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Indianapolis Colts–New England Patriots
Indianapolis Colts Logo  New England Patriots Logo
Regular Season History
First Meeting October 4, 1970
Harvard Stadium
Boston, Massachusetts
First Result Colts 14, Patriots 6
Last Meeting November 15, 2009
Lucas Oil Stadium
Indianapolis, Indiana
Last Result Colts 35, Patriots 34
Next Meeting TBA
Rivalry status 73 meetings[1]
Largest victory Patriots 42, Colts 3 (1974)
Smallest victory Colts 29, Patriots 28 (1981)
Colts 35, Patriots 34 (2009)
Current Streak Colts W2
(2008-present)
All-Time Series Patriots 44-29
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 rivalry between the Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots of the National Football League is one of the NFL's newly revived rivalries.[2] fueled by the quarterback rivalry between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, who together have won five of the last seven NFL MVP awards (four by Manning),and four of the last seven Super Bowl victories (three by the Patriots), and both are noted for their organizational excellence.[2] Tom 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, including the 2003 AFC Championship game and a 2004 AFC Divisional game. 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. On November 2, 2008, the Colts won 18-15 in a game that was one of the reasons the Patriots failed to make the playoffs as a result of a lesser conference record against that of the third seeded Miami Dolphins and the sixth seeded Baltimore Ravens, not to mention the head-to-head record against the Colts. In the most recent game, on November 15, 2009, the Colts staged a spirited comeback to beat the Patriots 35-34. The nature of this rivalry is ironic because while the Colts and Patriots were division rivals from 1970 to 2001, it did not become prominent in league circles until after Indianapolis was supplanted into the newly-formed AFC South, following the 2001 season, as part of the NFL's realignment.[2] Since that realignment the rivalry has been bitterly close; entering the 2009 playoffs the two teams are tied 5-5, with Indianapolis holding a slim lead in points scored, 263-257,

Contents

Rivalry statistics

Patriots wins Ties Colts wins Patriots points Colts points
Regular season 42 0 28 1,638 1,306
Postseason 2 1 78 55
Total 44 0 29 1,716 1,361

