been no progress made on a new park for the team. Robert Irsay first spoke with Phoenix, Arizona in 1976 and then Indianapolis, Indiana in 1977 about the possibility of relocating his team to one of those cities. In 1979 Irsay began shopping the Colts around in earnest, talking first to officials from the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission, Memphis, Tennessee and Jacksonville, Florida where he visited the Gator Bowl packed with 50,000 cheering fans trying to convince him that Jacksonville would be the best home for the Colts. That same year Irsay presented Maryland's Governor Harry Hughes with a request for $25 million in renovation to the dilapidated 64,124 seat Memorial Stadium. Irsay's request for $25 million in improvements was decreased to $23 million by the Maryland legislature. The plan added more seats (but none of the revenue-generating skyboxes), improving the plumbing and would've given both teams better office space. The plans approval was contingent on both the Colts and Baltimore Orioles signing long term leases. The Orioles challenged the requested football improvements and refused to sign anything more than a one year lease. Irsay also refused to sign long term. As a result, the funds and improvements never came.

Under the administration of mayor Richard Lugar and then continuing with William Hudnut, Indianapolis was making a serious effort to reinvent itself into a 'Great American City'. In 1979, Indianapolis community leaders created the Indiana Sports Corp. in order to attract major sports events to central Indiana. The next year, Indianapolis Mayor William Hudnut appointed a committee to study the feasibility of building a new stadium that could serve primarily as a boon to the city's convention business and, secondarily, as a lure for an NFL team . In 1982 construction on the Hoosier Dome (later renamed the RCA Dome) began. Deputy Mayor David Frick, who would later lead the negotiations with the Colts and then go on to become chairman of the Indiana state commission that would oversee construction of the RCA Dome's replacement; Lucas Oil Stadium, would say that the RCA Dome was a key to changing the city's image. "Sports was an element in our game plan to change the image of the city back in the late 1970s, early 1980s,". In February 1983, after relations between Irsay and the city of Baltimore had deteriorated significantly, Baltimore Mayor Schaefer asked the Maryland General Assembly to approve $15 million for renovation to Memorial Stadium. The legislature did not approve the request until the following spring, after the Colts' lease had expired, and only half of that $15 million would go towards improvements that the Colts were seeking (The other half for the Orioles'). However, Baltimore reportedly did offer Irsay a generous $15 million loan at 6.5%, a guarantee of at least 43,000 tickets sold per game for six years, and the purchase of the team's Owings Mills training facility for $4 million. Despite numerous public reassurances that Irsay's ultimate desire was to remain in Baltimore, he nevertheless continued discussions with several cities hungry for an NFL franchise (New York, Phoenix, Indianapolis, Birmingham, Jacksonville and Memphis) eventually narrowing the list of cities to two, Phoenix and Indianapolis. A real estate group in Phoenix, Arizona along with Arizona Governor Bruce Babbitt and other top Arizona officials, had secretly met with Irsay early in January. Preliminary talks seemed promising, another meeting was scheduled. But when word of a second scheduled meeting leaked out and was reported by the Baltimore media on the Friday before the Super Bowl, Irsay canceled. Meanwhile, Indianapolis and local real estate developer Robert Welch, were lobbying the NFL to bring an expansion team to the city, with Welch as team owner. Welch had also had personal discussions with New Orleans Saints owner John Mecom about buying the team and moving it to Indianapolis. In January 1984, NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle announced that expansion had been put on hold. As a result of that announcement, Indiana Pacers' owner Herb Simon contacted Colts officials in order to take negotiations between the club and Indianapolis to the next level. Mayor Hudnut then assigned deputy mayor David Frick to begin secret negotiations with Colts counsel Michael Chernoff. On February 13, Colts representatives came to town to look at the Hoosier Dome construction. Colts owner Robert Irsay visited on February 23.

Baltimore Mayor Schaefer, who was promised a call by Irsay but never received one if the team was to move, appeared on the front page of the Baltimore Sun in tears. After the Colts left, he placed the building of a new stadium at the top of his legislative agenda.

