New England Patriots - Rivalries - Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts Rivalry

Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts Rivalry

The Patriots rivalry with the Colts ran through the two clubs' tenure together in the AFC East (1970-2001). The two clubs clashed in several close games, such as on December 19, 1971 as a late Patriots touchdown decided a 21-17 New England win; on September 18, 1978 the Colts rallied to defeat the Patriots 34-27 on Monday Night Football on a virtual one-man scoring rampage by running back Joe Washington; on September 4, 1983 the Colts defeated the Patriots in overtime 29-23 in their final season in Baltimore. The Patriots defeated the Colts in back-to-back overtime games, 23-17 on December 8, 1991, and 37-34 on November 15, 1992.

However, it was rise of quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning in the early 2000s and the separation of the two clubs in the NFL's 2002 divisional realignment with formation of the AFC South that led to an increased rivalry between Manning's Indianapolis Colts and Brady's Patriots. The teams met three times in four years (2003, 2004, 2006) in the playoffs, with the winner going on to win that season's Super Bowl each time. The Manning portion of the rivalry began in Manning's rookie season, 1998; in 1999 Manning suffered a bitter 31-28 loss in September as the Patriots behind Drew Bledsoe erased a 28-7 Colts lead, then defeated the Patriots 20-15 in Indianapolis on December 12. The Brady-Manning portion of the rivalry began on September 30, 2001 as Brady made his first NFL start in a 44-13 Patriots win at Foxboro; on October 21 the Patriots defeated the Colts at the RCA Dome 38-17.

With the formation of the AFC South in 2002 the modern rivalry began on November 30, 2003 in a 38-34 Patriots win decided on a last-second goal line stand by the Patriots. The Colts broke a six-game Patriot winning streak in the rivalry in November 2005, then won twice in 2006; in the AFC Championship Game the Colts erased a 21-6 halftime lead; the game lead tied or changed seven times in the second half before a late touchdown led to a 38-34 Colts win. The November 4, 2007 meeting involved both teams being unbeaten to that point; the 8-0 Patriots and the 7-0 Colts. The Patriots rallied to win 24-20. The Colts won again in 2008 and then erased a large Patriots lead in 2009's 4th and 2 game. Manning's final meeting with the Patriots as a Colt came in November 2010; a late interception sealed a 31-28 Patriots win.

In 2012 the Patriots faced rookie sensation Andrew Luck on November 18; the Patriots defeated Luck's Colts 59-24.

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