Game results

Post Season Meeting Tied Game Overtime Result
Date Location Winner Score
Oct. 4, 1970 Boston Baltimore Colts 14-6
Oct. 25, 1970 Baltimore Baltimore Colts 27-3
Oct. 3, 1971 Foxborough Baltimore Colts 23-3
Dec. 19, 1971 Baltimore New England Patriots 21-17
Nov. 6, 1972 Foxborough Baltimore Colts 24-17
Nov. 26, 1972 Baltimore Baltimore Colts 31-0
Oct. 7, 1973 Foxborough New England Patriots 24-16
Dec. 16, 1973 Baltimore Baltimore Colts 18-13
Oct. 6, 1974 Foxborough New England Patriots 42-3
Nov. 24, 1974 Baltimore New England Patriots 27-17
Oct. 19, 1975 Foxborough New England Patriots 21-10
Dec. 21, 1975 Baltimore Baltimore Colts 34-21
Sep. 12, 1976 Foxborough Baltimore Colts 27-13
Nov. 14, 1976 Baltimore New England Patriots 21-14
Oct. 23, 1977 Foxborough New England Patriots 17-3
Dec. 18, 1977 Baltimore Baltimore Colts 30-24
Sep. 18, 1978 Foxborough Baltimore Colts 34-27
Nov. 26, 1978 Baltimore New England Patriots 35-14
Oct. 28, 1979 Baltimore Baltimore Colts 31-26
Nov. 18, 1979 Foxborough New England Patriots 50-21
Oct. 19, 1980 Baltimore New England Patriots 37-21
Nov. 23, 1980 Foxborough New England Patriots 47-21
Sep. 6, 1981 Foxborough Baltimore Colts 29-28
Dec. 20, 1981 Baltimore Baltimore Colts 23-21
Sep. 12, 1982 Baltimore New England Patriots 24-13
Sep. 4, 1983 Foxborough Baltimore Colts 29-23
Oct. 9, 1983 Baltimore Baltimore Colts 12-7
Nov. 18, 1984 Indianapolis New England Patriots 50-17
Dec. 16, 1984 Foxborough New England Patriots 16-10
Nov. 10, 1985 Foxborough New England Patriots 34-15
Dec. 1, 1985 Indianapolis New England Patriots 38-31
Sep. 7, 1986 Foxborough New England Patriots 33-3
Nov. 9, 1986 Indianapolis New England Patriots 30-21
Oct. 25, 1987 Indianapolis Indianapolis Colts 30-16
Nov. 22, 1987 Foxborough New England Patriots 24-0
Oct. 2, 1988 Foxborough New England Patriots 21-17
Nov. 27, 1988 Indianapolis Indianapolis Colts 24-21
Oct. 29, 1989 Indianapolis New England Patriots 23-20
Dec. 3, 1989 Foxborough New England Patriots 22-16
Sep. 16, 1990 Indianapolis New England Patriots 16-14
Nov. 11, 1990 Foxborough Indianapolis Colts 13-10
Sep. 1, 1991 Indianapolis New England Patriots 16-7
Dec. 8, 1991 Foxborough New England Patriots 23-17
Nov. 15, 1992 Indianapolis New England Patriots 37-34
Dec. 6, 1992 Foxborough Indianapolis Colts 6-0
Oct. 31, 1993 Indianapolis Indianapolis Colts 9-6
Dec. 26, 1993 Foxborough New England Patriots 38-0
Nov. 27, 1994 Indianapolis New England Patriots 12-10
Dec. 11, 1994 Foxborough New England Patriots 28-13
Nov. 19, 1995 Foxborough Indianapolis Colts 24-10
Dec. 23, 1995 Indianapolis Indianapolis Colts 10-7
Oct. 20, 1996 Indianapolis New England Patriots 27-9
Nov. 24, 1996 Foxborough New England Patriots 27-13
Sep. 7, 1997 Indianapolis New England Patriots 31-6
Nov. 30, 1997 Foxborough New England Patriots 20-17
Sep. 13, 1998 Foxborough New England Patriots 29-6
Nov. 1, 1998 Indianapolis New England Patriots 21-16
Sep. 19, 1999 Foxborough New England Patriots 31-28
Dec. 12, 1999 Indianapolis Indianapolis Colts 20-15
Oct. 8, 2000 Foxborough New England Patriots 24-16
Oct. 22, 2000 Indianapolis Indianapolis Colts 30-23
Sep. 30, 2001 Foxborough New England Patriots 44-13
Oct. 21, 2001 Indianapolis New England Patriots 38-17
Nov. 30, 2003 Indianapolis New England Patriots 38-34
Jan. 18, 2004 Foxborough New England Patriots 24-14
Sep. 9, 2004 Foxborough New England Patriots 27-24
Jan. 16, 2005 Foxborough New England Patriots 20-3
Nov. 7, 2005 Foxborough Indianapolis Colts 40-21
Nov. 5, 2006 Foxborough Indianapolis Colts 27-20
Jan. 21, 2007 Indianapolis Indianapolis Colts 38-34
Nov. 4, 2007 Indianapolis New England Patriots 24-20
Nov. 2, 2008 Indianapolis Indianapolis Colts 18-15
Nov. 15, 2009 Indianapolis Indianapolis Colts 35-34

Notable moments

  • August 13, 1967 (preseason):

The 1967 football season for both the NFL and the American Football League opened with inter-league preseason games with 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 as Earl Morrall completed a 13-yard touchdown to Eddie Hinton in the first quarter, but the Patriots clawed to a 7-6 fourth-quarter score on two Gino Cappelletti field goals. On the series following Cappelletti's second field goal, Johnny Unitas finished off the Patriots with a 55-yard touchdown to Roy Jefferson and a 14-6 Colts win.

