|2008 Indianapolis Colts season|
|Head coach||Tony Dungy|
|General manager||Bill Polian|
|Home field||Lucas Oil Stadium|
|Division place||2nd AFC South|
|Playoff finish||Lost Wild Card Playoffs (at Chargers) 17-23 (OT)|
|Pro Bowlers||QB Peyton Manning|
WR Reggie Wayne
DE Dwight Freeney
DE Robert Mathis
The 2008 Indianapolis Colts season was the 56th season for the team in the National Football League and the 25th in Indianapolis. It was the first season since 2002 that the Colts did not win the AFC South title. However, after a 3-4 start on the season Peyton Manning led the Colts to a nine-game winning streak, a 12-4 record, and a wild card berth in the playoffs. The Colts' season came to an end in San Diego when they were upset in their wild-card round playoff game against the Chargers.
The 2008 season was the Colts' inaugural season playing at Lucas Oil Stadium after playing at the RCA Dome for 24 seasons. This marks Tony Dungy's 7th and last season as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, and Peyton Manning's 11th season as the starting quarterback. As a result of his play over the final two months of the regular season, Manning was awarded his third MVP award.
When the Colts won their seventh straight game in Week 15, they became the only team in the history of the NFL to have seven consecutive wins in five consecutive seasons. With their regular season record of 12-4, they became the first franchise in NFL history to have twelve wins in six consecutive seasons (New England Patriots holds the record with 8 seasons, 2010-2017).
On January 21, 2008 Tony Dungy announced he would return for at least one more season. The Colts also announced that Assistant Head Coach Jim Caldwell would be promoted to Associate Head Coach and would assume the position of Colts Head Coach whenever Tony Dungy decides to retire.
In May, ESPN The Magazine released the findings of its annual survey of over 80,000 fans entitled the "Ultimate Standings: Fan Satisfaction Rankings". The Colts ranked as the best major league sports franchise out of 122 teams from MLB, NFL, NBA, and the NHL. In August, ESPN.com ranked Colts' fans as the 16th best in the National Football League.
|OLB||Rocky Boiman||UFA||Signed with Eagles|
|TE||Dallas Clark||UFA||Re-signed with Colts|
|TE||Bryan Fletcher||RFA||Re-signed with Colts|
|C/G||Dylan Gandy||RFA||Re-signed with Colts|
|S||Matt Giordano||RFA||Re-signed with Colts|
|DT||Ed Johnson||ERFA||Re-signed with Colts|
|DT||Dan Klecko||UFA||Signed with Eagles|
|G||Ryan Lilja||UFA||Re-signed with Colts|
|DT/DE||Darrell Reid||RFA||Re-signed with Colts|
|G||Jake Scott||UFA||Signed with Titans|
|RB||Dominic Rhodes||UFA||Signed with Colts, from Raiders|
|DE||Josh Thomas||UFA||Re-signed with Colts|
|TE||Ben Utecht||RFA||Signed with Bengals|
|UFA: Unrestricted free agent; RFA: Restricted free agent; ERFA: Exclusive rights free agent|
|2||59||Mike Pollak||Center||6' 4"||292 lb (132 kg)||Arizona State|
|3||93||Philip Wheeler||Linebacker||6' 2"||238 lb (108 kg)||Georgia Tech|
|4||127||Jacob Tamme||Tight end||6' 5"||240 lb (110 kg)||Kentucky|
|5||161||Marcus Howard||Defensive End||6' 0"||237 lb (108 kg)||Georgia|
|6||196||Tom Santi||Tight end||6' 3"||250 lb (110 kg)||Virginia|
|6||201||Steve Justice||Center||6' 3"||293 lb (133 kg)||Wake Forest|
|6||202||Mike Hart||Running back||5' 8"||206 lb (93 kg)||Michigan|
|6||205||Pierre Garçon||Wide receiver||5' 11"||210 lb (95 kg)||Mount Union|
|7||236||Jamey Richard||Center||6' 4"||295 lb (134 kg)||Buffalo|
|HOF||Washington Redskins||L 16-30||0-1||Fawcett Stadium||Recap|
