|Teams involved||Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots|
October 4, 1970|
Colts 14, Patriots 6
|Number of meetings||76 meetings|
|Most recent meeting||
November 18, 2012|
Patriots 59, Colts 24
|All-time series||Patriots, 47-29|
Patriots 2 - Colts 1
Colts 38, Patriots 34
|Largest victory||Patriots 42, Colts 3 (1974)|
Patriots, 3 wins|
|Playoff and Championship Success|
The Colts–Patriots rivalry is a rivalry that is considered one of the most famous in the NFL. 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.
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. Since 2003, 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 1998–2012 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.
|Patriots wins||Ties||Colts wins||Patriots points||Colts points|
|Postseason Meeting||Tie||Overtime Result|
1970s (Colts 11-9)
|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)
|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)
|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)
|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)
|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|
- 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.
- 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!"
- 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. Star quarterback Tom Brady of the Patriots missed this game with a serious knee injury.
- 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. Jarrett Bell of USA Today claimed the coach had "outsmarted himself," while Bill Simmons, ESPN.com writer and Patriots fan, asked "What the fuck 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 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; Gronkowski was sidelined until Week 17 against Miami.
Because the Texans, one of the Colts' division rivals, won their division just like the Patriots did, and due to the fact that all four AFC East teams won't be matched up against all AFC South teams until 2015, there will be no regular season meeting between both teams for the first time since 2002, the first year of the NFL's current division alignment.
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") 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.
- 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 2012; however he was cut before taking a snap in 2012 training camp.
- Peyton Manning was released by the Colts and picked up by the Broncos in 2011; in 2013 former Patriots WR Wes Welker was acquired by Denver as well.
Appearances in advertising
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 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).
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. In the piece Bill Belichick is quoted as calling the "film" hilarious.
Notes and references