Indianapolis Mayor Hudnut held a press conference March 29 to announce an agreement had been reached and the team was on its way to Indianapolis. The deal was sealed March 30 with approval by the Capital Improvement Board, which operated the Hoosier Dome. Two days later, 20,000 new Colts fans cheered as Mayor Hudnut Proclaimed March 29, 1984, "one of the greatest days in the history of this city.".

Understandably, fans in Baltimore were heartbroken. In elections that year, city voters repealed Question P by a measure of 62 percent to 38 percent. However, the amendment's author Hyman Pressman remained as an elected City Comptroller for 28 years (7 terms in a row) until retiring in 1991. The team's move triggered a flurry of legal activity, which ultimately reached the U.S. Supreme Court, and bills were filed in both the U.S. House and Senate seeking to block the move. In December 1985, a U.S. District Court judge threw out the lawsuit which sought to return the team to Maryland. Later, representatives of Baltimore and the Colts organization reached a settlement in March 1986 in which all lawsuits regarding the relocation were dismissed, and the Colts would endorse a new NFL team for Baltimore. Nonetheless, many of the prominent old-time Colts (many of whom had settled in the Baltimore area) were bitter and chose to cut all ties to the relocated Colts team. Most notable and vocal among them was Johnny Unitas, who recognized himself solely as a player for the Baltimore Colts until the day he died, with his estate defending that stand to this day. However, the NFL officially recognizes his achievements and records as the history of the Colts organization and as such are attributed to the current Colts organization and not the Ravens Organization.

On November 6, 1995, Cleveland Browns owner Art Modell announced his intention to move Cleveland's team to Baltimore. The decision also triggered a flurry of legal activity. On February 9, 1996, representatives of Cleveland and Baltimore and the NFL reached a settlement. It stipulated that the Browns' name, colors, and history of the franchise were to remain in Cleveland. Modell took his players and organization to Baltimore, but it would be technically regarded as an expansion team. A fan vote was held and Baltimore's NFL franchise was named the Ravens.

This was the Colts' first season in Indianapolis. Jim Irsay was named general manager of the team. Frank Kush was head coach - until the final game when he was replaced by Hal Hunter. Prior to the start of the season the team received 143,000 requests in two weeks for season tickets. The Colts had two first-round draft picks in 1984. They chose Leonard Coleman and Ron Solt. Coleman could not reach an agreement with the Colts until early in 1985, and spent 1984 playing in the U.S. Football League. Other notable picks that year included Kevin Call in the 5th round and Eugene Daniel in the 8th. The Colts finished the 1984 season with 4 wins and 12 losses.

Rod Dowhower was named head coach in January 1985. The Colts' first-round draft pick was linebacker Duane Bickett. Their record was 5-11 but they finished the season strong, winning their last two games and averaging 5.0 yards per attempt to lead the NFL. Rohn Stark won his second NFL punting title.

The Colts drafted Jon Hand in the first round, Jack Trudeau in the 2nd and Bill Brooks in the 4th round. More than 10,000 fans visited the new Colts Complex during an open house. The team had a terrible season, losing the first 13 games before winning the last 3. Dowhower was replaced by Ron Meyer on Dec. 1.

The Colts' number one draft pick was Cornelius Bennett. Two weeks into the regular season the players went on a 24-day strike. One week of games was cancelled, and for three weeks the teams played with replacement players. On Oct. 31 the Colts obtained Eric Dickerson from the L.A. Rams for six draft picks and two players. The deal also involved Buffalo, sending Cornelius Bennett from the Colts to the Bills and Chuck Banks came over from the Houston Oilers. The Colts finished the season 9-6 and clinched the AFC East title but lost to the Cleveland Browns in the divisional playoff game.

Due to the Dickerson trade the Colts had no draft pick until the third round when they took quarterback Chris Chandler. In the Colts' first Monday Night Football appearance they defeated Denver 55-23 before an ecstatic Halloween night crowd. Dickerson became the first Colt since Alan Ameche in 1955 to win the NFL rushing title. The Colts finished the season 9-7, and did not make the playoffs.

