American Football Database
Regular Season History
First Meeting October 4, 1970
Harvard Stadium
Boston, Massachusetts
First Result Colts 14, Patriots 6
Last Meeting November 18, 2012
Gillette Stadium
Foxborough, Massachusetts
Last Result Patriots 59, Colts 24
Next Meeting To Be Determined
Rivalry status 76 meetings[1]
Largest victory Patriots 42, Colts 3 (1974)
Smallest victory Colts 29, Patriots 28 (1981)
Colts 35, Patriots 34 (2009)
Current Streak Patriots, 3
All-Time Series Patriots, 47-29
Post Season History
Last Meeting January 21, 2007
Last Result Colts 38, Patriots 34
All-Time Postseason Series Patriots 2 - Colts 1
Playoff and Championship Success
Super Bowl Wins Patriots: XXXVI (2001), XXXVIII (2003), XXXIX (2004)
Colts: V (1970), XLI (2006)

The Colts–Patriots rivalry is a rivalry that is considered one of the most famous in the NFL.[2] The two teams combined for four Super Bowl victories (three by the Patriots) and seven AFC Championships since 2001, while both are noted for their organizational excellence.[2]

The nature of this rivalry is somewhat ironic because while the Colts and Patriots were AFC East division rivals from 1970–2001 (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.[2] Since 2003 (the teams did not meet in 2002, the only season since realignment that this has occurred) the rivalry has been bitterly close: following New England's 59-24 win in 2012 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, 368-329.

The modern matchup spanning the period of 19982012 was usually headlined as a contest between quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, who together won six NFL MVP awards in eight years (2003–10; four by Manning). In September 2001 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 2004 Divisional game was notable as the Patriots held a record breaking Colts offense to 3 points on snowy cold night in Foxborough. 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. Since then, the Patriots have won the four out of the next six games from 2007–12. The quarterback angle of the rivalry changed in 2012 with the surge to success of Colts rookie Andrew Luck.

Rivalry statistics

Patriots wins Ties Colts wins Patriots points Colts points
Regular season 45 0 28 1,759 1,382
Postseason 2 1 78 55
Total 47 0 29 1,837 1,437

Game results

Postseason Meeting Tie Overtime Result

1970s (Colts 11-9)

Year Date Winner Result Loser Location
1970 October 4 Baltimore Colts 14-6 Boston Patriots Harvard Stadium
October 25 Baltimore Colts 27-3 Boston Patriots Memorial Stadium (Baltimore)
1971 October 3 Baltimore Colts 23-3 New England Patriots Schaefer Stadium
December 19 New England Patriots 21-17 Baltimore Colts Memorial Stadium (Baltimore)
1972 November 6 Baltimore Colts 24-17 New England Patriots Schaefer Stadium
November 26 Baltimore Colts 31-0 New England Patriots Memorial Stadium (Baltimore)
1973 October 7 New England Patriots 24-16 Baltimore Colts Schaefer Stadium
December 16 Baltimore Colts 18-13 New England Patriots Memorial Stadium (Baltimore)
1974 October 6 New England Patriots 42-3 Baltimore Colts Schaefer Stadium
November 24 New England Patriots 27-17 Baltimore Colts Memorial Stadium (Baltimore)
1975 October 19 New England Patriots 21-10 Baltimore Colts Schaefer Stadium
December 21 Baltimore Colts 34-21 New England Patriots Memorial Stadium (Baltimore)
1976 September 12 Baltimore Colts 27-13 New England Patriots Schaefer Stadium
November 14 New England Patriots 21-14 Baltimore Colts Memorial Stadium (Baltimore)
1977 October 23 New England Patriots 17-3 Baltimore Colts Schaefer Stadium
December 18 Baltimore Colts 30-24 New England Patriots Memorial Stadium (Baltimore)
1978 September 18 Baltimore Colts 34-27 New England Patriots Schaefer Stadium
November 26 New England Patriots 35-14 Baltimore Colts Memorial Stadium (Baltimore)
1979 October 28 Baltimore Colts 31-26 New England Patriots Memorial Stadium (Baltimore)
November 18 New England Patriots 50-21 Baltimore Colts Schaefer Stadium

1980s (Patriots 13-6)

