Best Indianapolis Colts Teams of All Time
This team was special in a lot of ways. First, the Colts we're seeking revenge of their 11-1-2 1967 record but we're denied a playoff berth. Second Johnny Unitas was sidelined throughout the season but the Colts' Don shula had Earl Morrall as their quarterback and all he did was leading his Colts to their best record in their team history (13-1) and Earl was named NFL MVP and Shula as NFL Coach of the year. Third, the colts we're more than Just Morral, they had all-pros in Tom Matte, John Mackey, Willie Richardson, Bob Vogel, and on defense they had Fred Miller, Mike Curtis, and Bobby Boyd. What a Colt team that was.
The 2005 Colts started the season 13-0 en route to the best record in the NFL. They won 12 games in which they never trail at any time, still an NFL record. 8 players made the Pro Bowl including the famed duo of Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison. Also in the Pro Bowl Edgerrin James, Tarik Glenn, Jeff Saturday, Dwight Freeney, Cato June, and Bob Sanders. This team would eventually paved the way for their amazing 2006 World Championship season.
It was the peak of the Colts championship era that began in 1958 on a warm December day in New York, it ended on January 17, 1971 on a nice sunny day in Miami and for a change no threat of storms. Super Bowl V was called the Blooper Bowl by many of america's leading newspapers and when the Super Bowl was played at daytime. And when the Colts we're Baltimore's team and how ironic that their World Championship was 3 months after the Baseball's Baltimore Orioles captured the only world championship Earl Weaver ever had. A Colt team frozen in time.
Many thought this was a rebuilding Colts team with Jim Caldwell as a new head coach. But some of the core from 2006 World Championship team we're still there as The Colts won their first 14 games of the season to secure the best record in the NFL that season. In the postseason, Peyton Manning along with Pro Bowlers Dallas Clark, Reggie Wayne, Jeff Saturday, Robert Mathis, Dwight Freeney and Antoine Bethea led the Colts to convincing wins over the Ravens and gained revenge against the Jets who in Game 15 ending the Colts perfect season en route to Super Bowl XLIV. A great season.
The first Baltimore Sports World Championship team and it was led by the legendary coach Weeb Ewbank. It was like a dream team led by Lenny Moore, Raymond Berry, Jim Parker, Art Donovan, Gino Marchetti, Don Joyce, Gene Lipscomb, Fuzzy Thurston, Johnny Sample, and some guy named Johnny Unitas. The Colts' 9-3 record earned them the NFL Championship and a place in Colts history and when Alan Ameche scored the game winning touchdown in overtime, the Colts were world champions.
The Colts we're primed and ready for another championship, and here in this year, one man stands above the rest,he's Johnny Unitas. In this record breaking record, Unitas tossed for 32 touchdowns, the only time in the NFL's first 40 years, that any passer tossed for 30 or more touchdown passes in a 12-game season. The Colts also led the league in offensive and defensive (I.e. opponents') passer rating en route to the Championship game rematch against the New York Giants. Trailing 9-7 in the fourth period, the Colts scored 24 unanswered points and cruised to a second straight world championship.
If you want to learn more about the 1995 Colts team that surprised the football world, look for this team as one of the 10 best cinderella NFL teams in the 90s on The Top Tens. Now as far as honors for this team, Marshall Faulk rushed for 1,000 yards while quarterback Jim Harbaugh earned honors as the NFL comeback Player of the year and led the league in passer rating 100.7. Although they did not play on ABC's Monday Night Football that season, they did played once on ESPN's Sunday Night Football.
It was a season no one saw it coming as the Colts rebounded big time from a 2-12 season to a 10-4 record AND a division title. They dropped four of its first 5 games and then won 9 straight to end the season thus it was called The Miracle on 33rd Street. led by QB Bert Jones along with Pro Bowlers George Kunz, Lydell Mitchell and John Dutton, along with Sporting News NFL Coach of the Year Ted Marchibroda. The Colts stampeded through the season beating the Miami Dolphins twice and at home in week 14, beat The New England Patriots 34-21 to become the NEW AFC East Division Champions.
Appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated for the Pro Football Preview issue was a good sign, and that's what happened to Bert Jones and the Colts. For Jones it was his best year ever as he walked away with the NFL MVP and the Colts won 11 games and the division title and then they ran into the Steelers.
It was the end of an era, just one year after their 3rd world championship, the Colts we're an aging team while the Miami Dolphins we're young and hungry and ready for their future. The Colts had one more run in their hop for their 4th World Championship. In week 13, they beat the Miami Dolphins 14-3 and thought they we're ready for the AFC East Title, but they lost one week later to the New England Patriots to settle for a wild card berth. Still one last great moment for the Colts happened when they beat the Browns in the AFC Divisional Playoffs, 20-3.
The 1977 team was in turn the beginning of the end of Colts dominance in the AFC East, General Manager Joe Thomas was fired from the team before the season began, something that would in turn haunt the team in the future. On the field, Lydell Mitchell gained 1,159 yards while Bert Jones continued to produce great numbers while his tight end Raymond Chester caught 31 passes. The Colts beat the Dolphins in Week 14 to capture its 3rd Straight AFC East Title,but after they Lost to the Oakland Raiders in the Divisional Playoffs, the Colts went into a decline and they would not have another playoff visit until 1987.