Andre Rison was the Colts' first-round draft pick. On Sept. 10 Dickerson surpassed the 10,000 rushing yards mark in his 91st career game - the quickest pace ever. The team again finished the season 9-7 but did not make the playoffs because of a 41-6 loss to the New Orleans Saints in the last game.

The Colts traded Chris Hinton, Andre Rison and draft picks to the Atlanta Falcons for the first pick of the 1990 draft so they could choose Indianapolis native and quarterback Jeff George. Eric Dickerson, after boycotting training camp and refusing to take physicals, was placed on the non-football injury list for six weeks. He was subsequently suspended four weeks for conduct detrimental to the team and forfeited $750,000 in wages and fines. The team finished the season 7-9.

Indianapolis had no first-round draft pick, but chose Shane Curry in Round-Two. Rick Venturi succeeded Ron Meyer as coach on Oct. 1. The team finished the season an NFL-worst 1-15. This record would not be broken until 2008 when the Detroit Lions went 0-16.

Ted Marchibroda was, once again, named head coach of the Colts on Jan. 28. For the second time he led the Colts to an NFL-best eight-game, one-season turnaround. The Colts had two first-round draft picks and chose Steve Emtman and Quentin Coryatt. In April, the Colts traded Eric Dickerson to the Los Angeles Raiders, ending his sometimes rocky 4 1/2 years with the team. On May 3, 1992, second-year defensive end Shane Curry was shot to death outside a Cincinnati nightclub in a dispute over a car blocking the nightclub's driveway. Then, in a disastrous public relations move, the Colts cut Mark Herrmann the day after he led a season-opening victory at home over Cleveland - and one week after another popular player, Albert Bentley, had been let go. The Colts finished the season 9-7.

Sean Dawkins was the Colts' first-round pick. They suffered all year from the lack of a running game, a passing game (20 quarters without a touchdown) or an effective defense. Amid dwindling crowds, the Colts wobbled into the offseason with a 4–12 record. They ended the year with a four-game losing streak, and had eight losses in their last nine games.

Running Back Marshall Faulk was drafted 2nd overall and Linebacker Trev Alberts was drafted 5th overall in the NFL Draft. The Colts brought in Bill Tobin as 'Vice President of All Football Operations'. In March, Jeff George was traded to the Atlanta Falcons. Despite going undefeated in the preseason the Colts opened the regular season with an all-time low attendance of 47,372. The Colts finished 8-8 - out of the playoffs.

The Colts' first-round draft pick was Ellis Johnson; and in the second round, Ken Dilger. The Colts entered the season with high hopes. "Captain Comeback" Jim Harbaugh became the starting quarterback in Week Three and ended the season as the NFL's top-rated passer. He led the "Cardiac Colts" to a 9-7 season and a trip to the playoffs. In the playoffs, the underdog Colts defeated the San Diego Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs. But, in the AFC championship game, they lost a heartbreaker to the Pittsburgh Steelers 20-16 when a last-second Hail-Mary pass was dropped in the end-zone by Aaron Bailey.

Syracuse Wide Receiver Marvin Harrison was selected by the Colts with the 19th pick in the 1996 NFL Draft, a pick that was obtained in a trade that sent Jeff George to the Atlanta Falcons. In February, in another unpopular move, and despite the success of the 1995 season, the Colts offered head coach Ted Marchibroda only a one-year contract deal which he turned down. Marchibroda, whose 73 career victories with the Colts tied Shula, was replaced by Lindy Infante. Also in February, Robert Irsay's wife, Nancy, and his son, Jim, filed petitions seeking guardianship of his estate while he remained incapacitated from a stroke he had suffered the previous November. The Colts finished 9-7, despite being plagued with injuries, and again made the playoffs. They lost, again to Pittsburgh, in a 42-14 thrashing.