|1||at Carolina Panthers||L 20-23||0-2||Bank of America Stadium||Recap|
|2||at Atlanta Falcons||W 16-9||1-2||Georgia Dome||Recap|
|3||Buffalo Bills||L 7-20||1-3||Lucas Oil Stadium||Recap|
|4||Cincinnati Bengals||L 7-27||1-4||Lucas Oil Stadium||Recap|
|1||September 7||Chicago Bears||L 13-29||0-1||Lucas Oil Stadium||Recap|
|2||September 14||at Minnesota Vikings||W 18-15||1-1||Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome||Recap|
|3||September 21||Jacksonville Jaguars||L 21-23||1-2||Lucas Oil Stadium||Recap|
|5||October 5||at Houston Texans||W 31-27||2-2||Reliant Stadium||Recap|
|6||October 12||Baltimore Ravens||W 31-3||3-2||Lucas Oil Stadium||Recap|
|7||October 19||at Green Bay Packers||L 14-34||3-3||Lambeau Field||Recap|
|8||at Tennessee Titans||L 21-31||3-4||LP Field||Recap|
|9||November 2||New England Patriots||W 18-15||4-4||Lucas Oil Stadium||Recap|
|10||November 9||at Pittsburgh Steelers||W 24-20||5-4||Heinz Field||Recap|
|11||November 16||Houston Texans||W 33-27||6-4||Lucas Oil Stadium||Recap|
|12||November 23||at San Diego Chargers||W 23-20||7-4||Qualcomm Stadium||Recap|
|13||November 30||at Cleveland Browns||W 10-6||8-4||Cleveland Browns Stadium||Recap|
|14||December 7||Cincinnati Bengals||W 35-3||9-4||Lucas Oil Stadium||Recap|
|15||December 14||Detroit Lions||W 31-21||10-4||Lucas Oil Stadium||Recap|
|16||at Jacksonville Jaguars||W 31-24||11-4||Jacksonville Municipal Stadium||Recap|
|17||December 28||Tennessee Titans||W 23-0||12-4||Lucas Oil Stadium||Recap|
The Colts began their 2008 campaign with their first official home game at Lucas Oil Stadium. For this Sunday night interconference duel, they took on the Chicago Bears in a rematch of Super Bowl XLI. In the first quarter, Indianapolis was first out of the gate as kicker Adam Vinatieri got a 39-yard field goal. The Bears responded with RB Matt Forte getting a 50-yard TD run. In the second quarter, the Colts responded with Vinatieri nailing a 34-yard field goal. However, Chicago increased its lead with kicker Robbie Gould getting a 41-yard field goal, DE Adewale Ogunleye tackling RB Joseph Addai in his endzone for a safety (first time Indy gave up a safety since November 2000), and Gould nailing a 25-yard field goal. In the third quarter, Indianapolis tried to rally as QB Peyton Manning completed a 6-yard TD pass to WR Reggie Wayne, yet the Bears replied with LB Lance Briggs returned a fumble 21 yards for a touchdown. In the fourth quarter, Chicago sealed the win with FB Jason McKie getting a 1-yard TD run.
With the loss, the Colts began their season at 0-1.
Hoping to rebound from their home loss to the Bears, the Colts flew to the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome for a Week 2 interconference duel with the Minnesota Vikings. In the first half, Indianapolis trailed as Vikings kicker Ryan Longwell got a 45-yard and a 27-yard field goal in the first quarter, along with a 53-yard field goal in the second quarter. It marked the first time that the Colts got shut out in the first half since October 2006.
In the third quarter, Minnesota increased its lead with Longwell nailing a 46-yard and a 28-yard field goal. Afterwards, Indianapolis started to rally as RB Joseph Addai got a 1-yard TD run. In the fourth quarter, the Colts drew closer as QB Peyton Manning completed a 32-yard TD pass to WR Reggie Wayne, followed by a 2-point conversion run by RB Dominic Rhodes. Afterwards, near the end of game, Indianapolis completed its comeback as kicker Adam Vinatieri nailing the game-winning 47-yard field goal.