  • December 19, 1971:

In the final week of the 1971 season the Patriots stood at 5-8 with the Baltimore Colts fighting for a playoff spot. At Baltimore's War Memorial Stadium the Patriots raced to a 14-3 lead on a 1-yard Jim Plunkett touchdown to Randy Vataha and a 60-yard interception-return touchdown from John Outlaw. The Colts closed to 14-10 as Eddie Hinton caught a 31-yard score from Johnny Unitas, but in the fourth, the Patriots finished off the Colts on an 88-yard touchdown from Plunkett to Vataha in the final two minutes, securing a 21-17 Patriots win.[3]

  • October 7, 1973:

The 0-3 Patriots under new coach Chuck Fairbanks hosted the 1-2 Baltimore Colts, and after a first-quarter exchange of field goals the Patriots took over, rushing for 146 yards. John Tarver scored twice for the Patriots while receiver Randy Vataha recovered a fumble and ran 46 yards for the touchdown. Fumbles were a problem for the Patriots in this game as they had eight, losing three. They nonetheless scored the first win for coach Fairbanks 24-16. [4]

  • December 21, 1975:

The Colts intercepted Steve Grogan five times, defeating the Patriots 34-21. The Patriots led 21-20 in the fourth until Lydell Mitchell ran in an 11-yard score, then Nelson Munsey picked off Grogan for a 30-yard touchdown. The win clinched the AFC East title for the Colts and ended a three-game Patriots win streak in the rivalry.

  • 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 Foxboro in Week One). The Patriots picked off Bert Jones twice and stormed to a 21-14 win behind 141 rushing yards by Don Calhoun and two rushing touchdowns by Steve Grogan. The win accelerated a six-game winning streak for the Patriots to their first playoff berth since 1963. [5]

  • December 17, 1977:

Eliminated from the division race after the Colts lost to the Lions on the final play of the game (a blocked punt return for a touchdown) the previous Sunday combined with a Dolphins win over the Bills the day before, the Patriots lost 30-24 to the Colts in Baltimore. The Patriots led 21-3 in the third quarter after Raymond Clayborn returned a Colts punt 101 yards for a touchdown. But the Colts answered with three Bert Jones touchdown throws and a Don McCauley rushing score to overtake the Patriots. Late in the game, referee Fred Silva ruled a dead-ball non-fumble on a Bert Jones (replay-confirming) fumble at the Patriot 10-yard line--seconds later McCauley scored the game-winner. Patriots coach Chuck Fairbanks later acknowledged getting conservative too early.

  • September 18, 1978:

On Monday Night Football, the Colts stormed to a 34-27 win in a rain-soaked Schaefer Stadium behind the one-man scoring stampede of Joe Washington. Washington threw a 54-yard score to Roger Carr, then caught a 23-yarder from Bill Troup, and following a Sam Cunningham touchdown ran back the ensuing kickoff 90 yards. Washington single-handedly accounted for 20 of the Colts' 27 fourth-quarter points (Troup's 67-yard score to Carr accounting for the other seven points). [6]

The Baltimore Colts' only two wins of the 1981 campaign came by defeating the Patriots. First they won 29-28 in the season opener in Foxboro as Randy McMillan and Curtis Dickey rushed for 226 yards and three touchdowns while kicker Mike Wood connected on three field goals. In the regular-season finale in Baltimore (unofficially dubbed "The Toilet Bowl" because both clubs finished with 2-14 records and were battling to get the #1 draft pick for 1982) the Patriots committed four turnovers to two for the Colts and Baltimore won 23-21 as Bert Jones threw touchdowns to Don McCauley and Ray Butler while Matt Cavanaugh threw three picks.

  • 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 against a Baltimore NFL team until the Baltimore Ravens debuted in 1996.

  • November 18, 1984:

In their first meeting with the now-Indianapolis Colts, the Patriots made their first trip to the Hoosier Dome and slaughtered the Colts 50-17; the win was the second for new coach Raymond Berry. Tony Eason threw four touchdowns, three of them to Derrick Ramsey and another to Stanley Morgan.