The first-round draft pick was Tarik Glenn. Adam Meadows was acquired in the second round. Indicative of the ongoing frustration and futility of the team, was a confrontation between Jim Harbaugh and Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly during which Harbaugh broke his hand. The injury-plagued Colts did not win a game until the 11th game of the season, and finished the year 3-13. Assuming responsibility for his team, Jim Irsay cleaned house in December, firing both coach Linde Infante and director of football operations Bill Tobin. He then named Bill Polian president of the team.

On December 21, 1997, the Colts lost to the Vikings and finishing the season 3-13. The very next day, Bill Polian was hired as President to try and turn the team around. Polian was General Manager of the Buffalo Bills from 1986-1993. "When Bill Polian was promoted to the GM position, the Bills were suffering from back to back 2-14 seasons and fan interest was at an all-time low. Polian had expertly put the pieces together that would make the Bills a "championship caliber team," appearing in an NFL record, 4 straight Super Bowls. Because of his accomplishments, Bill Polian won the NFL Executive of the Year Award twice, in 1988 and in 1991. Polian then became General Manager of the Carolina Panthers from 1994-1996. He tried to create the quickest Super Bowl winner in history, and nearly did so, building a team that went to the NFC Championship game in only its second year of existence.

As the Colts GM and President, Polian opted not to keep QB Jim Harbaugh, who had led the team to the AFC Championship game following the 1995 season. Instead, he decided to build through the draft as the Colts would have the number 1 overall pick for 1998, and 2 of the most hyped quarterbacks would be coming out of college (Ryan Leaf and Peyton Manning). Polian chose Manning. The San Diego Chargers would take Ryan Leaf second; Leaf's abbreviated career appears to have shown the wisdom of Polian's choice.

Jim Irsay began to shape the Colts one year after assuming control from his father by firing Coach Lindy Infante and hiring Bill Polian to run the organization. Polian in turn hired Jim Mora to coach the team and drafted University of Tennessee Volunteers quarterback Peyton Manning, the son of New Orleans Saints legend Archie Manning, with the first pick in the 1998 NFL Draft.

In January, Jim Irsay and the city agreed to a revised lease at the RCA Dome which provided the Colts with $8 million a year in dome-generated revenues and assured the city the team will be here at least 10 more years. The Colts were 3-13 in 1998. RB-Marshall Faulk’s 2,227 scrimmage yards set a club seasonal mark, while QB-Peyton Manning (326-575-3,739, 26 TDs) set NFL rookie records in every passing category.

The Colts' first-round draft pick was running back Edgerrin James, a surprise to many who thought they would take Ricky Williams, the Heisman Trophy winner. Two days before the draft, Marshall Faulk was traded to the St. Louis Rams. Third-round pick, Brandon Burlsworth, was killed in an automobile accident in Arkansas April 28. James caught on quickly and Manning and Marvin Harrison clicked as a potent passing combination. In October, Steve Muhammad's wife died as did the baby she was carrying when she went into premature labor following a car accident. After her death it was revealed that 10 days before the accident Muhammad had been arrested for battery on his pregnant wife. The Colts finished the season 13-3 - in what was the greatest one-year turnaround in NFL history - and won the AFC East. They hosted Indianapolis' first ever playoff game but were defeated by the eventual AFC Champion Tennessee Titans 19-16. At 13-3 In winning the division title, Manning, RB-Edgerrin James and WR-Marvin Harrison earned Pro Bowl honors, while K-Mike Vanderjagt won the NFL scoring title.

