The rivalry between the Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots of the National Football League is one of the NFL's most famed rivalries of the 2000s. The two teams combined for four Super Bowl victories (three by the Patriots) and six American Football Conference Championships since 2001, while both are noted for their organizational excellence.
The nature of this rivalry is somewhat ironic because while the Colts and Patriots were AFC East division rivals from 1970 to 2001 (dating back to the Colts' time in Baltimore), their intensified enmity wasn't prevalent until Indianapolis was moved into the newly formed AFC South following the 2001 season as part of the NFL's realignment. Since 2002 (the only season since realignment in which they did not meet) the rivalry has been bitterly close: following New England's 31-24 win in 2010 the Patriots lead the series with eight wins (two in the playoffs) versus five wins (one playoff) for the Colts, and the Patriots hold a lead in points scored, 401-335.
The modern matchup is often headlined as a contest between Pro Bowl quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, who together have won six NFL MVP awards in eight years (2003-2010; four of which by Manning and two by Brady). Tom Brady received his first start against the Colts after an injury to then-starter Drew Bledsoe, and proceeded to defeat the Colts in his first six games against them in the next years, including the 2003 AFC Championship game and a 2004 AFC Divisional playoff game. The Colts won the next three matches, notching two regular season victories and a win in the 2006 AFC Championship game on the way to their win in Super Bowl XLI.
|Patriots wins||Ties||Colts wins||Patriots points||Colts points|
|Post Season Meeting||Tied Game||Overtime Result|
|Oct. 4, 1970||Harvard Stadium||Baltimore Colts||14-6|
|Oct. 25, 1970||Memorial Stadium (Baltimore)||Baltimore Colts||27-3|
|Oct. 3, 1971||Schaefer Stadium||Baltimore Colts||23-3|
|Dec. 19, 1971||Memorial Stadium (Baltimore)||New England Patriots||21-17|
|Nov. 6, 1972||Schaefer Stadium||Baltimore Colts||24-17|
|Nov. 26, 1972||Memorial Stadium (Baltimore)||Baltimore Colts||31-0|
|Oct. 7, 1973||Schaefer Stadium||New England Patriots||24-16|
|Dec. 16, 1973||Memorial Stadium (Baltimore)||Baltimore Colts||18-13|
|Oct. 6, 1974||Schaefer Stadium||New England Patriots||42-3|
|Nov. 24, 1974||Memorial Stadium (Baltimore)||New England Patriots||27-17|
|Oct. 19, 1975||Schaefer Stadium||New England Patriots||21-10|
|Dec. 21, 1975||Memorial Stadium (Baltimore)||Baltimore Colts||34-21|
|Sep. 12, 1976||Schaefer Stadium||Baltimore Colts||27-13|
|Nov. 14, 1976||Memorial Stadium (Baltimore)||New England Patriots||21-14|
|Oct. 23, 1977||Schaefer Stadium||New England Patriots||17-3|
|Dec. 18, 1977||Memorial Stadium (Baltimore)||Baltimore Colts||30-24|
|Sep. 18, 1978||Schaefer Stadium||Baltimore Colts||34-27|
|Nov. 26, 1978||Memorial Stadium (Baltimore)||New England Patriots||35-14|
|Oct. 28, 1979||Memorial Stadium (Baltimore)||Baltimore Colts||31-26|
|Nov. 18, 1979||Schaefer Stadium||New England Patriots||50-21|
|Oct. 19, 1980||Memorial Stadium (Baltimore)||New England Patriots||37-21|
|Nov. 23, 1980||Schaefer Stadium||New England Patriots||47-21|
|Sep. 6, 1981||Schaefer Stadium||Baltimore Colts||29-28|
