Top 15 Indianapolis Colts Since 2000

I am from the Detroit metropolitan area, so naturally, I would be a Lions fan. But my dad was a Colts fan so I was led to be one too. Ever since I started following and watching football, I’ve rooted for the Colts and have seen the ups and downs along the way. My most vivid memory from my childhood was when the Colts beat the Bears in the 2007 Superbowl. My all-time favorite player to watch was Edgerrin James and even when he moved to the Cardinals, I became a slight Cardinals fan. But needless to say, it was fun looking back at past Colts’ rosters and finding who I would say are the top Colts’ players of the millennium. Here are my top 15 Colts since 2000.

RankPlayer NameSeasons Played for the Colts
1Peyton Manning1998-2010
2Marvin Harrison1996-2008
3Dwight Freeney2002-2012
4Reggie Wayne2001-2014
5Jeff Saturday1999-2011
6Edgerinn James1999-2005
7Robert Mathis2003-2016
8Bob Sanders2004-2010
9Andrew Luck2012-2018
10Antoine Bethea2006-2013
11TY Hilton2012-Present
12Tarik Glenn1997-2006
13Dallas Clark2003-2011
14Joseph Addai2006-2011
15Vontae Davis2012-2017

1. Peyton Manning

I would even say Peyton Manning is the best Colt of all time. In his 13 seasons with the Colts, he was selected to the Pro Bowl 11 times, making 1st-team five times. Looking at the records he holds, one could make an argument for Manning being the best NFL player ever to play the game. Including his time with the Broncos, he holds the most career passing touchdowns (539), the most career passing yards (71,940), the most single-season touchdowns (55), and the most single-season passing yards (5,477). He holds many more records that I could go on and on with, but that’s for its own article. Needless to say, Manning is the clear-cut number one here.

Passing Yards: 71,940
Passing Touchdowns: 539
Pro Bowls: 14
Championships: 2
HOF: Soon

2. Marvin Harrison

I remember watching Marvin Harrison play and actually be excited to watch him. He was one of the first jerseys I ever owned. Like Manning, Harrison had a thing for Pro Bowls, being selected to 8 of them in his 13 season career. He eclipsed 1,600 yards in a season twice and set an NFL record in single-season receptions (143) until it was recently broken by Michael Thomas. In 2016, he was rightfully inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame. Harrison and Manning have the most completions, yards, and touchdowns among any quarterback and receiver duo in NFL history. It makes sense that both of these two would appear at the top of the list.

Receiving Yards: 14,580
Receiving Touchdowns: 128
Pro Bowls: 8
Championships: 1
HOF: Yes, Class of 2016

3. Dwight Freeney

When thinking about who to put next, my mind goes to one of the best defensive players to ever put on a Colts’ uniform, especially in the last 20 years. Dwight Freeney was selected to 7 Pro Bowls, four of those being First-Team. In 2007, Freeney missed most of the season, but outside of this season, he averaged 10.4 sacks each year with the Colts. He was torturous for opposing quarterbacks coming off the right side. With most quarterbacks being right-handed, they would have to worry about Freeney being right behind them in their blindspot every snap. His spin move frustrated offensive tackles for years.

Sacks: 125.5
Tackles for Loss: 128
Pro Bowls: 7
Championships: 1
HOF: No

4. Reggie Wayne

Peyton Manning has a way of creating amazing receivers and Reggie Wayne is no different. On a personal note, Wayne was a factor that led my first fantasy football team to a championship, so I have a close connection with him. He spent all 14 seasons with the Colts. He reached the 1000 yard benchmark eight times and made 6 Pro Bowls, selected to one First-Team. Wayne holds the most career games played and games won by a single player in a Colts’ uniform. When talking about a player that made a mark on his team, it is hard to not mention Reggie Wayne and the Colts.

Receiving Yards: 14,345
Receiving Touchdowns: 82
Pro Bowls: 6
Championships: 1
HOF: Made the 2020 ballot

5. Jeff Saturday

Offensive linemen often do not get the love that they deserve. It is easy to see when they fail because the running back struggles, but when he succeeds, the rewards go to the running back. Jeff Saturday is the exception here. I played on an intramural flag football team, and my team named a play the Saturday Special in which we had the center sneak out for a pass. Saturday is arguably the most well-known center and rightfully so. He had 6 Pro Bowl selections, two of them being First-Team. Saturday will most likely be the best center to ever play for the Colts.

Pro Bowls: 6
Championships: 1
HOF: No

6. Edgerrin James

Edgerrin James was my favorite player while growing up. His rookie and sophomore seasons are two that will probably be unmatchable to any other running back to come. He ran for 1553 yards and 13 touchdowns his rookie year and set his career-high the next year with 1709 rushing yards and another 13 touchdowns. Both seasons he also almost reached 600 yards receiving to put him over 2000 total yards each season. He was selected to the Pro Bowl both years and even was a First-Team All-Pro his rookie season. From 2003-2007 (two of those seasons being in Arizona), he had a five-year stretch of over 1,100 rushing yards. He holds the most rushing yards, attempts, and touchdowns in franchise history and sits at 13th all-time in rushing yards. Only injuries could hold James back from being one of the best running backs in NFL history.

Rushing Yards: 12,246
Rushing Touchdowns: 80
Pro Bowls: 4
Championships: 0
HOF: Yes, Class of 2020

7. Robert Mathis

Paired with Dwight Freeney, Robert Mathis completed the defensive line for the Colts. Having not one, but two excellent pass rushers definitely helped both of them out. Mathis led the league in sacks in 2013 with 19.5. He was selected to 5 Pro Bowls across his career in Indianapolis, one of which he was on the First-Team All-Pro list. He ended his career just short of Freeney’s number with 123 sacks but did force 54 fumbles with ten of them coming in his monster 2013 season.