  • October 25, 1987:

Following six straight losses, the Colts scored their first win over the Patriots since moving to Indianapolis, winning 30-16 behind three Dean Biasucci field goals and touchdowns by Matt Bouza, Albert Bentley, and Donnell Thompson off a fumble return.

The season proved to be a tight contest between both clubs and this was reflected in their season series. On October 2 the 1-3 Colts traveled to Sullivan Stadium to face the 1-3 Patriots. Tom Ramsey started for New England but completed only eight of 19 passes and was picked off once; Doug Flutie thus took over. Bob Perryman and Eric Dickerson traded second-quarter touchdowns and the two offenses ground to a halt until the fourth quarter. Following a Stanley Morgan touchdown catch Chris Chandler led two scoring drives ending in a Dean Biasucci field goal and a 48-yard touchdown to Bill Brooks, but Flutie answered with a drive ending in his 13-yard rushing score and a 21-17 final. The Colts lost the next week in Buffalo and then won five straight while the Patriots won five of their next seven before the two teams met at the Hoosier Dome. With the Patriots 7-5, the Colts 6-6, and both teams fighting for a wild card spot, the Colts hold on to beat the Patriots, 24-21. The Patriots scored on Sammy Martin's 95-yard kick return, then Eric Dickerson, Mosi Tatupu, and Bob Perryman ran in touchdowns. The game lead tied or changed on every score and Indy finished the scoring on Mark Boyer's 18-yard touchdown catch and Dean Biasucci's 28-yard field goal. Doug Flutie led the Patriots on a furious final drive to the Colt 10-yard line, but Jason Staurovsky missed a 27-yard field goal as time expired. Indy's subsequent loss to the Jets and New England's loss to the Broncos ended both teams' season at 9-7 and tied for second in the AFC East.

  • December 8, 1991:

The Colts stormed to a 17-3 lead after three quarters in Foxboro Stadium, but Hugh Millen (21-40 for 330 yards) led two fourth-quarter touchdown drives that included the game-tying score to rookie tight end Ben Coates, and then ended the game in overtime on a 45-yard strike to Michael Timpson for a 23-17 Patriots win.

  • 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 ten times and the Patriots scored twice off Jeff George interceptions (by defensive back David Pool and linebacker Chris Singleton). Scott Zolak of the Patriots threw two touchdowns (to Ben Coates and Greg McMurtry while Jeff George managed 330 passing yards and two scores (to Rodney Culver and Kevin Cash). 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.[7]

1994 proved to be a pivotal year for both clubs. The Patriots acquired new ownership in Robert Kraft and surged to a 10-6 record after five losing seasons. The Colts meanwhile dumped quarterback Jeff George and acquired Jim Harbaugh and after going 14-34 the previous four seasons the Colts surged to 8-8; both teams would combine for 26 seasons of .500 or better with four Super Bowl wins covering the 1994-2009 period. The Patriots swept the Colts in this season, winning 12-10 in Indianapolis while winning 28-13 in Foxboro; New England and Indianapolis thus finished 2nd and 3rd in the AFC East.

In their run to their first playoff appearance since 1987, the Colts swept the Patriots, beating them 24-10 in Foxboro and a playoff-clinching 10-7 win at Indianapolis in the regular season finale. Jim Harbaugh had a combined 457 passing yards and three touchdowns while Drew Bledsoe, playing much of the season with a separated shoulder, managed only 366 passing yards and three picks.

On September 19 Peyton Manning made his second career trip to Foxboro. He led the Colts to a 28-7 halftime lead with three touchdowns to Marvin Harrison (105 total yards) while Edgerrin James (118 rushing yards) ran in a one-yard score in the second quarter. The Patriots behind Drew Bledsoe scored a second-quarter touchdown to Shawn Jefferson and a third-quarter touchdown to Terry Allen, then in the fourth the Patriots scored 17 unanswered points off Colt turnovers (fumbles by Marcus Pollard and James) and a three-and-out; Bledsoe threw two touchdowns to Ben Coates and the game-winning Adam Vinatieri field goal came in the final thirty seconds. On December 12 the Colts hosted the Patriots, holding a 10-2 record to New England's slumping 7-5 record. James rushed for 101 yards and caught a two-yard score from Manning as the Colts never trailed en route to a 20-15 win, 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 Saints and Oilers. The Colts finished the season 13-3 while the Patriots fell to 8-8.

