Before meeting the Indianapolis Colts, there were first the Baltimore Colts, one of the most popular teams in the NFL that played their games in Baltimore, Maryland at Memorial Stadium from its founding in 1953 until its last days before evolving into the current team that is well known today. It was precisely on January 23, 1953 under the ownership of Carroll Rosenbloom that the Baltimore Colts were born, a historic team from the city of Baltimore that would mark a milestone in the history of American soccer.
After five up-and-down seasons where the team had performed consistently, the Colts won their first NFL Championship in 1958, known as "The Greatest Game Ever Played" for its dramatic conclusion with quarterback Johnny Unitas marching against the Colts in sudden-death overtime and Alan Ameche scoring the winning touchdown on a 1-yard run. Much of the credit for Baltimore's success went to Hall of Famers Johnny Unitas, running back Lenny Moore and wide receiver Raymond Berry .
After the first championship was won, the team once again posted a 9-3 record during the 1959 season and once again defeated the Giants in the NFL Championship Game to claim its second straight title. After the two years of success for the Baltimore team, they again faced up and down times where they even lost a championship game to the Green Bay Packers, it wasn't until the 1968 season when the Colts returned with a continued lead to win their third NFL championship and make their first Super Bowl (III) appearance, which they would lose to the New York Jets.
Following the creation of the American Football Conference, the Colts immediately continued an uproar in the new league, as new head coach Don McCafferty led the 1970 team to an 11-2-1 regular season record, winning the AFC East title. In the first round of the NFL Playoffs, the Colts defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 17-0; a week later, in the first AFC championship game, they beat the Oakland Raiders 27-17, earning their ticket to Super Bowl V.
The game was held on January 17, 1971 at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida, and was the first Super Bowl played on artificial turf. For the Colts, Super Bowl V represented an opportunity to redeem themselves for their humiliating loss to the New York Jets in Super Bowl III. Meanwhile, the game was an opportunity for the Cowboys to lose their nickname of "next year's champs" and their reputation of "not being able to win big games." Ultimately, the Colts defeated the Cowboys by a score of 16-13 on a field goal with 5 seconds to play.
After this relative success in the 1970s, the Colts suffered a series of disappointing seasons, often finishing in last place in their division. Attendance began to decline in the early 1970s and remained so after nine consecutive losing seasons. With the advent of the 1980s, the team's situation gradually worsened, leading up to the 1983 season, which was the last season the Colts were seen playing in Baltimore.
After the 1983 season ended, the team was moved to Indiana despite all the legal turmoil in Baltimore, bringing an end to the Baltimore Colts and beginning the era of the Indianapolis Colts.
Once settled in Indiana, in the 1985 season the team slowly began to have small glimmers, Indianapolis earned a 5-11 record with a club that ran for a major conference-leading 2,439 yards, fifth best in the NFL. Then Ron Meyer won the league title in 1987, in '88 Indianapolis won a 9-7 record and 8-8 the following season. The arrival of the nineties would not change much, the Colts would dazzle little by little with new records that were showing an improvement in the team, however, it was in 1998 when everything changed with the arrival of Jimmy Irsay to the ownership of the club and start a new era that would lead the legendary quarterback: Peyton Manning.
Jim Irsay began shaping the Colts a year after taking over for his father by firing head coach Lindy Infante and hiring Bill Polian to serve as the organization's general manager. Polian in turn hired Jim Mora (Jim Mora) to become the team's next head coach and would later select Tennessee soccer volunteer Peyton Manning.
They initially struggled during the 1998 season, winning only three games and Manning throwing a league high 28 interceptions. With the arrival of a new millennium, the 2000 and 2001 Colts were considerably less successful compared to the 1999 team and pressure began to mount on the team's management and coaching staff after a 6-10 season in 2001.
By the 2005 season the Colts began the season with a 13-0 record, and as the season progressed Manning and Marvin Harrison broke the NFL record for touchdowns by a quarterback and receiver in tandem, writing their names in golden letters in the history books. However, despite finishing the season with one of the best records of the year (14-2), the Colts fell to the Steelers in the divisional round game and would once again fall close but far short of the NFL's ante room.
After several setbacks in the Play-offs, the Colts would make it to the dream game in the 2006 season, The Colts had not played in a Super Bowl since they won Super Bowl V in the 1970 season, when the franchise still played in Baltimore. Meanwhile, the Bears reached a Super Bowl for the first time since winning Super Bowl XX in the 1985 season.
The game ended 17-29 in favor of the Indianapolis Colts, with Peyton Manning being the most valuable player of the game completing 25 of his 38 passes for 247 yards and one touchdown, with one interception.
Today, they are one of the most beloved teams in the NFL and play their home games at Lucas Oil Stadium. Although the team has been losing the prominence it once had, the Colts continue to be a competitive team that is still looking to reach another Super Bowl and win their third title in history.