The Colts drafted BYU Linebacker Rob Morris in the first round (28th overall) of the NFL Draft. Both the team and their fans entered the 2000 season with high expectations. After winning the AFC East with a 13-3 record in 1999, and with young stars Peyton Manning and Edgerrin James just hitting their strides many predicted this would be the year the Colts would do even better and march straight to the Super Bowl. Jim Irsay even talked about winning three Super Bowls in a row. But things didn't quite turn out that way. The Colts' offense had impressive moments, sprinting through defenders with a no-huddle offense that left their opponents little time to catch their breath. But the Indianapolis defense was erratic - sometimes performing well but more often seeming unable to do what had to be done at crucial moments. Eight games into the season the Colts were 6-2, though some of the wins had been heart-stoppers with last-minute heroics overcoming earlier mistakes. Then they lost four of the next five games, and suddenly even making it into playoffs was in doubt. With three games left in the season the Colts only chance was to win all three - and they did. The back-to-back 10+-victory seasons were a first for the club since 1976-77. Manning (4,413) and James (1,709, 2,303) won the NFL passing, rushing and scrimmage yards titles. They earned a wildcard spot in the playoffs, but lost the game 23-17 to the Miami Dolphins. The organization entered the off-season knowing the area most in need of attention was the defense.

Reggie Wayne was selected with the 30th pick in the NFL Draft. The 2001 season was a major disappointment. However, Manning (4,131) and Harrison (109) had outstanding yardage and reception seasons. The team finished 6-10, managing only two wins in its last nine games. And, as in 2000, the defense took the brunt of the criticism. It ranked No. 30 in total yards allowed, tied for No. 26 in generating takeaways and No. 31 in points allowed. But the defense wasn't the only problem. The special teams' performance was often really bad and Peyton Manning was plagued by turnovers. The team was also hurt by injuries throughout the season, the most serious occurring on Oct. 25, when running back Edgerrin James tore his ACL in the sixth game of the 2001 season, and while backup Dominic Rhodes proved a capable starter in becoming the first undrafted rookie to rush for over 1000 yards, the loss of James and a defense that gave up the most points in a season of any NFL team since 1981 proved too much to overcome. Coach Jim Mora was fired with one year remaining on his contract, reportedly due to a disagreement with general manager Bill Polian over defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. Tony Dungy, who had been fired as coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was given a five-year contract to coach the Colts on Jan. 22, 2002.

The firing of Mora led to the hiring of head coach Tony Dungy, the former head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Colts owner Jim Irsay was so committed to bringing Tony Dungy aboard that he, not Colts GM Bill Polian, initiated the contact. Late on January 19 2002, Irsay phoned Dungy at his home in Tampa. "I just wanted him to know from the start that there was no other coach on the planet I wanted to coach my football team," Irsay said. "Not Steve Spurrier. Not Bill Parcells." Dungy became the 35th coach in NFL history to earn 100 career victories (including playoffs) with a 38-20 win at Houston on Oct. 23, 2005. Dungy is only the sixth coach to win 100-plus regular-season games in the first 10 years as a head coach (113, George Seifert; 105, Don Shula; 103, John Madden; 102, Dungy; 101, Joe Gibbs; 101, Mike Ditka).

He is the NFL's winningest head coach from 1999-2005 with a mark of 78-34 (30-18 with Tampa Bay, 48-16 with Colts), and his .638 winning percentage ranks second among active head coaches. He has directed the Colts to 10-6, 12-4, 12-4 and 14-2 records, becoming the only coach in club history to produce 10-plus victories and playoff berths in the first four seasons with the team.

Dungy has seven career double-digit victory seasons and stands as the only NFL head coach to defeat all 32 NFL teams.

Dwight Freeney was selected by the Indianapolis Colts with the 11th selection in the 2002 NFL Draft. The Colts finished the season with a 10-6 record, earning a wild-card slot in the playoffs. In that game however, the Colts were humiliated with a 41-0 shutout at the hands of the New York Jets. Marvin Harrison had a stellar year, breaking several club and NFL records, but running back Edgerrin James was hampered by injuries most of the season. Peyton Manning was often brilliant but threw 19 interceptions, most of them in games the Colts went on to lose. In a troubling pattern, the Colts repeatedly squandered the first half of a game, often falling so far behind that despite second half rallies, they could not overcome the deficit. Freeney set an NFL rookie record in 2002 with 9 forced fumbles, three of which occurred in a single game against former Syracuse football teammate, Donovan McNabb. Freeney was the runner up for the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award.