On September 30, Week Three of the 2001 season, Tom Brady made his first NFL start when the 2-0 Colts came to Foxboro. The Colts had scored 87 points in their two wins but were buried 44-13 as Brady threw for 168 yards and Peyton Manning threw three interceptions, two returned for touchdowns. On October 21 the Patriots traveled to the RCA Dome, where David Patten became the first player since Walter Payton in 1979 to score touchdowns three separate ways - by throwing (a 60-yard bomb to Troy Brown), catching (a 91-yard strike from Brady), and rushing. He accounted for the Patriots' first 21 points in a 38-17 rout in the RCA Dome. Peyton Manning managed one touchdown throw and was sacked four times.

  • November 30, 2003:

In their first trip to the RCA Dome since 2001 the Patriots rushed to a 31-10 lead but surrendered three Manning touchdowns (two of them off Tom Brady interceptions), only to triumph 38-34 on a goalline stand in the final minute.

  • September 9, 2004:

The Patriots opened the 2004 NFL season on a Thursday Night game in Foxboro celebrating the raising of the Super Bowl XXXVIII banner. The Colts tried to spoil the party, taking a 17-13 halftime lead, but Tom Brady threw two third-quarter touchdowns. Deion Branch then muffed a Colts punt, which helped lead to a Peyton Manning touchdown to Brandon Stokley early in the fourth. In the final minute the Colts reached the Patriots' red zone but on third down Manning was sacked well outside the Pats' 30 by Willie McGinest. The Colts tried a 48-yard field goal by kicker Mike Vanderjagt; he'd connected on 42 straight field goals but this time shanked it, ending the game in a 27-24 Patriots win.

  • November 7, 2005:

Heading into the Monday Night duel between the Colts (8-0) and the two-time defending Super Bowl champion Patriots (4-3), QB Peyton Manning was winless (0-7) against New England in Foxborough. This time around, Indianapolis's defense had improved while (at that point in the season) the Pats were dealing with key injuries. The Colts helped Peyton beat the Patriots in Foxborough 40-21 as Manning threw for 321 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception. RB Edgerrin James rushed 34 times for 104 yards and a touchdown, while WRs Marvin Harrison (9 catches, 128 yards, & a touchdown) and Reggie Wayne (9 catches, 124 yards, & a touchdown) helped shred the Patriots secondary. In the game's closing minutes, when QB Doug Flutie replaced Brady, Colts president Bill Polian was heard in the press box yelling "break his leg!"[8]

  • November 5, 2006:

The Colts (8-0) entered Foxborough to take on the Patriots (6-1) in a Sunday night clash and keep their perfect season alive. Despite Indianapolis having the league's worst run-defense, New England didn't capitalize as RB Laurence Maroney only got 63 yards on 13 carries. QB Peyton Manning had another spectacular game throwing for 326 yards, 2 touchdowns, and an interception, while kicker Adam Vinatieri (in his return to Gillette Stadium as a Colt) went 2 for 4 on field goals. Despite Patriots WR Troy Brown surpassing Stanley Morgan for the most receptions in franchise history with 538 catches, QB Tom Brady had a miserable game as he threw for 201 yards and 4 interceptions, as Indianapolis won a hard-fought battle 27-20.

