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1991 Indianapolis Colts season
Head coach Ron Meyer
Rick Venturi (interim)
Home field Hoosier Dome
Record 1–15
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.[1]

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, scoring in the single digits in 11 games.[2][3] Statistics site Football Outsiders said of the Colts 1991 season:[4] "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.


NFL Draft[edit]

Round Pick Player Position School/Club Team
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
  • President/Treasurer – Robert Irsay
  • Vice President/General Manager – Jim Irsay
  • Assistant General Manager – Bob Terpening
  • Director of Player Personnel – Jack Bushofsky

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Special teams coaches

  • Special Teams – Brad Seely

Strength and conditioning

  • Strength and Conditioning – Tom Zupancic


1991 Indianapolis Colts final roster

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen


Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists

Practice squad

Rookies in italics
Active, Inactive, Practice squad

Regular season[edit]

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. 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,[5] as against only five for the 1990 Patriots and four for the 1989 Cowboys.[6] 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.)

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.


Week Date Opponent Result Record Game Site Attendance
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
9 Bye
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

Game summaries[edit]

Week 11: at New York Jets[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Colts 0 7 21 0 28
Jets 7 7 7 6 27

at Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey


AFC East
(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
Miami Dolphins 8 8 0 .500 4–4 5–7 343 349 L2
New England Patriots 6 10 0 .375 4–4 5–9 211 305 L1
Indianapolis Colts 1 15 0 .063 1–7 1–11 143 381 L6

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ The 1991 Colts’ total is now second-lowest of all-time, behind the 140 points the Seattle Seahawks put up in 1992.
  4. ^ Football Outsiders: 1991 DVOA Ratings and Commentary
  5. ^ 1991 Indianapolis Colts against opponent with non-winning record
  6. ^ 1989 Dallas Cowboys against opponent with non-winning record


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