Since the Indianapolis Colts unveiled their state-of-the-art Lucas Oil Stadium in 2008, they have played some of their most memorable games in its friendly confines.
Some experts consider Lucas Oil Stadium as the best in the National Football League.
Colts fans who were fortunate to watch the best home games since Lucas Oil’s inception in 2008 got the best fan experience and bang for their buck, for sure.
For the purposes of this article, we will simply rank the games according to their excitement factor and repercussion on franchise history.
3. The Belichick Blunder, 2009
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is a master tactician who has helped the franchise win an unprecedented six Super Bowl titles.
However, his late gaffe on November 15, 2009 cost the Patriots the game and extended the Colts’ winning streak to ten.
With the Patriots leading 34-28 with just 2:08 remaining in the game, they spotted the ball on their 28-yard line on fourth down.
Less than an hour until we go back in time to 2009.
Relive the @Colts' stunning late-game victory over the #Patriots, starting at 3 on CBS4. #Indy #Indiana #Indianapolis #Colts #ColtsNation #Throwback #SundayFunday @ColtsBluezone @Chris_Widlic @ChrisHaganIndy #CBS4Indy pic.twitter.com/nJ4W8k5a6M
— CBS4 Indy (@CBS4Indy) August 30, 2020
It seemed like a no-brainer: this was a typical punting situation that would’ve made it hard for the Colts to score with just one timeout left to burn.
For some reason, Belichick inexplicably decided to go for it on fourth down.
The Colts’ defense held serve and Belichick’s worst nightmare came true: he gave the ball right back to Peyton Manning with excellent field position.
Manning completed his fourth and final touchdown pass to Reggie Wayne moments later.
The Colts prevailed in a squeaker, 35-34.
Whenever the Patriots visited Lucas Oil Stadium back then, the Colts were in for a battle.
This one was no exception – it was one of the most exciting regular-season games in Manning’s first several years at Lucas Oil Stadium.
2. Chuckstrong Game Versus The Packers, 2012
The Colts kicked off their 2012 NFL season on a somber note – doctors diagnosed their new head coach Chuck Pagano with leukemia.
Thus, the famous “Chuckstrong” battle cry was born in the Circle City.
Bruce Arians took over the reins from Pagano when the Colts took on Aaron Rodgers‘ Green Bay Packers on October 7, 2012.
Indy found itself in a 21-3 hole at halftime.
Green Bay reclaimed the lead on a James Jones touchdown reception with 4:30 remaining.
However, Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne’s four-yard touchdown catch with just 35 seconds left in the game sealed their improbable 30-27 victory.
Luck’s 362 passing yards and Wayne’s 212 receiving yards led the way for Indy.
The win was a fitting tribute to Pagano, who had gone a long way back with Wayne dating back to their days with the Miami Hurricanes.
On this particular day, the Colts indeed proved they were “Chuckstrong.”
1. 2013 AFC Wild Card Comeback Against The Chiefs
In terms of the excitement factor and repercussions on Colts franchise history, nothing comes close to the 2013 AFC Wild Card Game against the Kansas City Chiefs on January 4, 2014.
The Colts trailed the Chiefs 38-10 after a Knile Davis touchdown just 76 seconds into the third quarter.
It seemed all hope was lost.
However, the Colts defense held the Chiefs to just six points the rest of the way.
Plus, Colts quarterback Luck went to work.
8 years ago today…
In the largest comeback in franchise history, Andrew Luck and the Colts erased a 28-point deficit against the Chiefs in the 2013 Wild Card round! 🤯 pic.twitter.com/dT5oaJ1w5t
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) January 4, 2022
Luck racked up the last of his game-high 443 passing yards on a 64-yard touchdown bomb to the cat-quick Hilton with 4:21 remaining in the game.
Lucas Oil Stadium exploded after Hilton’s game-clinching touchdown.
The noise level wasn’t as high when the Colts beat the Patriots in the 2006 AFC title game at the old RCA Dome, but it was close.
Although Luck ended his career prematurely some five years later, his masterpiece against the Chiefs was his finest postseason performance.
It was also the Colts’ best game of all-time at Lucas Oil Stadium so far.