  • January 21, 2007 AFC Championship Game:

In the game considered by many to be the turning point of the greatest rivalry of the decade, the Indianapolis Colts defeated the New England Patriots 38-34. The game started off with the teams exchanging punts before Corey Dillon broke a 35 yard run to put the ball on the Colts 13. The first score of the game came on a fumbled exchange between Tom Brady and running back Laurence Maroney in which the ball eventually squirted into the endzone and was recovered by Patriots offensive lineman Logan Mankins. After a long Colts drive that resulted in a field goal, the Patriots responded with a long drive of their own culminating in a seven yard touchdown run by Dillon. On the second play of the Colts next drive, New England cornerback Asante Samuel intercepted a Peyton Manning pass intended for Marvin Harrison and took it back 39 yards for a touchdown and put the Patriots up 21-3 with 9:25 remaining in the second quarter. The Colts’ ideas of finally defeating the Patriots in the postseason were looking bleak. The Colts added an Adam Vinatieri 26 yard field goal just eleven seconds before the half making the halftime score 21-6. Indianapolis received the opening kickoff of the second half and engineered a 14 play, 76 yard drive ending with a one yard quarterback sneak by Peyton Manning, the first Indianapolis touchdown in over six quarters. After a New England three and out, the Colts again drove down the field and scored another touchdown, this time on a pass to defensive lineman, and former New England Patriot, Dan Klecko who had lined up as the fullback on the play. After the Colts were successful in converting for two points on a pass to Marvin Harrison, suddenly to score was tied, 21-21 with 4:00 left in the third quarter. On the ensuing kickoff Patriots cornerback Ellis Hobbs returned the ball 80 yards to the Colts 21 yard line setting up six yard touchdown pass from Brady to Jabar Gaffney. Gaffney was pushed out before getting both feet in bounds and after the Colts challenged the ruling on the field of a touchdown, the referees decided that Gaffney would have indeed had both feet in bounds had he not been pushed out. Patriots 28, Colts 21. Indianapolis responded taking the ball down the field and scoring a touchdown on a one yard run by running back Dominic Rhodes in which he fumbled into the endzone and the ball was recovered by Colts center Jeff Saturday. It remains the only game in NFL Postseason history in which two offensive lineman scored touchdowns. After the Vinatieri extra point the game was again tied, 28-28. After exchanging punts and the Patriots adding two field goals to Indianapolis’s one the score was Patriots 34, Colts 31. The Colts took over with 3:49 left in the game but were forced to punt after three plays highlighted by the third down play in which Manning injured the thumb on his throwing hand on the helmet of left guard Tarik Glenn. Manning was seen on the sideline after the incident famously telling backup quarterback Jim Sorgi to “Be ready” in case Manning was unable to return to the field. After the Colts forced a New England punt, Manning returned to the field with 2:17 left in the game, and 80 yards separating him and the Colts from the Super Bowl. After Manning completed a 32 yard pass to tight end Bryon Fletcher, he then completed a short pass over the middle to Reggie Wayne. Wayne took the reception and started running up field before being hit and momentarily losing control of the football in mid-air surrounded by Patriot defenders. Miraculously, Wayne was able to retrieve the levitating football and secured it before being tackled right before the two minute warning. After two Joseph Addai running plays the Colts had the ball third and two at the New England three yard line. Manning then took the third down snap and handed to Addai who was able to run through a gaping hole created by a block from Jeff Saturday on New England nose tackle Vince Wilfork. The Colts finally had the lead for the first time in the American Football Conference Championship game, but Tom Brady and the New England Patriots still had one minute remaining on the clock to try and retrieve the lead. After consecutive completions to tight end Benjamin Watson and fullback Heath Evans the Patriots took a timeout, first and ten at the Indianapolis 45 yard line. With 24 seconds left, Brady dropped back to pass looking over the middle for Watson again, but Indianapolis cornerback Marlin Jackson stepped in, intercepted the pass, and sealed the AFC Championship for the team from the Circle City. Manning finished the game 27 for 47, 349 yards, and one touchdown. Brady finished 21 for 34, 232 yards, and one touchdown. The Indianapolis Colts were finally going to the Super Bowl.