With the win, the Colts improved to 1-1.
Coming off their last-second road win over the Vikings, the Colts went home for a Week 3 AFC South duel with the Jacksonville Jaguars. In the first quarter, Indy was first out of the gates as QB Peyton Manning completed a 4-yard TD pass to WR Marvin Harrison. In the second quarter, the Jaguars took the lead with kicker Josh Scobee getting a 26-yard field goal, along with CB Rashean Mathis returning an interception 61 yards for a touchdown. The Colts reclaimed the lead before halftime as RB Joseph Addai got a 3-yard TD run.
In the third quarter, Jacksonville regained the lead with RB Maurice Jones-Drew getting a 6-yard TD run. In the fourth quarter, the Jaguars increased their lead with Scobee kicking a 21-yard field goal. Afterwards, Indianapolis responded with Addai's 2-yard TD run. However, the Jaguars got the last laugh as Scobee nailed the game-winning 51-yard field goal.
With the loss, the Colts entered their bye week at 1-2.
Coming off their bye week, the Colts flew to Reliant Stadium for a Week 5 AFC South duel with the Houston Texans. In the first quarter, Indianapolis drew first blood as kicker Adam Vinatieri got a 46-yard field goal, along with RB Joseph Addai getting a 1-yard TD run. In the second quarter, the Texans responded with RB Steve Slaton getting a 1-yard TD run, kicker Kris Brown getting a 37-yard field goal, and QB Sage Rosenfels completing a 5-yard TD pass to WR Andre Johnson.
In the third quarter, Houston increased its lead with Brown nailing a 43-yard field goal. In the fourth quarter, the Texans continued its run as Slaton got a 1-yard TD run. The Colts rallied with QB Peyton Manning completing a 7-yard TD pass to rookie TE Tom Santi, LB Gary Brackett returning a fumble 68 yards for a touchdown, and Manning completing a 5-yard TD pass to WR Reggie Wayne.
With the win, Indianapolis improved to 2-2.
Coming off their comeback divisional road win over the Texans, the Colts went home for a Week 6 duel with the Baltimore Ravens. In the first quarter, Indianapolis got a fast start as QB Peyton Manning completed a 67-yard TD pass to WR Marvin Harrison and a 22-yard TD pass to WR Reggie Wayne, while kicker Adam Vinatieri got a 37-yard field goal. In the second quarter, the Colts continued their dominating start as Manning completed a 5-yard TD pass to Harrison. In the third quarter, Indianapolis continued its victory march as RB Dominic Rhodes got a 1-yard TD run. The Ravens would get their only score of the game as kicker Matt Stover nailed a 37-yard field goal.
With the win, not only did the Colts improve to 3-2, but they finally got their first win in their new stadium.
Coming off their home rout over the Ravens, the Colts flew to Lambeau Field for a Week 7 interconference duel with the Green Bay Packers. In the first quarter, Indianapolis trailed early as Packers kicker Mason Crosby got a 31-yard field goal. The Colts would take the lead as RB Dominic Rhodes got a 3-yard TD run. In the second quarter, Green Bay regained the lead as QB Aaron Rodgers completed a 12-yard TD pass to TE Donald Lee, along with RB Ryan Grant getting an 11-yard TD run.
In the third quarter, the Packers increased their lead as Free Safety Nick Collins returned an interception 62 yards for a touchdown, along with Crosby nailing a 29-yard field goal. In the fourth quarter, Green Bay finished its domination as Safety Aaron Rouse returned an interception 99 yards for a touchdown. Indianapolis's only response would be Rhodes' 1-yard TD run.
With the loss, the Colts fell to 3-3.
