1991 Indianapolis Colts season
|1991 Indianapolis Colts season|
Rick Venturi (interim)
|Home field||Hoosier Dome|
|Division place||5th AFC East|
|Playoff finish||did not qualify|
The 1991 Indianapolis Colts season was the 39th season for the team in the National Football League and eighth in Indianapolis. The team was looking to improve on the 7–9 record they had recorded in 1990. Instead, the Colts put together a campaign that ranked as one of the worst in NFL history.
The Colts were victorious only once in the regular season, finishing last in the AFC East, and their fifteen losses tied an NFL record that was initially set by the 1980 New Orleans Saints and tied by the 1989 Dallas Cowboys and 1990 New England Patriots in the previous two NFL seasons. However, the 1991 Colts had a much weaker schedule to play than either the 1990 Patriots or 1989 Cowboys, playing eleven games against teams with non-winning records, as against only five for the 1990 Patriots and four for the 1989 Cowboys. The Colts lost nine consecutive games to start the season before rallying to defeat the playoff-bound New York Jets by a single point in Week 11. The win against their division rivals came at Giants Stadium; the Colts went 0-8 in the Hoosier Dome. (Incidentally, the Jets would become the next team to finish 1-15, doing so five years later.)
The Colts entered the season with Ron Meyer returning for his fifth full season and sixth overall since he took over an 0-13 Colts team from Rod Dowhower in 1986. However, after the team lost its first five games, Meyer was relieved of his duties and defensive coordinator Rick Venturi was named the interim coach for the remaining eleven games.
The Colts scored the fewest points up to that point (143) of any team in NFL history in a sixteen-game schedule. Statistics site Football Outsiders said of the Colts 1991 season: "It's the flipside of [Super Bowl champion] Washington; the Colts were the worst offense and defense in the league in the second half of close games, and the worst offense in the league in the first quarter.
Since the Colts finished with the worst record in the NFL, they won the right to draft Steve Emtman, a defensive lineman from Washington whose career was derailed by injuries. It would take them until 1995 to reach the playoffs again, and the Colts did not become consistently successful until Peyton Manning joined the team near the end of the 1990s.
|2||40||Shane Curry||Defensive end||Miami (FL)|
|3||69||Dave McCloughan||Defensive back||Colorado|
|4||96||Mark Vander Poel||Offensive tackle||Colorado|
|5||125||Kerry Cash||Tight end||Texas|
|6||152||Mel Agee||Defensive end||Illinois|
|7||181||James Bradley||Wide receiver||Michigan State|
|8||208||Tim Bruton||Tight end||Missouri|
|9||236||Howard Griffith||Running back||Illinois|
|10||263||Frank Giannetti||Nose tackle||Penn State|
|11||292||Jerry Crafts||Offensive tackle||Louisville|
|12||319||Rob Luedeke||Center||Penn State|
|1991 Indianapolis Colts staff|
| Front office
| Defensive coaches
Special teams coaches
Strength and conditioning
|1991 Indianapolis Colts final roster|
| Offensive linemen
| Reserve lists
|1||September 1, 1991||New England Patriots||L 7–16||0–1||Hoosier Dome|| |
|2||September 8, 1991||at Miami Dolphins||L 6–17||0–2||Joe Robbie Stadium|| |
|3||September 15, 1991||at Los Angeles Raiders||L 0–16||0–3||Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum|| |
|4||September 22, 1991||Detroit Lions||L 24–33||0–4||Hoosier Dome|| |
|5||September 29, 1991||at Seattle Seahawks||L 3–31||0–5||Kingdome|| |
|6||October 6, 1991||Pittsburgh Steelers||L 3–21||0–6||Hoosier Dome|| |
|7||October 13, 1991||at Buffalo Bills||L 6–42||0–7||Rich Stadium|| |
|8||October 20, 1991||New York Jets||L 6–17||0–8||Hoosier Dome|| |
|10||November 3, 1991||Miami Dolphins||L 6–10||0–9||Hoosier Dome|| |
|11||November 10, 1991||at New York Jets||W 28–27||1–9||The Meadowlands|| |
|12||November 17, 1991||Chicago Bears||L 17–31||1–10||Hoosier Dome|| |
|13||November 24, 1991||at Green Bay Packers||L 10–14||1–11||Milwaukee County Stadium|| |
|14||December 1, 1991||Cleveland Browns||L 0–31||1–12||Hoosier Dome|| |
|15||December 8, 1991||at New England Patriots||L 17–23||1–13||Foxboro Stadium|| |
|16||December 15, 1991||Buffalo Bills||L 7–35||1–14||Hoosier Dome|| |
|17||December 22, 1991||at Tampa Bay Buccaneers||L 3–17||1–15||Tampa Stadium|| |
Week 11: at New York Jets
- Date: Sunday, November 10
- Game time: 1:00 p.m.
- Game weather: Rain, 40°F, wind 22 mph
|(1) Buffalo Bills||13||3||0||.813||7–1||10–2||458||318||L1|
|(6) New York Jets||8||8||0||.500||4–4||6–6||314||293||W1|
|New England Patriots||6||10||0||.375||4–4||5–9||211||305||L1|
- 1991 Indianapolis Colts against opponent with non-winning record
- 1989 Dallas Cowboys against opponent with non-winning record
- The league switched from a 14- to a 16-game schedule in 1978. The team never scored more than 28 points in any game (doing so in their lone victory), scored less than ten points eleven times, were shut out twice, and failed to score at least one touchdown in nine of their sixteen games.
- The 1991 Colts’ total is now second-lowest of all-time, behind the 140 points the Seattle Seahawks put up in 1992.
- Football Outsiders: 1991 DVOA Ratings and Commentary