Indianapolis Colts Team Guide
The Indianapolis Colts are one of the proudest franchises in football, having been to and won numerous titles. This is one of the few franchises with two Hall of Fame-caliber players from multiple positions, and in the modern-day NFL, the Colts have been an example for other teams to live by.
Should you plan on betting on the Colts, refer to this page for updated stats, records, and analysis, as well as detailed team history.
Indianapolis Colts Overview and Key Information
The Indianapolis Colts are a team that’s Maryland-born. In 1953, the Baltimore Colts made their NFL debut and won three NFL Championships before the 1970 NFL-AFL merger.
Since then, the Colts have won two Super Bowl championships, one as the Baltimore Colts in 1970 at Super Bowl V and the other as the Indianapolis Colts after the franchise relocated in 1984.
The second title was at Super Bowl XLI in 2006 when Peyton Manning was at the height of his career, earning MVP honors and adding his name to a long list of franchise records.
Although the last few seasons have been less than stellar for the team, they’ve still had plenty of success in the 21st century. The Colts have made 13 playoff appearances over the past 17 years, winning nine AFC South division championships and two conference championships.
After six years with the Indianapolis team, Chuck Pagano was replaced with new head coach Frank Reich, who took over starting in the 2018 season. The Colts will, once again, be making Lucas Oil Stadium their home turf.
- AFC South
- Current Team Location
- Indianapolis, Indiana
- Lucas Oil Stadium
- Head Coach
- Frank Reich
- Jim Irsay
- Team Value (Forbes 2018)
- $2.38 billion (20th)
Indianapolis Colts Team History
While the Colts have always been the Colts, they’re initially a team from Baltimore. The Baltimore Colts joined the NFL in 1953 and made their home at Memorial Stadium for 31 seasons from 1953 through ’83.
The Baltimore Colts moved to Indianapolis for the 1984 season, but it wasn’t a typical relocation. The Colts owner, Jim Irsay, and the city of Baltimore had various discussions, disputes, and legal proceedings in the works. Even though the team departed for Indiana, a final settlement wasn’t reached until March of 1986.
The RCA Dome was the Colts’ first stadium in Indianapolis, and the Baltimore Colts were immediately renamed to the Indianapolis Colts. On the field, the Indy newcomers struggled at first, with only one first-place divisional title and post-season from 1978 through 1994.
Super Bowl Appearances and Playoff History
From 1958 through 1968, the Baltimore Colts had won three NFL Championships with five playoff appearances. In 1968 and 1970, the Colts earned two trips to the Super Bowl. They lost to the Jets in Super Bowl III (16-7). But in 1970, the Colts claimed their first Super Bowl championship at Super Bowl V, defeating the Cowboys 16-13.
The Colts hit their stride starting in the mid-‘90s. From 1995 through 2017, the Indianapolis Colts have made 16 playoff appearances, winning the AFC East in 1999. The NFL structure then shifted in 2002, and the Colts were placed into the AFC South, claiming nine divisional championship titles.
In 2006, quarterback Peyton Manning led the Colts to their second Super Bowl win in franchise history in Super Bowl XLI. The Colts defeated the Chicago Bears by a score of 29-17, also giving Peyton Manning the Super Bowl MVP title.
Another Super Bowl appearance followed in 2009. But even though Peyton Manning earned another MVP nod, the New Orleans Saints won the championship game 31-17.
- Super Bowl Appearances: 2009, 2006, 1970, 1968
- Super Bowl Championships: 2006 (XLI), 1970 (V)
- AFC Conference Championships: 2009, 2006, 1970
- AFC South Championships: 2014, 2013, 2010, 2009, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003
- Playoff Appearances: 2018, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2000, 1999, 1996, 1995, 1987, 1977, 1976, 1975, 1971, 1970, 1968, 1965, 1964, 1959, 1958
Home Stadium – Lucas Oil Stadium
- Inaugurated: 2008
- Capacity: 67,000
- Grass or Turf: Turf
As the Baltimore Colts, the team stayed put for 31 years at Memorial Stadium.
When the team from Baltimore moved to Indianapolis, the RCA Dome became their home from 1984 through 2007. But even before the Colts won their second Super Bowl in 2006, construction had already begun on a brand-new facility just a block away from the Dome.
Lucas Oil Stadium features a retractable roof and a retractable north window that provides a view of downtown Indianapolis. There are 139 suites and an underground walkway that connects the stadium to the Indiana Convention Center.
When the Colts aren’t in town, the stadium is also used for concerts, soccer, supercross, and other special events.