Hoping to rebound from their road loss to the Packers, the Colts went to LP Field for a Week 8 MNF interconference duel with the undefeated Tennessee Titans. In the first quarter, Indianapolis trailed early as Titans kicker Rob Bironas got a 34-yard field goal. The Colts responded with QB Peyton Manning completing a 10-yard TD pass to TE Dallas Clark. In the second quarter, Tennessee drew closer as Bironas got a 44-yard field goal.
In the third quarter, Indianapolis increased its lead as Manning hooked up with Clark again on a 19-yard TD pass. Afterwards, the Titans tied the game as RB LenDale White got a 1-yard TD run. In the fourth quarter, Tennessee pulled away as Bironas nailed a 48-yard field goal, White got another 1-yard TD run, and RB Chris Johnson got a 16-yard TD run. The Colts tried to rally as Manning got a 1-yard TD run, but the Titans defense stiffened and prevailed. This was also the Colts' last regular season loss until December 27, 2009, when their former division rival New York Jets ended the Colts' hopes of a perfect season.
With the loss, Indianapolis fell to 3-4.
Trying to rebound from their MNF divisional road loss to the Titans, the Colts went home for a Week 9 Sunday night duel with their hated rival, the New England Patriots. In the first quarter, Indianapolis got off to a fast start as QB Peyton Manning completed a 12-yard TD pass to WR Anthony Gonzalez. In the second quarter, the Patriots responded as kicker Stephen Gostkowski got a 29-yard and a 35-yard field goal. In the third quarter, New England took the lead as RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis got a 6-yard TD run (with a failed 2-point conversion). The Colts would answer with Manning hooking up with Gonzalez again on a 9-yard TD pass, along with completing a 2-point conversion pass to WR Reggie Wayne. In the fourth quarter, the Patriots tied the game with Gostkowski getting a 25-yard field goal, yet Indy replied with former Patriot kicker Adam Vinatieri nailing a 52-yard field goal. Afterwards, Indianapolis's defense prevented New England's last attempt at a comeback.
With the win, the Colts improved to 4-4.
Coming off their Sunday night home win over the Patriots, the Colts flew to Heinz Field for a Week 10 duel with the Pittsburgh Steelers. In the first quarter, Indianapolis trailed early as Steelers RB Mewelde Moore got a 1-yard TD run. The Colts immediately responded with QB Peyton Manning completing a 65-yard TD pass to WR Reggie Wayne. In the second quarter, Pittsburgh answered with Moore getting another 1-yard TD run, along with kicker Jeff Reed getting a 42-yard field goal. Indianapolis closed out the half with Manning completing a 2-yard TD pass to TE Dallas Clark.
In the third quarter, the Colts tied the game with kicker Adam Vinatieri getting a 36-yard field goal. In the fourth quarter, the Steelers regained the lead as Reed nailed a 24-yard field goal. Indianapolis took the lead as Manning completing a 17-yard TD pass to RB Dominic Rhodes, along with the defense preventing any Pittsburgh comeback.
This was the Colts' first win in Pittsburgh since 1968. With the win, the Colts improved to 5-4.
Coming off their road win over the Steelers, the Colts went home for a Week 11 AFC South rematch with the Houston Texans. In the first quarter, Indianapolis trailed early as Texans kicker Kris Brown got a 28-yard field goal. The Colts responded with kicker Adam Vinatieri getting a 40-yard field goal. Houston would answer with Brown making a 34-yard field goal. In the second quarter, Indy tied the game as Vinatieri got a 39-yard field goal. The Texans retook the lead as RB Ahman Green got a 1-yard TD run. Indianapolis closed out the half as Vinatieri made a 32-yard field goal.
In the third quarter, the Colts took the lead as QB Peyton Manning completed a 23-yard TD pass to RB Joseph Addai. Houston would reply as RB Steve Slaton got a 71-yard TD run, yet Indy regained the lead as Addai got a 7-yard TD run. In the fourth quarter, the Texans tried to come back as Green got a 2-yard field goal, yet Indianapolis pulled away with Vinatieri nailing a 31-yard field goal. On the Texans' final drive, QB Sage Rosenfels was intercepted by safety Melvin Bullitt (who was filling in again for the injured Bob Sanders). Ironically, it was Bullitt who picked off Rosenfels on the Texans' final drive when they played the Colts in Week 5. Manning then took a knee, preserving the Colts' third consecutive victory.
