Indianapolis Colts

The Indianapolis Colts are a member of the AFC South, and the team furthest north of any of the four teams. The Colts have been a member of the National Football League since 1953, playing in the Western Conference until 1969, then moving to the American Football Conference in 1970, following the merger. Of course, the franchise started in Baltimore, before moving to Indianapolis after the 1983 season. The Colts were part of the AFC East from 1970-2001, and then moved to the AFC South. Let’s take a look at some of the most important information on the Indianapolis Colts.

Lucas Oil Stadium is the Home of the Colts

The Indianapolis Colts started playing games at the old Memorial Stadium, and did that until 1983. Then, the RCA Dame came into play, and was around until 2007. 2008 was the start of Lucas Oil Stadium, and that’s where the Colts currently play.

Lucas Oil Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium located in downtown Indianapolis. Lucas Oil obviously grabbed naming rights for the venue. Many call the location the “Luke” or even “The House that Peyton built” in reference to long-time quarterback Peyton Manning. Ground was broken on Lucas Oil Stadium in 2005, and it was first opened in 2008. For football games, the venue can host 63,000, and sometimes up to 70,000.

The first game ever played at Lucas Oil Stadium was a high school football game. The first Colts game came as a preseason game against the Bills. The first regular season game came against the Bears, which the Colts lost.

Obviously, Lucas Oil Stadium has seen tons of football, but other things like concerts, NCAA Tournament Final Four, and big soccer events have taken place there as well. Also, Bands of American Grand Championships are held at Lucas Oil Stadium as well. The first ever concert was Kenny Chesney, in September of 2008.

Why the Colts And Who Are They?

When the Colts were founded in 1953, they obviously played their first 30 seasons in Baltimore. The name “Colts” was for a Baltimore history of horse breeding and racing. Like many teams in the league, the team had a fan contest for the naming of the team. This was one by Charles Evans. When they started, the Colts wore green and silver uniforms.

Historical Records for the Indianapolis Colts

The Colts actually have a long history of winning. In fact, heading into the 2023 season, the Colts have nearly 550 wins as a franchise. They also have won 23 playoff games, and of course, 2 Super Bowl wins since the merger, and 2 losses.

Peyton Manning is in the record book for many achievements, and certainly dominates the Colts record book. He finished with nearly 55,000 passing yards and 399 touchdowns. His favorite target Marvin Harrison caught 1,102 passes for 128 yards, and Edgerrin James, the talented running back, finished with 800 yards shy of 10,000 and 64 touchdowns.

On the special teams side, Adam Vinatieri, a long-time Colts finished with 1,515 points. Tony Dungy is known as one of the winningest coaches of all time, with 85 wins in 112 games as the Colts head coach.

Heading into the 2023 season, the Colts have seen one of the most playoff appearances of any team, with 29. In fact, the Colts made the postseason every season from 2002-2010.

Super Bowl Titles for the Colts

The Colts have three pre-NFL merger championships. Those came back to back in 1958 and 1959 and then again in 1968. Since the merger, the Colts have had two Super Bowl titles. The first game in Super Bowl V in 1970.

This game was a defensive battle in Miami. The Colts of Baltimore, at the time, trailed in this game 13-6 heading into the fourth quarter, on a field goal with five seconds left in the game. This win came in front of nearly 80,000 fans. The Colts won this one without Johnny Unitas, who left late in the second quarter with an injury. This is the only Super Bowl that the MVP was awarded to the losing team. Chuck Howley of the Cowboys won the award.

It took 36 years, but the Colts won Super Bowl XLI on February 4th, back in Miami. Peyton Manning was the MVP, as the team won for the first team in Indianapolis. The Colts beat the Bears 29-17, despite seeing the Bears score 14 first-quarter points. Indianapolis forced five turnovers in the game, and picked off a pass for a touchdown. This game saw nearly 75,000 fans in attendance.