  • November 4, 2007:

In the most-anticipated regular season game in many years, the Patriots made their fifth trip of the decade to the RCA Dome holding an 8-0 record to face the 7-0 Colts. The Colts played very physical football and overcame a Rodney Harrison interception of Peyton Manning to lead 20-10 in the final 10 minutes. But Tom Brady led two touchdown drives, aided by deep kick returns by Wes Welker, to take a 24-20 lead in the final three minutes. Manning was hit and fumbled to Rosevelt Colvin, ending the Colts' final drive.

  • November 2, 2008

After losing Tom Brady in the first quarter of the first game of the season, the 5-2 Patriots, under the leadership of quarterback Matt Cassel traveled to the new Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis to visit a 3-4 Colts team. After several struggles earlier in the season, Colts quarterback Peyton Manning appeared to regain some precision throwing for 254 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Patriots employed a very conservative offense for Matt Cassel running on third and long or very short passes as opposed to Tom Brady airing it out. Former Patriot Adam Vinatieri proved to be the difference maker, kicking a 52-yard field goal and giving the Colts the lead with 8:05 left in the 4th quarter. A dropped potential TD pass to Jabar Gaffney and a Cassel interception near the end of the 4th quarter proved to be too costly for the Patriots, who lost 18-15.

  • November 15, 2009

The undefeated Indianapolis Colts again played the 6-2 New England Patriots at home, where early in the game it appeared to be a close game. However, in the second quarter New England scored 17 points to Indianapolis's 7. This would put the game into halftime with a score of 24-14 New England. Coming back from a bad second quarter, Indianapolis played spirited defensive football, but could not score. However, their defense kept the high-powered Pats' offense grounded. In the fourth quarter, Tom Brady threw a touchdown pass to Randy Moss to make the score 31-14. But, on the next drive, Pierre Garcon hauled in a 29 yard TD for the Colts. With 4:12 left on the clock, Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 36 yard field goal, and it appeared as if the Patriots may have wrapped up another game in Indy. However, thanks to a leap in field position due to a pass interference call on Darius Butler, Joseph Addai scored a touchdown on a four yard rush 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. Tom Brady completed a pass to Kevin Faulk, but Faulk could not make a clean catch and was immediately driven backwards by Colts' safety Melvin Bullitt. 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 2:00 remaining. With a 15 yard pass to Reggie Wayne followed by a 13 yard run by Joseph Addai, the Colts were on the one yard line with 1:15 remaining in the game. After Addai was stopped for no gain on first and goal, Manning completed a touchdown pass to Wayne, his second of the game, making the score even at 34-34 with 13 seconds left. Kicker Matt Stover, filling in for Adam Vinatieri, made the extra point which made the score 35-34. The Colts sealed the victory after the kickoff and the Patriots final play that netted nine yards.

Connections between the two teams

Upton Bell was personnel director of the Colts in their loss in Super Bowl III and win in Super Bowl 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")[9] 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 secured 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.

Dan Klecko won Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIX with the Patriots (2003-4), and Super Bowl XLI with the Colts (2006).

Adam Vinatieri won three Super Bowls (2001, 2003-4) with the Patriots. 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 that season's Super Bowl. Ironically, in his four career meetings with the Patriots, Vinatieri has missed three field goal tries (8/11) versus just one miss against the Colts by his New England successor, Stephen Gostkowski (7/8); Vinatieri did kick the game-winning field goal against the Patriots in 2008.

Dexter Reid won one Super Bowl with the Patriots (2004) before signing with the Colts.

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.

Appearances in advertising

The rivalry forms the basis of a Sprint telecommunications television ad for their service providing NFL updates to cell phones. [10] In the ad a cell phone opens up to form a miniature NFL stadium with the Patriots logo in one endzone and the Colts logo in the other; as two men watch, a winning field goal is kicked and fireworks erupt. The "winner" is not named but is presumably 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, Cleveland (winless in five career matchups against Manning's Colts), and San Diego (which also has a bitter rivalry with Manning's Colts) and deliberately misunderstands taunting comments made to him by fans of their cities' teams.[11]

See also

Notes and references

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