With the season-sweep, the Colts improved to 6-4.
Coming off their divisional home win over the Texans, the Colts flew to Qualcomm Stadium for a Week 12 Sunday night game with the San Diego Chargers. In the first quarter, Indianapolis took the lead as kicker Adam Vinatieri got a 23-yard field goal. In the second quarter, the Chargers took the lead as kicker Nate Kaeding made a 35-yard field goal, while QB Philip Rivers completed a 39-yard TD pass to WR Vincent Jackson. The Colts would tie the game as QB Peyton Manning completed a 13-yard TD pass to WR Anthony Gonzalez.
In the third quarter, Indianapolis took the lead as Manning completed a 1-yard TD pass to RB Dominic Rhodes. In the fourth quarter, the Colts added onto their lead as Vinatieri got a 38-yard field goal. San Diego cut the Colts' lead to 3 as Rivers completed a 1-yard TD pass to FB Jacob Hester, and then Kaeding kicked a 47-yard field goal to tie the game. However, Indianapolis sealed the deal as Vinatieri nailed the game-winning 51-yard field goal. By making the kick, Vinatieri redeemed himself after missing a game-winning 29-yard field goal against San Diego in the previous season.
With the win, the Colts improved to 7-4.
Coming off the Sunday Night road win over the Chargers, the Colts flew to Cleveland Browns Stadium for a Week 13 duel with the Cleveland Browns. In the first quarter, Indianapolis trailed early as Browns kicker Phil Dawson got a 34-yard field goal. The Colts would respond with kicker Adam Vinatieri getting a 30-yard field goal. In the second quarter, Cleveland took the lead as Dawson nailed a 25-yard field goal. After a scoreless third quarter, Indianapolis's defense made the game's key play in the fourth quarter, as DE Dwight Freeney forced a fumble, allowing fellow DE Robert Mathis to return the fumble recovery 37 yards for a touchdown. From there on out, Indy's defense prevented any possible comeback.
With the win, the Colts improved to 8-4.
With a low-scoring road win over the Browns behind them, the Colts went home for a Week 14 game with the Cincinnati Bengals. In the first quarter, Indy got the early lead as RB Dominic Rhodes got a 17-yard touchdown run. The Bengals would answer in the second quarter with kicker Shayne Graham nailing a 19-yard field goal, yet Indianapolis replied with QB Peyton Manning completing a 5-yard TD pass to WR Marvin Harrison. Manning would even deliver two third-quarter scores for the Colts, as he completed a 2-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez and a 4-yard touchdown pass to TE Dallas Clark. Indianapolis closed out the game with CB Kelvin Hayden returning an interception 85 yards for a touchdown.
With their win, the Colts improved to 9-4.
Coming off their win over the Bengals, the Colts stayed at home for their Week 15 interconference game with the winless Detroit Lions. Indianapolis delivered the game's opening hit in the first quarter as running back Dominic Rhodes got a 1-yard touchdown run. The Lions would respond with a 51-yard field goal from kicker Jason Hanson. The Colts would add onto their lead in the second quarter as rookie running back Chad Simpson got a 2-yard touchdown run, yet Detroit answered with quarterback Dan Orlovsky completing a 33-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Calvin Johnson. Indianapolis would close out the half quarterback Peyton Manning completing a 3-yard touchdown pass to tight end Dallas Clark.
The Lions would begin to catch up in the third quarter as Hanson got a 30-yard field goal. In the fourth quarter, Detroit tied the game with running back Kevin Smith getting a 1-yard touchdown run, followed by Orlovsky's 2-point conversion pass to tight end Casey FitzSimmons. The Colts would pull away with Rhodes getting another 1-yard touchdown run, followed by kicker Adam Vinatieri nailing a 31-yard field goal.
With the win, Indianapolis improved to 10-4.