Sacks: 123
Tackles for Loss: 108
Pro Bowls: 5
Championships: 1
HOF: No

8. Bob Sanders

Another fun player for me to watch growing up was Bob Sanders. Safety seemed like such a fun position for me who dreamed of playing football one day, so it was exciting to see Sanders make some monster plays. Sanders took over in the Colts’ Super Bowl victory in 2006, shutting down the Bears’ offense. At safety, he was not just back in pass coverage every time but would surprise defenses with a blitz and shut down the run game with his tackling ability. Injuries held him back often which caused him to average 6.25 games per season in his 8-year career. Nevertheless, Sanders was selected to 2 Pro Bowls and was First-Team All-Pro both times. Sanders left his mark on the Colts’ franchise.

Tackles: 307
Pro Bowls: 2
Championships: 1
HOF: No

9. Andrew Luck

It was sad to see Luck retire after the 2018 season but his reasoning was totally understandable. But while Luck played, he transformed the Colts. In his first three seasons, he led the Colts to 11-5 records and made the playoffs in all three. Furthermore, he was selected to the Pro Bowl in each of those three seasons, and in his third season, he threw for his career-high 4,761 yards and 40 touchdowns. His injury in 2015 set him back and eventually led to his retirement, but it is clear to see how much value the Colts got out of Luck. 2019 had its promises at first but without Luck’s backbone presence, the end of the season fell apart.

Passing Yards: 23,671
Passing Touchdowns: 171
Pro Bowls: 4
Championships: 0
HOF: No

10. Antoine Bethea

Bethea was one of my favorite players to play as on defense in the earlier Madden games. Like Bob Sanders, he was all around the field. His ability to defend, combined with his tackling ability, made him a threat to all opposing offenses. He finished his career with 25 interceptions in 14 seasons and picked up 1,333 tackles. His 995 solo tackles rank him 15th in the all-time leaders in tackles. He was selected to 3 Pro Bowls over his career, 2 with Indianapolis. He played last year in New York with the Giants but his career may be over soon. His name will be remembered as one of the best safeties to play in the Colts’ defense.

Interceptions: 25
Tackles: 1,333
Pro Bowls: 3
Championships: 1
HOF: No

11. TY Hilton

It is hard to place players in this list who are still playing but TY Hilton deserves a spot somewhere in this list. He already is ranked fourth in receiving yards in Colts’ franchise history and will soon be number three, passing Raymond Berry (<700 yards away). It will be difficult for him to catch Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison at one and two but can’t cut him out. In five out of his eight seasons, he surpassed 1,000 receiving yards while picking up just under 6 touchdowns each year. Right out of the gate with his rookie season, Hilton climbed to the top of the Colts receivers and hasn’t taken a step back since besides last season in which he missed some games due to an injury. He has a lot more to gain moving forward and could only climb up these rankings as time goes on.

Receiving Yards: 8,598
Receiving Touchdowns: 45
Pro Bowls: 4
Championships: 0
HOF: No

12. Tarik Glenn

I can’t just pass up a player that made 3 Pro Bowls in his 10 seasons. I had never heard of Glenn before looking him up, but it is clear that he had a major impact on Manning’s success. Even the best quarterbacks cannot produce without a great line and Glenn was one that enabled Manning to perform. Glenn retired after winning the Super Bowl in 2006 which puts the ultimate topper on an amazing career.

Pro Bowls: 3
Championships: 1
HOF: No

13. Dallas Clark

Dallas Clark is my favorite tight end ever. His contribution to the Colts’ offense complimented Harrison and Wayne very well. His career numbers show his success, but what stands out the most is his 2009 season. He finished the season with 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns. Those types of numbers are very difficult to match up to. Those are Travis Kelce type numbers who is absolutely ridiculous. That year, Clark was selected to the Pro Bowl and was First-Team All-Pro. This was the only time he was selected but that doesn’t negate his impact for the Colts. Having to split targets with Harrison and Wayne will negatively impact your own stats, but Clark will reign as one of the best tight ends to ever play for the Colts.

Receiving Yards: 5,665
Receiving Touchdowns: 53
Pro Bowls: 1
Championships: 1
HOF: No

14. Joseph Addai

After Edgerrin James left Indianapolis, the Colts had to find a new prime running back to replace him. They quickly came upon Joseph Addai. Addai eclipsed 1,000 yards in his first two seasons with the Colts. He did not have a long career with the Colts but the years that the Colts got out of him were great. In the Colts’ Super Bowl run, he accumulated 412 total yards from scrimmage in the four games they played. His two touchdowns in the Super Bowl helped push the Colts to their first championship since 1971.

Rushing Yards: 4,453
Rushing Touchdowns: 39
Pro Bowls: 1
Championships: 1
HOF: No

15. Vontae Davis

While Vontae Davis played, he was arguably the best corner out there. The Colts acquired him in 2012 from the Dolphins and gave them five good seasons. In those five seasons, he picked off 13 passes, forced 2 fumbles, and had 224 total tackles. His ability to be on the best wide receivers in the game and shut them down was incredible to watch. His career peaked when he decided to retire during halftime of a game while on the Bills. His career as a Colt will continue to stand out for years to come.

Interceptions: 22
Tackles: 395
Pro Bowls: 2
Championships: 0
HOF: No

  
I am a student at the University of Michigan studying Sport Management. I have been involved in sports as long as I can remember, playing football, baseball, and basketball. I also love learning how to play songs on the piano and ukulele.

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