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1972 Baltimore Colts season
Head coach Don McCafferty
John Sandusky
Owner Robert Irsay
Home field Memorial Stadium
Record 5–9
Division place 3rd AFC East
Playoff finish did not qualify

The 1972 Baltimore Colts season was the 20th season for the team in the National Football League. The Baltimore Colts finished the National Football League's 1972 season with a record of 5 wins and 9 losses, and finished third in the AFC East. Carroll Rosenbloom and Robert Irsay, who had recently taken over the Los Angeles Rams, traded ownership of the two franchises, with players and coaching staffs remaining intact. However, the Colts were getting older and started 1-4 before Coach Don McCafferty was fired. The Colts would go 4-5 in their final nine games under John Sandusky to finish with a 5-9 record, their first losing mark in 16 years.


On July 13, 1972, Robert Irsay bought the Los Angeles Rams and transferred ownership to Carroll Rosenbloom, in exchange for ownership of the Baltimore Colts.[1]

NFL Draft[edit]

Round Pick Player Position School/Club Team


1972 Baltimore Colts roster

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen


Defensive backs

Special teams

Rookies in italics

Regular season[edit]

The season began ominously for the Colts when they were defeated at home on opening day by the St. Louis Cardinals and their journeyman quarterback, Tim Van Galder. In week two, Johnny Unitas threw for 376 yards and three touchdowns, but it was far from enough as Joe Namath threw for 496 yards and six touchdowns to power the New York Jets to a 44–34 victory at Memorial Stadium, the Jets' first victory over the Colts since Super Bowl III.

In October, the Colts' season reached its nadir when it was shut out twice at home in a three-week stretch by the Dallas Cowboys, who undoubtedly wanted revenge for their loss to Baltimore in Super Bowl V, and the Miami Dolphins, who were on their way to a 17–0 season and their first Super Bowl championship under former Colts coach Don Shula.

Unitas made his final start in a Colts uniform in a week 12 victory over Buffalo.

For the third consecutive campaign, the Colts played their season finale in Miami's Orange Bowl. Only this time, it was a humbling 16-0 shutout to the Dolphins in Week 14 in a game which was nowhere near as close as the final score. Baltimore ended its 1970 season by defeating the Cowboys in Super Bowl V, and its 1971 season by losing to the Dolphins for the AFC Championship.


Week Date Opponent Result Record Game Site Attendance
1 September 17, 1972 St. Louis Cardinals L 3–10 0–1 Memorial Stadium
2 September 24, 1972 New York Jets L 34–44 0–2 Memorial Stadium
3 October 1, 1972 at Buffalo Bills W 17–0 1–2 War Memorial Stadium
4 October 8, 1972 San Diego Chargers L 20–23 1–3 Memorial Stadium
5 October 15, 1972 Dallas Cowboys L 0–21 1–4 Memorial Stadium
6 October 22, 1972 at New York Jets L 20–24 1–5 Shea Stadium
7 October 29, 1972 Miami Dolphins L 0–23 1–6 Memorial Stadium
8 November 6, 1972 at New England Patriots W 24–17 2–6 Schaefer Stadium
9 November 12, 1972 at San Francisco 49ers L 21–24 2–7 Candlestick Park
10 November 19, 1972 at Cincinnati Bengals W 20–19 3–7 Riverfront Stadium
11 November 26, 1972 New England Patriots W 31–0 4–7 Memorial Stadium
12 December 3, 1972 Buffalo Bills W 35–7 5–7 Memorial Stadium
13 December 10, 1972 at Kansas City Chiefs L 10–24 5–8 Arrowhead Stadium
14 December 16, 1972 at Miami Dolphins L 0–16 5–9 Miami Orange Bowl


AFC East
Miami Dolphins 14 0 0 1.000 8–0 11–0 385 171 W14
New York Jets 7 7 0 .500 6–2 6–5 367 324 L2
Baltimore Colts 5 9 0 .357 4–4 5–6 235 252 L2
Buffalo Bills 4 9 1 .321 2–6 2–9 257 377 W1
New England Patriots 3 11 0 .214 0–8 0–11 192 446 L1

See also[edit]


  1. ^ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p.283


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