|Dec. 20, 1981||Memorial Stadium (Baltimore)||Baltimore Colts||23-21|
|Sep. 12, 1982||Memorial Stadium (Baltimore)||New England Patriots||24-13|
|Sep. 4, 1983||Sullivan Stadium||Baltimore Colts||29-23|
|Oct. 9, 1983||Memorial Stadium (Baltimore)||Baltimore Colts||12-7|
|Nov. 18, 1984||Hoosier Dome||New England Patriots||50-17|
|Dec. 16, 1984||Sullivan Stadium||New England Patriots||16-10|
|Nov. 10, 1985||Sullivan Stadium||New England Patriots||34-15|
|Dec. 1, 1985||Hoosier Dome||New England Patriots||38-31|
|Sep. 7, 1986||Sullivan Stadium||New England Patriots||33-3|
|Nov. 9, 1986||Hoosier Dome||New England Patriots||30-21|
|Oct. 25, 1987||Hoosier Dome||Indianapolis Colts||30-16|
|Nov. 22, 1987||Sullivan Stadium||New England Patriots||24-0|
|Oct. 2, 1988||Sullivan Stadium||New England Patriots||21-17|
|Nov. 27, 1988||Hoosier Dome||Indianapolis Colts||24-21|
|Oct. 29, 1989||Hoosier Dome||New England Patriots||23-20|
|Dec. 3, 1989||Sullivan Stadium||New England Patriots||22-16|
|Sep. 16, 1990||Hoosier Dome||New England Patriots||16-14|
|Nov. 11, 1990||Foxboro Stadium||Indianapolis Colts||13-10|
|Sep. 1, 1991||Hoosier Dome||New England Patriots||16-7|
|Dec. 8, 1991||Foxboro Stadium||New England Patriots||23-17|
|Nov. 15, 1992||Hoosier Dome||New England Patriots||37-34|
|Dec. 6, 1992||Foxboro Stadium||Indianapolis Colts||6-0|
|Oct. 31, 1993||Hoosier Dome||Indianapolis Colts||9-6|
|Dec. 26, 1993||Foxboro Stadium||New England Patriots||38-0|
|Nov. 27, 1994||RCA Dome||New England Patriots||12-10|
|Dec. 11, 1994||Foxboro Stadium||New England Patriots||28-13|
|Nov. 19, 1995||Foxboro Stadium||Indianapolis Colts||24-10|
|Dec. 23, 1995||RCA Dome||Indianapolis Colts||10-7|
|Oct. 20, 1996||RCA Dome||New England Patriots||27-9|
|Nov. 24, 1996||Foxboro Stadium||New England Patriots||27-13|
|Sep. 7, 1997||RCA Dome||New England Patriots||31-6|
|Nov. 30, 1997||Foxboro Stadium||New England Patriots||20-17|
|Sep. 13, 1998||Foxboro Stadium||New England Patriots||29-6|
|Nov. 1, 1998||RCA Dome||New England Patriots||21-16|
|Sep. 19, 1999||Foxboro Stadium||New England Patriots||31-28|
|Dec. 12, 1999||RCA Dome||Indianapolis Colts||20-15|
|Oct. 8, 2000||Foxboro Stadium||New England Patriots||24-16|
|Oct. 22, 2000||RCA Dome||Indianapolis Colts||30-23|
|Sep. 30, 2001||Foxboro Stadium||New England Patriots||44-13|
|Oct. 21, 2001||RCA Dome||New England Patriots||38-17|
|Nov. 30, 2003||RCA Dome||New England Patriots||38-34|
|Jan. 18, 2004||Gillette Stadium||New England Patriots||24-14|
|Sep. 9, 2004||Gillette Stadium||New England Patriots||27-24|
|Jan. 16, 2005||Gillette Stadium||New England Patriots||20-3|
|Nov. 7, 2005||Gillette Stadium||Indianapolis Colts||40-21|
|Nov. 5, 2006||Gillette Stadium||Indianapolis Colts||27-20|
|Jan. 21, 2007||RCA Dome||Indianapolis Colts||38-34|
|Nov. 4, 2007||RCA Dome||New England Patriots||24-20|
|Nov. 2, 2008||Lucas Oil Stadium||Indianapolis Colts||18-15|
|Nov. 15, 2009||Lucas Oil Stadium||Indianapolis Colts||35-34|
|Nov. 21, 2010||Gillette Stadium||New England Patriots||31-28|
|Dec. 4, 2011||Gillette Stadium||New England Patriots||31-24|
- August 13, 1967 (preseason):
The 1967 football season for both the NFL and the American Football League opened with the agreement for the pending merger of the two leagues already in place. On August 13, 1967 the Boston Patriots hosted the Baltimore Colts at Harvard Stadium.
