On This Day in Colts History
Do you hear that? That swirling sound? It’s the 2017 Indianapolis Colts, circling the drain. No one will be sad when this season comes to a close: Andrew Luck is done for the year, visiting Europe to treat his shoulder by smoking hash in Amsterdam (editor’s note: No, he is absolutely not smoking hash in Amsterdam…probably), Henry Anderson is on injured reserve, Vontae Davis is a free agent, and Chuck Pagano is the lamest of lame ducks. So it’s not exactly ideal to host the Pittsburgh Steelers at this juncture.
Pittsburgh, despite having three of the top offensive skill players at their respective positions (quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, running back Le’Veon Bell, and receiver Antonio Brown), has yet to eclipse the 30-point mark in any game this season. The last three times these two teams have squared off, though, the Steelers are averaging 41.33 points per game. The Colts are averaging 17. In 2016, Scott Tolzien lost 28-7. In 2015, Matt Hasselbeck lost 45-10. In 2014, Andrew Luck lost 51-34. Roethlisberger has started each of those three games and has accounted for 13 touchdowns with no interceptions. History has not been kind to the Colts when facing the Steelers, but maybe November 12 has? Let’s examine.
November 12, 1989
Bills 30, Colts 7
Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, and Andre Reed had their own explosive trifecta back in the Buffalo Bills’ heyday. On this date, those three men racked up 395 combined yards and three scores. The Bills led 30-0 in the fourth quarter, and they simply rolled the Colts in front of a frigid home crowd at Rich Stadium. The loss left the Colts at 4-6, while Buffalo improved to 7-3.
November 12, 1995
Saints 17, Colts 14
Indianapolis’ two quarterbacks–Jim Harbaugh and Paul Justin–combined to complete 15 passes on only 20 attempts, but it was not enough to overcome the New Orleans in a boring game (Harbaugh did not play in the first half). Marshall Faulk ran for 98 yards and a touchdown, and fullback Roosevelt Potts did his part by snaring in a 40-yard touchdown reception. Cary Blanchard missed a game-tying 41-yard field goal with eight seconds left on the clock, and the Saints stole their fourth victory of the year to offset their six losses. The Colts became an even 5-5.
November 12, 2000
Colts 23, Jets 15
The Indianapolis Colts finally won their first game on November 12, nearly two decades after moving to town from Baltimore. Peyton Manning, Edgerrin James, and Marvin Harrison (another deadly trio) raced the Colts out to a 20-0 third quarter lead before Vinny Testaverde and Curtis Martin fought back to make it competitive. Testaverde outpassed Manning by 61 yards (271 to 210), but James’ 155 total scrimmage yards were the difference. People around Indy still love Edge, but it seems to be forgotten just how good he really was. Had he not injured his knee, it’s scary to think what might have been. Both teams entered this game at 6-3, so you do the math on what their records became.
November 12, 2006
Colts 17, Bills 16
The Bills were up again, and the result was a little more Colts-friendly this time around. Rookie Joseph Addai did most of the heavy lifting, registering 124 total yards on 20 touches to go with a touchdown on the ground. Robert Mathis, Dwight Freeney, and Booger McFarland sacked Buffalo’s J.P. Losman (remember him?!) four times, which was just enough to snag a “W.” The Bills slunk out of Indianapolis with a 3-6 record, but the Colts rose to 9-0.
A 2-2 record on November 12 is hardly the worst thing going for the boys in blue. In fact, .500 would look like a beautiful dream for the 2017 edition. Don’t count on a victory today, but then again, crazier things have happened…especially when you smoke hash in Amsterdam.
Thanks for reading, and as always, Go Colts!
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