Year Date Winner Result Loser Location
1980 October 19 New England Patriots 37-21 Baltimore Colts Memorial Stadium (Baltimore)
November 23 New England Patriots 47-21 Baltimore Colts Schaefer Stadium
1981 September 6 Baltimore Colts 29-28 New England Patriots Schaefer Stadium
December 20 Baltimore Colts 23-21 New England Patriots Memorial Stadium (Baltimore)
1982 September 12 New England Patriots 24-13 Baltimore Colts Memorial Stadium (Baltimore)
1983 September 4 Baltimore Colts 29-23 (OT) New England Patriots Sullivan Stadium
October 9 Baltimore Colts 12-7 New England Patriots Memorial Stadium (Baltimore)
1984 November 18 New England Patriots 50-17 Indianapolis Colts Hoosier Dome
December 16 New England Patriots 16-10 Indianapolis Colts Sullivan Stadium
1985 November 10 New England Patriots 34-15 Indianapolis Colts Sullivan Stadium
December 1 New England Patriots 38-31 Indianapolis Colts Hoosier Dome
1986 September 7 New England Patriots 33-3 Indianapolis Colts Sullivan Stadium
November 9 New England Patriots 30-21 Indianapolis Colts Hoosier Dome
1987 October 25 Indianapolis Colts 30-16 New England Patriots Hoosier Dome
November 22 New England Patriots 24-0 Indianapolis Colts Sullivan Stadium
1988 October 2 New England Patriots 21-17 Indianapolis Colts Sullivan Stadium
November 27 Indianapolis Colts 24-21 New England Patriots Hoosier Dome
1989 October 29 New England Patriots 23-20 (OT) Indianapolis Colts Hoosier Dome
December 3 New England Patriots 22-16 Indianapolis Colts Sullivan Stadium

1990s (Patriots 14-6)

Year Date Winner Result Loser Location
1990 September 16 New England Patriots 16-14 Indianapolis Colts Hoosier Dome
November 11 Indianapolis Colts 13-10 New England Patriots Foxboro Stadium
1991 September 1 New England Patriots 16-7 Indianapolis Colts Hoosier Dome
December 8 New England Patriots 23-17 (OT) Indianapolis Colts Foxboro Stadium
1992 November 15 New England Patriots 37-34 (OT) Indianapolis Colts Hoosier Dome
December 6 Indianapolis Colts 6-0 New England Patriots Foxboro Stadium
1993 October 31 Indianapolis Colts 9-6 New England Patriots Hoosier Dome
December 26 New England Patriots 38-0 Indianapolis Colts Foxboro Stadium
1994 November 27 New England Patriots 12-10 Indianapolis Colts RCA Dome
December 11 New England Patriots 28-13 Indianapolis Colts Foxboro Stadium
1995 November 19 Indianapolis Colts 24-10 New England Patriots Foxboro Stadium
December 23 Indianapolis Colts 10-7 New England Patriots RCA Dome
1996 October 20 New England Patriots 27-9 Indianapolis Colts RCA Dome
November 24 New England Patriots 27-13 Indianapolis Colts Foxboro Stadium
1997 September 7 New England Patriots 31-6 Indianapolis Colts RCA Dome
November 30 New England Patriots 20-17 Indianapolis Colts Foxboro Stadium
1998 September 13 New England Patriots 29-6 Indianapolis Colts Foxboro Stadium
November 1 New England Patriots 21-16 Indianapolis Colts RCA Dome
1999 September 19 New England Patriots 31-28 Indianapolis Colts Foxboro Stadium
December 12 Indianapolis Colts 20-15 New England Patriots RCA Dome

2000s (Patriots 8-6)

Year Date Winner Result Loser Location
2000 October 8 New England Patriots 24-16 Indianapolis Colts Foxboro Stadium
October 22 Indianapolis Colts 30-23 New England Patriots RCA Dome
2001 September 30 New England Patriots 44-13 Indianapolis Colts Foxboro Stadium
October 21 New England Patriots 38-17 Indianapolis Colts RCA Dome
2003 November 30 New England Patriots 38-34 Indianapolis Colts RCA Dome
2004 January 18 New England Patriots 24-14 Indianapolis Colts Gillette Stadium
2004 September 9 New England Patriots 27-24 Indianapolis Colts Gillette Stadium
2005 January 16 New England Patriots 20-3 Indianapolis Colts Gillette Stadium
2005 November 7 Indianapolis Colts 40-21 New England Patriots Gillette Stadium
2006 November 5 Indianapolis Colts 27-20 New England Patriots Gillette Stadium
2007 January 21 Indianapolis Colts 38-34 New England Patriots RCA Dome
2007 November 4 New England Patriots 24-20 Indianapolis Colts RCA Dome
2008 November 2 Indianapolis Colts 18-15 New England Patriots Lucas Oil Stadium
2009 November 15 Indianapolis Colts 35-34 New England Patriots Lucas Oil Stadium

2010s (Patriots 3-0)

Year Date Winner Result Loser Location
2010 November 21 New England Patriots 31-28 Indianapolis Colts Gillette Stadium
2011 December 4 New England Patriots 31-24 Indianapolis Colts Gillette Stadium
2012 November 18 New England Patriots 59-24 Indianapolis Colts Gillette Stadium

Notable games

  • 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. [3]

  • 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.[4]

  • 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.