The Colts finished the season 14–5 - and won the AFC South with a regular season record of 12-4. Peyton Manning was named co-MVP of the NFL, along with Tennessee Titans quarterback Steve McNair, and In the playoffs, Manning and the Colts put an emphatic halt to talk they could not win the "big one," rolling over the Denver Broncos 41–10. They then defeated the Kansas City Chiefs, at Kansas City, 38–31. However, in the AFC title game at New England, the Patriots defense was all over the Colts. Manning threw only one touchdown pass and was intercepted four times. The Patriots won the game 24–14 putting an end to the hopes of the team and the fans that this was the season the Colts would go all the way.

Safety Bob Sanders was selected in the 2nd round (44th overall) of the 2004 NFL Draft. The 2004 season ended almost exactly the way the 2003 season had, with the New England Patriots pummeling the Colts, in the cold at Foxboro, and knocking them out of the playoffs. After a year in which the offense broke numerous team and league records, the Colts could manage to score only one field goal in their final game, losing 20-3. For the second year in a row, Peyton Manning was named the league's Most Valuable Player and his 49 regular-season touchdowns broke a record that Dan Marino had held since 1984. The wide receiving trio of Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne and Brandon Stokley each had at least 10 touchdowns and more than 1,000 yards for the season - also a league first. Edgerrin James ended the season ranked fourth in the NFL with 1,548 yards, an average of 4.6 yards per carry. And although questions continued to surround the defense, Dwight Freeney led the league with 16 sacks.

University of Michigan Cornerback Marlin Jackson was selected with the 29th overall pick of the 2005 NFL Draft. Dungy led the Colts to a franchise-record 14 wins and a third consecutive divisional title, the fifth for the club in its 22-year Indianapolis era. The Colts became the 4th team in league history to win their first 13 games, but the season ended with a loss to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Divisional Playoffs.

Manning and Marvin Harrison broke Steve Young and Jerry Rice's NFL record for most touchdowns by a quarterback-receiver tandem, notching their 86th in a Monday Night home game against St. Louis Rams in week 6. Two weeks later Peyton Manning logged his first victory at New England against the Patriots, ending a six game New England win streak. After defeating Jacksonville in week 14 they became only the fourth team in NFL history to reach a record of 13–0 and clinched home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The dream of a perfect record for the Colts ended the next week however as the San Diego Chargers defeated the Colts 26–17.

In week 16, the Colts played without coach Tony Dungy following the suicide of his son James earlier in the week. With the team resting most of their key players, the Colts lost their second straight to the eventual NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks. Dungy returned to the sidelines for the last regular season game as the Colts beat the Arizona Cardinals 17–13 while resting most of the team's usual starters. The team's final record of 14–2 marked the best 16-game season in the franchise's history.

On January 15, 2006, the Colts were eliminated in the divisional round by the eventual Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers, 21–18. Trailing 21–10 late in the game, the Colts regained possession and put 8 points on the board to make it 21–18. After a Jerome Bettis fumble on the goal line, Nick Harper picked up the fumble and almost ran it back, but was tackled at the 40 yard line by Ben Roethlisberger. The Colts then drove down the field, only to have Mike Vanderjagt miss a 46-yard field goal attempt wide right.

Runningback Joseph Addai was selected in the first round (30th overall pick) of the 2006 NFL Draft out of Louisiana State University. After becoming the first team in NFL history to begin two consecutive seasons by winning nine games, the Colts proceeded to lose three of the next four, largely due to the league's worst run defense. However, they still captured their fourth consecutive AFC South title by defeating the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football in Week 15 of the season with, ironically, a strong showing from their defense. The Colts finished the season with a 12–4 record, giving them the number three seed in the playoffs. The record also marked their fifth consecutive season with ten victories or more. In week 13 against the Titans, the quarterback-wide receiver combination of Manning to Harrison became the all time leader in touchdowns in NFL History.

