On This Day in Colts History

After another loss to the Tennessee Titans, the Indianapolis Colts travel down to Jacksonville for a rematch with the Jaguars. The first time around, things did not go well, as the Colts were blanked at home and gave up 10 sacks to Calais Campbell and Co.

Circumstances have hardly changed since then, with the Colts’ record a dismal 3-8 versus Jacksonville’s respectable 7-4. A loss to the Cardinals in Arizona last week dropped the Jags into second place in the AFC South behind Tennessee, and they will likely come into today with some extra motivation to keep pace with the Titans who host the equally-struggling Houston Texans. A fired up Jaguars squad is bad news for the Colts. Worse news is that today, December 3, has never witnessed an Indianapolis Colts victory.

December 3, 1989
Patriots 22, Colts 16

The Colts entered this game at 6-6, two games up on AFC East rival New England. They walked away 6-7 after giving up 13 points in the fourth quarter, including a 10-yard rushing touchdown by running back John Stephens, squandering a 16-15 lead and the game. Eric Dickerson ran for only 80 yards on 24 carries, and Jack Trudeau was even less impressive; he completed 12 of 30 passes and added three interceptions. Indianapolis would finish the season at 8-8, while New England failed to win another game after this one.

December 3, 1995
Panthers 13, Colts 10

Once again, the 7-5 Colts lost a game on the road to a team with two fewer wins. Carolina rallied back from a 10-0 first quarter deficit in front of the “home” crowd at Clemson’s Memorial Stadium. 1995 was Carolina’s inaugural season as the NFL’s newest expansion franchise, and Ericsson Stadium (now Bank of America Stadium) did not open until their second year of existence. Even more frustrating than missed construction deadlines is the offensive performance put on display by these two teams: there were a meager 455 combined yards and four turnovers, and neither quarterback completed 50 percent of his passing attempts. This Colts team rebounded nicely, if you’ll recall, on their way to the AFC Championship Game loss to Pittsburgh (catch the ball, Aaron Bailey!). Carolina’s head coach, Dom Capers, and defensive coordinator, Vic Fangio, are still kicking it around the league today—they are the defensive coordinators in Green Bay and Chicago, respectively.

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December 3, 2000
Jets 27, Colts 17

This was a game of swings, which saw New York hold a 20-0 halftime lead and Indianapolis climb all the way back to 20-17 before Curtis Martin put the game out of reach with a touchdown run inside of four minutes. The Jets actually ran the crap out of the ball, scientifically speaking, to the tune of 211 yards on 39 carries. The Colts were not so effective on the ground, churning out only 49 yards. Well, when you’re down 20-0, you can’t exactly stick to the run. Peyton Manning threw for 339 yards and two touchdowns. Games like this were the knock on pre-2006 Manning: he can’t win on the road/in the cold/against a 3-4 defense/etc. Glad we don’t hear that nonsense anymore.

December 3, 2006
Titans 20, Colts 17

Not only have the Indianapolis Colts never won on December 3, but they have also never played at home. In Nashville 11 years ago, Jeff Fisher and Vince Young won a very Jeff Fisher and Vince Young type of game: Tennessee ran 35 times and only passed 25, completing 15 for 163 yards. Is that the highest offensive output of Fisher’s coaching career? I wonder. Indy lost twice more over the course of the season, but that postseason run makes it all worthwhile. Fisher’s Titans finished 8-8, which sounds eerily familiar…

While we would all like to see a Colts victory because they’re our team, it’s best to just watch this season slide away. 3-13 is good for draft purposes. Have a drink and enjoy the implosion. Cheers!

Thanks for reading, and as always, Go Colts!

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