- October 4, 1970:
The Patriots and Colts met for the first time in NFL regular-season play at Harvard Stadium in week three of the 1970 season. The Colts jumped to a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, but the Patriots closed to a 7-6 fourth-quarter score on two Gino Cappelletti field goals. On following series, Johnny Unitas finished off the Patriots with a 55-yard touchdown pass and a 14-6 Colts win.
- November 14, 1976:
Battling the Colts for the AFC East title, the Patriots traveled to Baltimore with a 6-3 record (including a 27-13 Colts victory in Foxborough in week one of the season). The Patriots picked off Bert Jones twice, leading to a 21-14 win. The win accelerated a six-game winning streak for the Patriots and their first playoff berth since 1963. 
- October 9, 1983:
The Patriots lost to the Baltimore Colts 12-7 in Baltimore; it turned out to be the final meeting between the Patriots and the Baltimore Colts, as the team moved to Indianapolis for 1984. It was also New England's last game in Baltimore until the Baltimore Ravens debuted in 1996.
- November 18, 1984:
In their first meeting at Indianapolis, the Patriots made their first trip to the Hoosier Dome and defeated the Colts 50-17. The win was the second for new coach Raymond Berry, a former Colts receiver.
- November 15, 1992:
The 4-5 Colts hosted the 0-9 Patriots and the two teams lit up the Hoosier Dome scoreboard in an overtime thriller. The game lead tied or changed 10 times and the Patriots scored twice off Jeff George interceptions. Patriots kicker Charlie Baumann accounted for the Patriots' final nine points of a 37-34 overtime triumph that came amid illness to coach Dick McPherson.
- September 19 , 1999 :
Peyton Manning made his second career trip to Foxborough and led the Colts to a 28-7 halftime lead. The Patriots, behind Drew Bledsoe, scored 17 unanswered points in the fourth off Colt turnovers and the game-winning Adam Vinatieri field goal came in the final thirty seconds. On December 12, the Colts hosted the Patriots, holding a 10-2 record to New England's 7-5. The Colts earned a 20-15 win, the first for Manning over New England after three straight losses and the first win over the Patriots for the Manning family (Peyton's dad Archie was 0-3 lifetime against the Patriots with the New Orleans Saints and Houston Oilers.
- September 30, 2001 :
Week three of the 2001 season, Tom Brady made his first NFL start when the 2-0 Colts came to Foxborough. The Colts were defeated 44-13 as Peyton Manning threw three interceptions, two returned for touchdowns. On October 21, the Patriots traveled to the RCA Dome and won 38-17, where David Patten became the first player since Walter Payton in 1979 to score touchdowns three separate ways: throwing a 60-yard pass to Troy Brown, a 91-yard reception from Brady, and a rushing score.
- November 7, 2005:
Heading into the Monday Night duel between the Colts (8-0) and the two-time defending Super Bowl champion Patriots (4-3), QB Peyton Manning was win less against New England in Foxborough (0-7). The Colts beat the Patriots, 40-21. In the game's closing minutes, veteran QB Doug Flutie replaced Brady, and Colts president Bill Polian was heard in the press box yelling "break his leg!"
- November 4, 2007:
The 8-0 Patriots faced the 7-0 Colts in the RCA Dome, the latest in a season that two undefeated teams had ever faced off. The Patriots had scored over 34 points in every game but the Colts defense stifled the Patriots attack and Indianapolis clawed to a 20-10 lead in the fourth. But a 58-yard Tom Brady bomb to Randy Moss was caught at the Colts 3-yard line, leading to a Wes Welker touchdown catch. After stopping Manning and forcing a punt, a strong kick return by Welker set up a three-play touchdown drive highlighted by a 32-yard catch by Donte Stallworth and a Kevin Faulk touchdown catch. Manning was hit and threw the ball into the hands of Rosevelt Colvin on the next Colts drive and the Patriots killed the remaining clock for the 24-20 win.