Coming off their home win over the Lions, the Colts flew to Jacksonville Municipal Stadium for a Week 16 AFC South rematch with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday night. Indianapolis trailed early in the first quarter as Jaguars David Garrard completed a 28-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Dennis Northcutt. In the second quarter, the Colts' deficit increased to 14 points as Garrard scored on a 2-yard touchdown run. Indianapolis responded with quarterback Peyton Manning's 41-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Reggie Wayne. The Colts had an opportunity to cut the Jacksonville lead to 4, but Adam Vinatieri missed a 30-yard field goal. The scoreless Colts possession left 1:03 on the clock, enough time to enable Jacksonville to close out the half with a 44-yard field goal from kicker Josh Scobee.
The Colts would hack at the Jaguars' lead in the third quarter with Manning's 10-yard touchdown pass to running back Dominic Rhodes, yet Jacksonville answered with running back Montell Owens to take a 24-14 lead. In the fourth quarter, Indianapolis took the lead on the following scores: Manning's 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Dallas Clark, kicker Adam Vinatieri's 45-yard field goal, and defensive back Keiwan Ratliff's 35-yard interception return for a touchdown. The Jaguars would get a late-game drive into Colts' territory, yet defensive end Dwight Freeney delivered the game-winning sack, preserving Indianapolis' slim lead.
Coming off their playoff-clinching road win over the Jaguars, the Colts closed out the regular season at home in a Week 17 AFC South rematch with the Tennessee Titans. The Titans, having already clinched the number one seed in the AFC and having home-field advantage, only played second- and third-string players for the entirety of the game. Indianapolis would get the early first quarter lead as quarterback Peyton Manning completed a 55-yard touchdown pass to running back Joseph Addai, followed by kicker Adam Vinatieri getting a 28-yard field goal. The Colts would increase their lead in the second quarter as Vinatieri nailed a 21-yard and a 38-yard field goal. After a scoreless third quarter, Indianapolis closed out the game in the fourth quarter as center Jamey Richard recovered rookie running back Lance Ball's fumble in the endzone for a touchdown.
With the shutout win, the Colts closed out the regular season at 12-4 and captured the AFC's #5 seed and also their 6th straight season with 12+ wins.
Peyton Manning (7-7 for 95 yards, 1 touchdown) would acquire his NFL record ninth-straight 4,000-yard passing season, wide receiver Marvin Harrison (7 receptions for 31 yards) would pass Cris Carter for second on the NFL's all-time career receptions list with 1,102, and tight end Dallas Clark (6 receptions for 59 yards) would set a franchise record for the most single-season receiving yards by a tight end with 848.
|Week||Date||Kickoff||Opponent (seed)||Result||Record||Game site||TV||NFL Recap|
|Wild Card||January 3, 2009||8:15 pm EST||at San Diego Chargers (4)||17-23 (OT)||12-5||Qualcomm Stadium||NBC||Recap|
Entering the postseason as the AFC's fifth seed, the Colts began their playoff run at Qualcomm Stadium in the AFC's Wild Card game against the No. 4 San Diego Chargers, in a rematch of their Week 12 contest. Indianapolis got the lead in the first quarter as running back Joseph Addai got a 1-yard touchdown run. The Chargers would strike back in the second quarter as running back LaDainian Tomlinson got a 3-yard touchdown run. The Colts would answer with kicker Adam Vinatieri's 43-yard field goal, yet San Diego got the halftime lead with running back Darren Sproles getting a 9-yard touchdown run.
Indianapolis would regain the lead in the third quarter as league MVP/quarterback Peyton Manning completed a 72-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Reggie Wayne, but the Chargers would tie the game in the fourth quarter as kicker Nate Kaeding nailed a 22-yard field goal. Afterwards, in overtime, the Colts would never get the ball as San Diego took the period's first drive and capped it off with Sproles' game-ending 22-yard touchdown run. This would be the second straight time the Chargers beat the Colts in a playoff game.
With the loss, Indianapolis' season would end with an overall record of 12-5.