In the Colts' first-round playoff game, they defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 23-8, despite Peyton Manning throwing three interceptions. The Colts defense managed to hold the Chiefs to 44 yards on the ground and 2 yards passing in the first half. The Chiefs did not earn a first down until 3:33 remained in the third quarter.

The Colts defeated the Baltimore Ravens 15-6 in the division playoff round, thanks to kicker Adam Vinatieri's five field goals and another impressive defensive showing. They played the New England Patriots at home in the AFC title game for the rights to the Super Bowl; it was the Colts' third conference championship game in the Indianapolis era. The game marked the first time that the AFC title game was played in a domed stadium. After trailing at the end of the first half, 21–3, the Colts stormed back, defeating the arch-rival Patriots for the third consecutive time. With a final score of 38–34, the 18-point comeback was the largest ever in an NFL conference championship game, and tied the record for the fourth largest NFL postseason comeback.

The Colts defeated the Chicago Bears 29-17 on February 4, 2007 in Dolphin Stadium, after overcoming a rocky start that saw the Bears' Devin Hester return the opening kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown and the Colts' Peyton Manning throw an early interception. Rain fell throughout the game, for the first time in Super Bowl history, significantly contributing to the six turnovers committed by both teams in the first half. Peyton Manning was awarded the MVP after completing 25 of 38 passes for 247 yards and a touchdown, caught by Reggie Wayne.

Colts' running backs Dominic Rhodes and Joseph Addai combined for 190 rushing yards and a touchdown, while kicker Adam Vinatieri converted 3 of his 4 field goal attempts. Defensively, safety Bob Sanders and cornerback Kelvin Hayden each intercepted Bears' quarterback Rex Grossman late in the game, with Hayden returning his for 56 yards and a touchdown, essentially sealing the Colts' victory.

Indianapolis became the first "dome team" to win a Super Bowl in an outdoor stadium, the first to win in the rain, and the first to win after having the statistically worst rushing defense in the league during the regular season. Tony Dungy became only the third man to have won the Super Bowl as both a head coach {XLI} and a player {XIII} (along with Tom Flores {IV-player, XV and XVIII-coach} and Mike Ditka {VI-player, XX-coach}), as well as the first African-American Head Coach to win a Super Bowl (a distinction that would have occurred regardless of which team won, as the Bears were coached by another African-American coach, Lovie Smith). With the win the Colts became the only team to date to win a Super Bowl from the AFC South. Also the Colts have made it to the Super Bowl three times, all three in Miami.

Ohio State Wide Receiver Anthony Gonzalez was selected with the 32nd pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. Earlier on February 19, 2007, the Colts placed the franchise tag on Freeney following the expiration of his rookie contract. This move allowed Bill Polian and the Colts front office time to work on a long term contract. On July 13, 2007 Dwight Freeney signed a six-year, $72 million contract with $30 million in guarantees making Freeney the highest paid defensive player in the NFL. In 2007, the Colts finished 13-3, winning a club-record fifth straight division title and becoming the first NFL team with five consecutive seasons with 12+ victories and became one of four NFL teams to open three consecutive seasons with 5-0 starts in topping Tampa Bay, 33-14. Indianapolis joined Green Bay (1929-31), Minnesota (1973-75) and St. Louis (1999-2001) with three straight 5-0 starts. And then becoming the first team in 76 years to start three consecutive seasons with 7-0 starts. Peyton Manning (288) broke the club record for career touchdown passes held by Johnny Unitas (287), while Tony Dungy notched his 74th win to break the franchise record he had shared with Don Shula (73) and Ted Marchibroda (73). The club fell in the Divisional Playoffs to San Diego, 28-24. Dungy became the only coach in Colts history to post 10+ wins and earn playoff appearances in six straight seasons.