Famous Quarterbacks for the Indianapolis Colts

The Colts, from both Baltimore and Indianapolis, have seen some sensational quarterbacks leading their team. Peyton Manning is the most famous of those, but Johnny Unitas rivals that as well. Manning started 208 games, while Unitas was at 182. Manning finished with 399 touchdowns, with Unitas settling in at 296. Manning also threw much fewer interceptions, with 198, and Unitas at 246.

Outside of those two, though, there are some good names on the list. Next on the list is Bert Jones, who started 92 games and threw 122 touchdowns. Andrew Luck, who cut his own career short by retiring, is fourth with 86 starts, and 171 touchdowns. Rounding out the Top 4 is Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh made 46 starts for the Colts, but 53 overall games.

When it comes to postseason wins, with Baltimore, Unitas went 6-2, while Earl Morrall went 2-1, and Tom Matte and Bert Jones combined for 0-4. When it comes to Indianapolis, Peyton Manning obviously has had the most success. But, even at that, Manning went 9-10. Before his time, Jack Trudeau lost his only postseason start, while Jim Harbaugh went 2-2. Following Manning, Andrew Luck went 4-4 in his career, and Phillip Rivers lost his only start in 2020.

Other names on the list; are Jeff George, Jack Trudeau, Jacoby Brissett, Carson Wenz, Phillip Rivers, Matt Hasselbeck, and Nick Foles to name a few.

Indianapolis Colts Hall of Famers

When discussing Hall of Famers, since the franchise originated in Baltimore, the Hall of Famers from both Baltimore and Indianapolis are included. The Colts have 15 players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. They also have five coaches and executives in as well.

The first player inducted from the Colts into the Hall of Fame was defensive tackle, Art Donovan. Donovan spent the 1953-1961 seasons with the Colts. He was later inducted in 1968. Next came fullback Joe Perry. Perry played just two seasons with the Colts, but was inducted in 1969. The other played inducted before the merger to the National Football League were wide receiver, Raymond Berry, tight end John Mackey, halfback Lenny Moore, defensive end Gino Marchetti, offensive lineman Jim Parker, and of course, quarterback Johnny Unitas. All of those guys played portions, or all, before the merger into the NFL.

Since the merger, the list of players inducted is impressive. The running back from 1987-1991, Eric Dickerson, was inducted in 1999. Another running back, Marshall Faulk, got into the Hall of Fame in 2011. Of course, quarterback Peyton Manning, who spent parts of 13 seasons with the Colts, was recently inducted in 2012. Richard Dent, who had a cup of the tea with the Colts in 1996, was inducted in 2011. Marvin Harrison and Edgerrin James, both part of the electric Colts offenses in the late 1990s and early 2000’s are both in. Harrison was inducted in 2016, and James went in 2020.

The five coaches and executives include Wayne Millner, a defensive back coach in 1950; Weeb Ewbank, head coach from 1954-1962; Don Shula, coach during 1963-1969; Bill Polican, president and GM during the 1998-2011 seasons; and the latest – Tony Dungy, coach from 2002-2008, was inducted in 2016.

The Colts also have their own Ring of Honor, and they have seen 15 inductees into that, with the most recent coming in 2021 with defensive end Robert Mathis getting in.

Final Indianapolis Colts Tidbits

Many do not realize the Indianapolis Colts have a mascot. Blue, is the official mascot of the Indianapolis Colts. He is blue horse that always wears a white Colts jersey with the horseshoe on the front. Blue is a fan favorite and often seen around Indianapolis at events.

Many talk about Tony Dungy and his success as the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. While Dungy was very successful in winning a Super Bowl, the Colts have seen three head coaches since him, and they all went above .500. The last head coach in Colts history to finish under .500 in his career was Lindy Infante, whole won just 12 of 32 games.

Lastly, Keith Molesworth was the first head coach of the Colts, but lasted just 12 games. That paved a path for Weeb Ewbank, who was successful in his tenure, including winning the AP a NFL Coach of the Year. Don Shula was next, and won at a 72% clip in just shy of 100 games.