- Stadium Address: Lucas Oil Stadium, 500 S Capitol Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46225
- Mailing Address: Indianapolis Colts, 7001 West 56th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46254
- Phone: 317-297-2658
Indianapolis Colts Head Coaches
The Colts have had some award-winning coaches over the years, and their high level of success dates all the way back to the 1950s. Here’s a look at the most impactful Colts head coaches in team history.
You may not know of Ewbank unless you love NFL history, but he was the second ever Colts coach and helped Baltimore to their first two NFL titles. The Colts enjoyed four winning seasons under Ewbank, who went on to coach the New York Jets and — oddly enough — beat the Colts in Super Bowl III.
While the legendary Shula is best known for his time with the Miami Dolphins, Colts fans also know him from his early days as leader of the Baltimore rendition of the Colts.
Don Shula was honored in both 1964 and 1968 as NFL Coach of the Year by the AP and Sporting News. He never led the Colts to a title, but he did get to an NFL championship game and also ran into old Colts coach Weeb Ewbank in the third-ever Super Bowl.
Shula ended up having more success in South Beach, but he still paid his dues in the NFL in Baltimore. Two title game appearances, two division titles, and six winning seasons make him one of the more successful Colts coaches in team history.
His stay with the Colts didn’t last long, but Don McCafferty picked up where Don Shula left off and turned the Colts into a title winner. The Colts won Super Bowl V the very next season upon Shula’s exit, while McCafferty got them back to the AFC title game again in year two.
McCafferty would be replaced mid-way through the 1972 season, but he deserves a nod for continuing an elite winning tradition and landing the Colts their first Lombardi Trophy.
Ted Marchibroda doesn’t get a ton of credit for his time with the Colts, but he had some fantastic seasons when the team was still in Baltimore. Marchibroda accepted four Coach of the Year honors in 1975 and produced three straight 10+ win seasons to get his Colts career started.
The Colts fell off from that point on, and Marchibroda never generated a Super Bowl appearance, but he did get to the 1995 AFC title game and pushed the Colts into the playoffs four different times.
Marchibroda’s accomplishments are a little more impressive when you consider he split his time at the helm over two very different decades (‘70s and ‘90s).
Jim Mora gave football fans that epic “playoffs?” rant and two winning seasons, but the next Colts head coach worth talking about is the great Tony Dungy
Dungy held the head spot from 2002 through 2008, earning a Super Bowl championship in 2006 at Super Bowl XLI. A defensive guru, Dungy’s teams were highly successful, securing five AFC South division crowns and advancing to postseason play in all seven seasons he roamed the sidelines.
Dungy got Indy that second elusive Lombardi Trophy and also helped the Colts reach the AFC title game two different times.
It’s not fair to completely disregard Jim Caldwell (got the Colts to Super Bowl XLIV) or Chuck Pagano (three playoff wins), but they don’t quite stack up with the rest of the Colts coaches in team history.
Looking to the future, Frank Reich was named new head coach for the Indianapolis Colts for the 2018 season. Reich is a former quarterback, spending most of his career with the Buffalo Bills as a backup to Jim Kelly. He retired with the Detroit Lions in 1998 and began his coaching career with the Colts in 2008 as the offensive coaching staff assistant.
Since then, Reich has held various NFL coaching jobs with the Colts, Cardinals, Chargers, and Eagles. His position with the Colts is his first head coaching spot.
Indianapolis Colts’ Last Five Seasons
Indianapolis Colts’ All-Time Career Leaders
|Passing Yards||Peyton Manning||54,828||1998-10|
|Passing Touchdowns||Peyton Manning||399||1998-10|
|Rushing Yards||Edgerrin James||9,226||1999-05|
|Rushing Touchdowns||Edgerrin James||64||1999-05|
|Receiving Yards||Marvin Harrison||14,580||1996-08|
|Receiving Touchdowns||Marvin Harrison||128||1996-08|
From Johnny Unitas to Peyton Manning, Colts history is loaded with iconic names who have put up big numbers and/or helped the franchise win in the postseason.
The list is long, but here are a few of the biggest names in Colts history.
Peyton Manning is considered to be one of the best quarterbacks of all time. The former Tennessee Volunteer was the Colts’ first overall pick in the 1998 NFL draft. Manning put in 18 years in the NFL, 14 with the Colts. He was named the Super Bowl MVP of Super Bowl XLI in 2006 and again in ’09. He’s a five-time NFL MVP spanning the 2003 through 2013 seasons.
Manning set NFL records for 71,940 career passing yards and 539 career passing touchdowns. He also tied the record for seven touchdown passes in a game. The renowned QB was the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year twice, the NFL Comeback Player of the Year in 2012, and the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year in 2013. He retired after the 2015 season with the Broncos. Peyton Manning was named to the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team and is a member of the Indianapolis Colts Ring of Honor. The Colts retired his #18.