- November 2, 2008:
The Colts won 18-15 in a game which ultimately helped cost the Patriots a playoff spot as a result of a lesser conference record than that of the third-seeded Miami Dolphins and the sixth-seeded Baltimore Ravens. The Patriots would end up with the record for the most wins in a regular season by a team not qualifying for the postseason.
- November 15, 2009:
The undefeated Indianapolis Colts again played the 6-2 New England Patriots in what was Tom Brady's first start at Lucas Oil Stadium. With 4:12 left in the fourth quarter, the Patriots had pulled away 34-21. However, thanks to a leap in field position due to a pass interference call, Colts RB Joseph Addai scored a touchdown on a four-yard run with 2:23 left to make the score 34-28. Backed up to their 28 and needing to reach the 30 for a first down, Bill Belichick elected to go for it on 4th and 2 instead of punting. Brady completed a pass to halfback Kevin Faulk, but Faulk appeared not to make a clean catch and was immediately driven backwards. Officials determined that Faulk had not secured possession of the ball until he was short of the first down marker, resulting in a turnover on downs, and giving Manning and the Colts the ball on the Patriots' own 29-yard line with two minutes remaining. After three plays, Manning completed a one-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Wayne, making the score even at 34-34 with 13 seconds left. Kicker Matt Stover, filling in for Adam Vinatieri, made the extra point to make the score 35-34 and secured the victory for Indianapolis.
Belichick obliquely criticized the ball-spot on the play in his Monday morning press conference. Nevertheless, his decision was highly criticized by the media. Jarrett Bell of USA Today claimed the coach had "outsmarted himself," while Bill Simmons, ESPN.com writer and Patriots fan, asked "What the f--- was Belichick thinking" and compared the entire ordeal to "riding in the passenger seat of a friend's car and watching helplessly as he plows over a pedestrian".
- November 21, 2010:
The 6-3 Colts traveled to New England for the first time since 2006 and New England won its first home game against Indianapolis since a playoff game in 2005. Manning and his Colts were down by 17 in the 4th quarter and came back again to make it 31-28 with a few minutes left. Manning led the drive down field and it looked like the previous year's matchup all over again. However, already in great field goal range (24-yard line of New England), Manning's third interception was made by James Sanders with 32 seconds left, and it sealed the win for the Patriots who went to 8-2 while the Colts fell to second in the AFC South with a 6-4 record.
Connections between the teamsEdit
- Upton Bell was personnel director of the Colts in their first two Super Bowl appearances (III and V) and in 1971 took over as GM of the Patriots on the recommendation of Colts team owner Carroll Rosenbloom. Bell clashed with coach John Mazur because Mazur objected to Bell's policy of picking up waiver-wire free agents for him to train during the season. Eventually the two all but stopped speaking (the corridor between their two offices at Schaefer Stadium became known as "the DMZ") and Bell wanted to fire Mazur; the Patriots' board of directors agreed to the move provided the Patriots lost to the Colts by more than seven points in the 1971 season finale. Bell expected the Colts to win, since he knew the Colts team having helped build it, but instead of losing, Jim Plunkett's 88-yard touchdown pass caught by Randy Vataha made for a 21-17 Patriots win. Bell was heard furiously screaming for Vataha not to score, for the win guaranteed Mazur would continue as coach for 1972. Mazur and Bell were both released in the 1972 season.
- Ron Meyer coached the Patriots from 1982 until mid-October 1984. He became coach of the Colts in December 1986 until October 1991, leading the team to a 36-35 record and one playoff appearance, in the 1987 AFC Divisional Playoffs where the Colts lost 38-21 to the Cleveland Browns. Meyer was fired after the Colts lost their first five games of 1991. His record against the Patriots in nine games was 3-6.
