The Indianapolis Colts who currently play in the AFC South Division of the NFL began life in 1953, when Baltimore was awarded a new National Football League franchise. They continued to play in Baltimore until 1984 when they moved to Indianapolis. Earlier a Baltimore team had played under the same name from 1947 but they were disbanded after the 1950 season. The early days didn’t produce much success and are best remembered for the introduction of the first organized Cheerleader squad in 1954 and it took until 1957 to manage a winning season.
The Baltimore Colts won 3 NFL Championships in 1958 & 1959 beating the New York Giants in both games and in 1968 when they beat the Cleveland Browns. This gained them a place in Super Bowl III where they lost in probably the biggest upset in Super Bowl history to the New York Jets. Super Bowl success was to come though when they defeated the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl V. The 1958 game will always be remembered for attracting the then largest television audience ever which greatly increased the popularity of the sport.
During the 1970s Baltimore won three straight divisional titles in 1975, 1976 and 1977 but they finished their time in Baltimore with a string of losing seasons, something which continued after their defection to Indianapolis where they only made the post season once in their first 11 seasons at the RCA Dome (Pictured Right).
Indianapolis’ fortunes changed quite dramatically in 1995 when after finishing second in the AFC East they advanced to the Conference game where they were unlucky losers to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Since then they have only had three seasons when they didn’t qualify for the playoffs and since moving to the AFC South in 2002 have reached the playoffs every season which has included winning Super Bowl XLI and losing to the New Orleans Saints in Super Bowl XLIV.
With a strong squad including probable future Hall Of Fame Quarter Back Peyton Manning the Colts will remain a force in the AFC for a few seasons yet.