Arizona State Offensive Guard Mike Pollak was taken with the Colts second round selection (59th overall) in the 2008 NFL Draft. On January 21, 2008 Tony Dungy announced he would return for at least one more season. The Colts also announced that Assistant Head Coach Jim Caldwell would be promoted to Associate Head Coach and would assume the position of Colts Head Coach whenever Tony Dungy decided to retire. The 2008 season was the Colts' inaugural season playing at the newly completed Lucas Oil Stadium. 2008 was the first season that the Colts did not win the AFC South title. After a 3-4 start on the season, the Colts went on a nine-game winning streak and finished the season at 12-4 and earned a wild card berth in the playoffs. They extended their league mark with six consecutive 12+ victory seasons. The club became the first in NFL history to win at least seven consecutive games in five consecutive seasons. QB Peyton Manning won his third AP NFL MVP award. Indianapolis fell in the Wild Card Playoffs in overtime at San Diego, 23-17.

Tony Dungy retired on January 12, 2009 and On January 13, Jim Caldwell who had been named his successor previously, was formally announced as the new Head Coach. Making the Colts franchise the first in NFL league history to hire more than one minority Head Coach.

Colts Owner Jim Irsay has tapped Colts Vice President of Football Operations Chris Polian to replace his father Bill Polian when he retires. Irsay has also said multiple times that when Peyton Manning retires, his daughter, Vice President of Marketing and Community Relations division, Casey Irsay, will take over his seat as CEO.

After 24 years of playing at the RCA Dome, the Colts moved to their new home Lucas Oil Stadium. The Colts began playing in Lucas Oil Stadium in the fall of 2008. In December 2004, the City of Indianapolis and Jim Irsay agreed to a new stadium deal that would benefit both the city and the team at an estimated cost of $675 million. In a deal estimated at $122 million, Lucas Oil Products won the naming rights to the stadium for 20 years.

It is a seven-level stadium with a retractable roof seating 63,000 for football. It can be reconfigured to seat 70,000 or more for NCAA basketball and football and concerts. It will cover 1,800,000 square feet (167,000 m2). The stadium features a retractable roof allowing the Colts to play home games outdoors for the first time since arriving in Indianapolis. Using FieldTurf, the playing surface will be roughly 25 ft (7.6 m) below ground level. The new stadium will be bigger and better than the RCA Dome in many ways, including: 58 permanent concession stands, 90 portable concession stands, 13 escalators, 11 passenger elevators, 800 restrooms, high definition scoreboards and replay monitors and 142 luxury suites. Other than being the home of the Colts, the stadium will host games in both the Men's and Women's NCAA Basketball Tournaments and will serve as the back up host for all NCAA Final Four Tournaments. It will also host numerous events and conventions. The stadium will host the Super Bowl for the 2012 season (Super Bowl XLVI) and has a potential economic impact estimated at $286,000,001.

In an ironic twist, a company based near Baltimore, "Controlled Demolition", oversaw the demolition of the RCA Dome. "It's a little ironic that a demolition company from Baltimore had the opportunity to take down the stadium to where the Colts fled when they left Baltimore," said Mark Loizeaux, president of Controlled Demolition and a Baltimore Ravens fan.

The Colts' flagship station from 1984-1998 and again starting in the 2007 season is WIBC 1070AM (renamed WFNI as of December 26, 2007); under the new contract, games are simulcast on WLHK 97.1 FM. From 1998 through 2006, the Colts' flagship station was WFBQ 94.7FM (with additional programming on WNDE 1260AM). Bob Lamey is the team's play-by-play announcer, holding that title from 1984 to 1991 and again since 1995. Former Colts offensive lineman Will Wolford serves as color commentator. Former head coach Ted Marchibroda of both Baltimore and Indianapolis Colts franchises, who served as color commentator from 1999 to 2006, serves as an analyst on their pre-game show. Mike Jansen serves as the public address announcer at all Colts home games. Mike has been the public address announcer since the 1998 season.

Preseason games not shown on national television are seen locally on WTTV-4, "Indiana's 4." Indiana Hoosiers announcer Don Fischer provides play-by-play. Regular-season Monday Night and NFL Network games are simulcast on WNDY-23 and WTHR-13, respectively.

To the top



Source : Wikipedia