Reggie Wayne is another Indianapolis Colts Ring of Honor member. The wide receiver and “career Colt” (2001-14) was drafted by Indianapolis in the first round of the 2001 NFL Draft out of the University of Miami. He was signed by the Patriots in 2015 but asked for a release from the team before the start of the season and never played a game in a New England jersey.
Reggie was part of the Super Bowl XLI team and was named to the Pro Bowl six times. In 2007, he was the NFL’s receiving yards leader and still ranks tenth in the NFL for receiving yards and seventh for career receptions. In 2014, Wayne broke Peyton Manning’s franchise records for games (209) and wins (142).
Johnny Unitas started with the Colts franchise in its early years in Baltimore. While the quarterback had every intention of playing for the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame, Coach Frank Leahy thought he was too skinny and didn’t see the potential. So, Johnny ended up as a Louisville Cardinal before the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted him in the ninth round in 1955. He was released from the Steelers and joined the Baltimore Colts in ’56.
During his first NFL season, he threw a touchdown pass in the last game of the season that started a 47-game streak. He also set a rookie record with a 55.6% completion mark. Unitas led the Colts to three NFL championships. He was both the NFL’s passing yards leader and passing touchdown leader four times.
Johnny made the Pro Bowl ten times, was the 1970 NFL Man of the Year, and three-time AP NFL Most Valuable Player. He was a Colt from 1956 through 1972 but retired in ’73 with the San Diego Chargers. Johnny Unitas was named to the NFL 1960s All-Decade Team and the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team. His number 19 was retired by the Colts.
Wide receiver Marvin Harrison was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the first round of the 1996 draft out of Syracuse University. He was part of the Colts Super Bowl championship team in 2006, and many people consider Harrison to be one of the greatest wide receivers in NFL history. His entire NFL career was with the Indianapolis Colts from 1996 through 2008. Harrison was the NFL’s receptions leader in both 2000 and 2002 and the NFL receiving yards leader in 1999 and 2002.
He was picked for the Pro Bowl eight seasons in a row and was a three-time First-Team All-Pro. Marvin Harrison and Peyton Manning hold the NFL record for most completions (953) between a wide receiver and quarterback. Harrison has a long list of other NFL records attached to his name. He retired with 1,102 receptions, 14,580 receiving yards, and 128 receiving TDs. Harrison was named to both the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team and the Indianapolis Colts Ring of Honor.
Edgerrin James is the all-time rushing leader for the Indianapolis Colts. The running back was the fourth overall draft pick in 1999, selected by the Indianapolis Colts. James previously played at the University of Miami and ranked third amongst all Miami players for rushing yards. He was subsequently inducted into the university’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.
Edgerrin spent seven seasons with the Colts, was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1999, and also established himself as the NFL’s rushing yards leader his first two seasons. James was a four-time Pro Bowl pick and First-Team All-Pro in 1999 and 2005. He was named to the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team and is a member of the Indianapolis Colts Ring of Honor. After the 2005 season, James spent three years with the Arizona Cardinals before retiring in 2009 with the Seattle Seahawks.
With the Peyton Manning era winding down, the Colts made the bold move to tank during the 2012 NFL Draft and nabbed Stanford’s Andrew Luck as their future franchise passer. Indy made the dynamic quarterback the first overall pick in that year’s draft, and he responded immediately with over 4,300 passing yards and 23 touchdowns in his rookie season.
Indy was instantly successful with Luck under center, as the Colts went 11-5 in each of his first three seasons. Despite missing much of two different seasons, Luck has been statistically dominant and already ranks near the top of most of Indy’s passing categories.
Indianapolis Colts Trivia
Peyton Manning holds numerous impressive records over a long career. One he still owns is interceptions thrown (28) by a quarterback during his rookie season.
Don Shula played for the Colts, coached the Colts, and in 1971, he beat them en route to his first Super Bowl win (with Miami).
Former Colts wide receiver Marvin Harrison holds the record for catches (143) in a single season.
Alan Ameche is forever embedded in NFL and Colts history. He’s famous for scoring the winning touchdown in the 1958 NFL Championship game, providing the winning points in the league’s first-ever “sudden death” overtime game.
Indy was part of the “Blooper Bowl,” which is notoriously known for its unreal combination of bad calls, terrible play, and turnovers. It’s also referred to as the “Blunder Bowl,” and some players following the game felt it was even rigged.
Nobody has won the NFL MVP more than former Colts great Peyton Manning. While one of his wins came in Denver, he holds the record for most won by one player with five.
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