  • December 12, 1999:

The Colts hosted the Patriots, holding a 10-2 record to New England's 7-5. The Colts earned a 20-15 win despite 344 passing yards from Drew Bledsoe. It was 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 30, 2003:

The first meeting since divisional realignment put the Colts into the now-second year AFC South, the two clubs sported 9-2 records, the latest into a season two teams with such records had met. The Patriots erupted to a 31-10 lead in the third quarter, but Peyton Manning jumped the Colts back, throwing three touchdowns to tie the game. The Patriots clawed back to a 38-34 lead but the Colts drove to the Patriots 2-yard line in the final minute, only to be stopped on four downs.

  • November 7, 2005:

Heading into the Monday Night duel between the Colts (7-0) 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!"[5]

2006 AFC Championship Game

  • 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 (4th and 2 Game):

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.[6][7] Jarrett Bell of USA Today claimed the coach had "outsmarted himself,"[8] while Bill Simmons, 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".[9]

  • 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 was intercepted by James Sanders with 32 seconds left; it was Manning's third pick of the game and the 31-28 win put the Patriots to 8-2 while the Colts fell to second in the AFC South with a 6-4 record. The game turned out to be the last game ever between the Patriots and Manning as a member of the Colts; he would miss the 2011 season due to neck surgery and was released; he then signed with the Denver Broncos and faced the Patriots in his first season there.

  • November 18, 2012:

The 6-3 Colts with rookie sensation Andrew Luck traveled to New England. The Patriots were also 6-3 and had acquired cornerback Aqib Talib from the Buccaneers following a 37-31 win over Buffalo the previous week. Because of the Colts' winning record with Luck, the game, initially scheduled for a 1 PM start, was flexed to 4:25 at the behest of CBS. The Colts raced to a 14-7 lead in the first quarter, but following a missed Stephen Gostkowski field goal attempt the game collapsed for Indianapolis. Julian Edelman ran back a Colts punt for a touchdown and ultimately finished with 222 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns. Talib intercepted Luck and ran back a 59-yard touchdown in the second quarter; at the start of the fourth Luck was intercepted by Alfonzo Dennard and Dennard ran back an 87-yard touchdown. The Patriots won 59-24 but the win proved costly; following a late Stevan Ridley score Rob Gronkowski (who'd had seven catches and two scores) suffered a broken forearm on the point after try; initial reports were that Gronkowski would be sidelined for four to six weeks.

Connections between the teams

  • 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")[10] 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.
  • Joseph Addai was the starting running back for the Colts for the most part from 2006-2011. After the 2011 season, he was released and then signed a one year contract with the Patriots in May of 2012; however he was cut before taking a snap in 2012 training camp.

Appearances in advertising

The rivalry forms the basis of a Sprint telecommunications television ad for their service providing NFL updates to cell phones.[12] 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.

Fan: "You're going down, Manning." Manning: "That's right, I am." "Fourth floor, I'm getting a massage today, I'm excited.
~Peyton Manning and a Patriots fan in a Mastercard commercial

The rivalry is also referenced in a Mastercard ad in which Peyton Manning is staying in hotels in New England as well as San Diego and Cleveland while misunderstanding taunting comments made to him by fans of the opposing teams, as well as taking their taunts literally (In New England: "Going down" to 4th floor of the hotel; Cleveland: "Don't choke on it" Planning on cutting the fruit into a fruit salad so he won't choke on it; San Diego: "Take a hike" Literally planning on taking a hike).[13]

The rivalry is referenced in billboards for the United Way's "Live United" campaign, featuring the mascots of both teams together to promote the charity to which the two teams contribute.

The rivalry is also referenced in a 2010 spoof of the movie The Blind Side titled The Dark Side made for that year's ESPY awards; the piece mixes Sandra Bullock footage from the film with new footage of Manning.[14] In the piece Bill Belichick is quoted as calling the "film" hilarious.

See also

Notes and references

  1. "Indianapolis Colts vs. New England Patriots Results". The Football Database. Retrieved 2009-11-15.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Chadiha, Jeffri (2007-10-31). "Ranking the NFL's best rivalries: Where does Colts-Pats fit?". Retrieved 2009-01-24.
  3. Box Score
  4. New England Patriots 1992 Season box scores
  5. Reiss, Mike (January 31, 2007). "Polian takes stand". The Boston Globe.
  6. "No matter which way you dissect it, Bill Belichick made the wrong call". CNN. November 16, 2009.
  7. Snyder, Whitney (November 16, 2009). "Bill Belichick's 4th-And-2 Call Against Colts Debated, Derided (VIDEO)". Huffington Post.
  8. Bell, Jarrett (November 17, 2009). "NFL Replay: Failed fourth down call a stain in Belichick's record". USA Today.
  10. See "Welcome To The DMZ" in Fox, Larry (1979) The New England Patriots Triumph & Tragedy (New York: Atheneum)
  11. .[dead link]
  12. Sprint NFL Mobile Live service ad
  13. Manning New World Mastercard Ad
  14. The Dark Side, from the 2010 ESPYs

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