1976 Baltimore Colts season

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1976 Baltimore Colts season
Head coach Ted Marchibroda
Home field Memorial Stadium
Results
Record 11–3
Division place T-1st AFC East
Playoff finish Lost Divisional Playoffs (Steelers) 40–14
Timeline
Previous season Next season
< 1975 1977 >

The 1976 Baltimore Colts season was the 24th season for the team in the National Football League. The Baltimore Colts finished the National Football League's 1976 season with a record of 11 wins and 3 losses, and finished tied for first in the AFC East division with the New England Patriots. However, the Colts finished ahead of New England in the AFC East based on a better division record (7–1 to Patriots' 6–2).

The season started with much turmoil when head coach Ted Marchibroda resigned shortly before the season opener due to a power struggle with general manager Joe Thomas. Several Colts assistant coaches threatened to leave the team, and quarterback Bert Jones publicly came to his coach's defense. Thomas and Colts owner Robert Irsay quickly made amends with the coach before the season started.[1] (Thomas would be fired by the team shortly after the season.)

The Colts offense was dominant in 1976: they led the league in scoring with 417 points (29.7 per game). Quarterback Bert Jones was named league MVP after passing for a league-best 3,104 yards, 9.27 yards-per-attempt, and a passer rating of 102.5, second best in the NFL. Running back Lydell Mitchell also had a spectactular year, rushing for 1,200 yards,[2] and catching 60 passes. Wide receiver Roger Carr proved to be a valuable deep threat in the passing game, leading the league 1,112 receiving yards and 25.9 yards per reception.[3] All three offensive players made the 1976 AFC Pro Bowl team.

Regular season[edit]

Schedule[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Record Game Site Attendance
1 September 12, 1976 at New England Patriots W 27–13 1–0 Schaeffer Stadium
43,512
2 September 19, 1976 Cincinnati Bengals W 28–27 2–0 Memorial Stadium
50,374
3 September 26, 1976 at Dallas Cowboys L 27–30 2–1 Texas Stadium
64,237
4 October 3, 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 42–17 3–1 Memorial Stadium
40,053
5 October 10, 1976 Miami Dolphins W 28–14 4–1 Memorial Stadium
58,832
6 October 17, 1976 at Buffalo Bills W 31–13 5–1 Rich Stadium
71,009
7 October 24, 1976 at New York Jets W 20–0 6–1 Shea Stadium
59,576
8 November 1, 1976 Houston Oilers W 38–14 7–1 Memorial Stadium
60,020
9 November 7, 1976 at San Diego Chargers W 37–21 8–1 San Diego Stadium
42,827
10 November 14, 1976 New England Patriots L 14–21 8–2 Memorial Stadium
58,226
11 November 22, 1976 at Miami Dolphins W 17–16 9–2 Miami Orange Bowl
62,104
12 November 28, 1976 New York Jets W 33–16 10–2 Memorial Stadium
44,023
13 December 4, 1976 at St. Louis Cardinals L 17–24 10–3 Busch Memorial Stadium
48,282
14 December 12, 1976 Buffalo Bills W 58–20 11–3 Memorial Stadium
50,451

Game summaries[edit]

Week 6[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
• Colts 3 14 0 14 31
Bills 3 10 0 0 13

[4]



Standings[edit]

AFC East
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA
Baltimore Colts(2) 11 3 0 .786 7–1 11–1 376 236
New England Patriots(4) 11 3 0 .786 6–2 10–2 246 171
Miami Dolphins 6 8 0 .429 5–3 6–6 263 264
New York Jets 3 11 0 .214 2–6 3–9 169 383
Buffalo Bills 2 12 0 .143 0–8 2–10 245 363

Postseason[edit]

The team made it to the playoffs as a No. 2 seed and played host to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the divisional round. The Colts fell behind 26–7 at the half and would never recover, ending up losing by a score of 40–14.

Playoff Round Date Opponent (seed) Result Record Game Site Attendance
Divisional December 19, 1976 Pittsburgh Steelers (3) L 14–40 0–1 Memorial Stadium
60,020

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Neft, David S.; Cohen, Richard M.; and Korch, Rich The Sports Encyclopedia: Pro Football, 12th Edition, p.306, Martin's Press, August 1994, ISBN 0-312-11073-1
  2. ^ fourth-best in the NFL, second-best in the NFC behind O.J. Simpson
  3. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com: 1976 NFL Leaders and Leaderboards
  4. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com