Is This the Worst Indianapolis Colts Team Ever?

The 2011 Indianapolis Colts are a wretched mess, decimated by injury and exposed for the one-man show that they have been for far too long.  Sitting at 0-10, the Colts have the third worst offense and the worst defense in terms of points, which goes a long way toward explaining the putrid record.  But are these the worst Colts ever in the Indy era?  We won’t know for sure until the next six games are in the book, but there are really only two candidates for this squad to overcome for the “title.”

The 1984 Colts, the inaugural Indianapolis version, checked in at 4-12 and ranked 28th offensively and 25th defensively.   Mike Pagel was the quarterback, Randy McMillan led the team in rushing, and Ray Butler was the top receiver.  Both Frank Kush and Hal Hunter served as head coach for part of the season, one of only two times that the Colts switched horses midstream.

The other mid-season change came in 1991, when Indianapolis finished 1-15 and ranked 28th offensively, 26th defensively.   The two Horseshoe coaches were Ron Meyer and Rick Venturi, who guided a team led on offense by Jeff George, Eric Dickerson, and Bill Brooks.

Both of these teams were terrible, but they both had their strong points.   The 1991 Colts had lots of star power, though little star production.   The 1984 squad had almost no star power and paltry production, but they were a novelty and ushered Indiana into the land of big-time sports.

The current squad has very little going for it, other than the fact that it might help land the quarterback of the future.  For now, I’d probably give the “worst team” nod to 1991, but I’m dusting off that shelf for the 2011 team.   They’re climbing the ladder rapidly.

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  • opticalgods

    The Colts could have won any of these games (without Kerry Collins). These guys are intentionally losing to ensure a quarterback for the future, it’s not even a secret! However, this lack of trying to win a game is either going to ensure them the title of worst Colts team (and possibly top 5 teams ever) or it will be the most selfless, intelligent, heroic actions a team has ever done for their organization and fan base. Only time will tell. The Colts status in NFL history depends on too many factors to label them in their current state. One thing is certain, without Manning, this is a truly lost franchise.

  • Adam Hughes

    @opticalgods Maybe the franchise is not doing anything to plug holes, and maybe the coaches are even muffing starting assignments with an eye toward the future, though the latter is tough to swallow.

    That said, no way are the players on the field intentionally trying to lose games in any fashion. Think Dan Orlovsky’s or Curtis Painter’s career will benefit by setting up the Colts to draft Andrew Luck?

    When Painter retires after the season with a big chunk of ownership in the franchise, then maybe I’ll buy your spurious argument. Until then, I have to get back to studying the Zapruder film.

    As always, ” never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.”