- Kicker Adam Vinatieri made the iconic winning field goal against the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI with the Patriots and also played with them in three other Super Bowls (XXXI, XXXVIII, and XXXIX, winning three in total out of four. After the 2005 season, the Patriots chose not to place the franchise tag on Vinatieri as they had the year before, allowing him to become a free agent. He joined the Colts in 2006 and won the subsequent Super Bowl with them to earn his fourth ring.
- Raymond Berry was one of the most famous receivers in Colts history when they played in Baltimore. He joined the Patriots coaching staff under Chuck Fairbanks and became head coach in 1984; among his first wins was a 50-17 triumph versus the Colts in New England's first ever trip to Indianapolis. Berry went 10-2 against the Colts as Patriots head coach, including season sweeps in 1984-6 and 1989.
- Jim E. Mora worked for the Patriots in 1982 under head coach Ron Meyer and became Colts head coach 1998-2001; his record against the Patriots was 2-6.
- In 2009, the Colts finished the regular season 14-2 with the best record in the NFL, and an AP MVP award for starting quarterback Peyton Manning, while the Patriots finished the season 10-6 receiving the No. 3 seed. The exact reverse would occur the following season, with the Patriots' starting quarterback Tom Brady winning AP MVP honors. None of the teams though, would win a Super Bowl.
- The Patriots played Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium, the Colts' home field and were defeated by the New York Giants and quarterback Eli Manning, the younger brother of Peyton Manning. Manning and the Giants previously beat the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. The majority of Colts fans rooted for Eli Manning and the Giants over their arch-rivals.
Appearances in advertisingEdit
The rivalry forms the basis of a Sprint telecommunications television ad for their service providing NFL updates to cell phones. In the ad, a cell phone opens up to form a miniature NFL stadium with the Patriots logo in one end zone and the Colts logo in the other (the only scenarios in which this type of field layout would occur are the NFL Hall of Fame exhibition game and the NFL International Series). As two men watch, a winning field goal is kicked and fireworks erupt. The winner is not named but evidence suggests the Patriots, as the "game" call is by New England's radio play-by-play announcer Gil Santos.
The rivalry is also referenced in a Mastercard ad in which Peyton Manning is staying in hotels in New England, San Diego, and Cleveland while misunderstanding taunting comments made to him by fans of the opposing teams.
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Chadiha, Jeffri (2007-10-31). "Ranking the NFL's best rivalries: Where does Colts-Pats fit?". ESPN.com. http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/print?id=3086647&type=story. Retrieved 2009-01-24.
- ↑ Box Score
- ↑ New England Patriots 1992 Season box scores
- ↑ Reiss, Mike (January 31, 2007). "Polian takes stand". The Boston Globe. http://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/articles/2007/01/31/polian_takes_stand/?page=full.
- ↑ "No matter which way you dissect it, Bill Belichick made the wrong call". CNN. November 16, 2009. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/peter_king/11/15/mmqb/index.html.
- ↑ Snyder, Whitney (November 16, 2009). "Bill Belichick's 4th-And-2 Call Against Colts Debated, Derided (VIDEO)". Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/16/bill-belichicks-4th-2-cal_n_358907.html.
- ↑ Bell, Jarrett (November 17, 2009). "NFL Replay: Failed fourth down call a stain in Belichick's record". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/2009-11-17-nfl-replay_N.htm.
- ↑ http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmonsnflpicks/091120
- ↑ See "Welcome To The DMZ" in Fox, Larry (1979) The New England Patriots Triumph & Tragedy (New York: Atheneum)
- ↑ http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/redskins/colts-fans-side-with-giants-at-super-bowl-eli-peyton-jerseys-plentiful-in-indy/2012/02/05/gIQAXq6VsQ_story.html?tid=pm_sports_pop
- ↑ Sprint NFL Mobile Live service ad
- ↑ Manning New World Mastercard Ad
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