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Series history: Patriots-Colts used to be the best rivalry in the NFL

Related: How the Patriots and Colts have changed since their last meeting

New England Patriots v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The New England Patriots will host the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, Nov. 6th at 1 p.m. ET. The Patriots lead the series history 52-30.

Let’s take a look back on some important games between the two franchises:

First Meeting: The first meeting between these two came on Oct. 4, 1970, in a game that saw the Baltimore Colts defeat the Boston Patriots 14-6.

Mike Taliaferro started for Boston and threw for 236 yards while taking five sacks. The Patriots only points were off of two Gino Cappelletti field goals.

The Colts used two quarterbacks as Earl Morrall and Johnny Unitas each threw touchdown passes. Roy Jefferson had 87 receiving yards and reeled in a score while Eddie Hinton caught the other.

Most Lopsided Game: The most lopsided game in this extensive history took place on Oct. 6th, 1974. This game saw the Patriots win 42-3.

Jim Plunkett started for New England and threw for 141 yards and three touchdowns with an interception. Mack Herron added a score on the ground as did Darryl Stingley and John Tarver. Reggie Rucker had 92 receiving yards and two touchdowns and Sam Cunningham added a touchdown reception.

Bert Jones started for the Colts and had 215 passing yards with an interception while being sacked five times. Toni Linhart registered the only points of the game on a 27-yard field goal.

Most Recent Matchup: The most recent matchup took place on Dec. 18, 2021. The Indianapolis Colts won 27-17 in a prime time contest.

Mac Jones started for New England and threw for 299 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Hunter Henry had 77 receiving yards and caught both touchdowns. Nick Folk added a 25-yard field goal and two extra points to give the Patriots 17 points.

Colts QB Carson Wentz had only 57 passing yards with a touchdown pass and an interception. The story of this one, however, was Jonathan Taylor going for 170 yards and a 67-yard touchdown. Nyheim Hines caught the lone touchdown. E.J. Speed returned a blocked punt for a touchdown, while Michael Badgely nailed two field goals and three extra points.

Playoff History: Patriots-Colts used to be the best rivalry in the NFL and the two teams’ extensive playoff history is a big part of it. In total, they have faced off five separate times.

The first matchup was the 2003 AFC Championship Game that saw the Patriots win 24-14 and go on to win the Super Bowl.

Tom Brady started for the Patriots and threw for 237 yards and a touchdown with an interception. David Givens caught the lone touchdown pass from seven yards out. Adam Vinatieri nailed five field goals in this game and an extra point to account for 16 total points. New England’s defense also forced a safety in this one.

Peyton Manning also threw for 237 but had one touchdown and four interceptions — including three to Patriots cornerback Ty Law. Edgerrin James had 78 yards and a touchdown. Marcus Pollard had 90 receiving yards and a touchdown.

The next matchup was the 2004 divisional game that saw the Patriots win 20-3 and go on to win the Super Bowl yet again.

Brady threw for 144 with a touchdown and a rushing score. Givens yet again caught the lone touchdown. Vinatieri delivered two field goals and two extra points to get to the 20 points.

Manning once again could not do a thing against this defense, despite coming off a record-breaking campaign. He had 238 yards with an interception, while the only points come off a Mike Vanderjagt field goal.

The next meeting was the 2006 AFC Championship Game, and the Colts finally broke through and won 38-34.

Brady threw for 232 with one touchdown and one interception. Corey Dillion added a rushing touchdown. Jabar Gaffney caught the lone touchdown pass while adding 37 receiving yards. Logan Mankins recovered a fumble in the end zone and was credited with a touchdown. Asante Samuel also had a 39-yard pick six before Stephen Gostkowski added two field goals.

Manning thew for 349 with a touchdown and an interception while also adding a rushing score. Joesph Addai rumbled for 56 yards and a score. Dan Klecko was the lone player on the Colts to have a receiving score. Jeff Saturday recovered a fumble in the end zone and was credited with a touchdown (it was a wild game). Vinatieri was on the other side of things in this one and delivered with three field goals.

The two franchises then met up again in the 2013 divisional round and New England walked away with 43-22 win.

Brady did not do much as he threw for 198 yards with no touchdowns or picks. LeGarrette Blount exploded for 166 yards and four touchdowns on the grounds. Stevan Ridley added 52 rushing yards and two scores himself.

Andrew Luck was the starter for Indianapolis this time around and he threw for 331 with two touchdowns and four interceptions. LaVon Brazill had two catches in this game for 73 yards and two touchdowns. The Colts also had a safety and Vinatieri made two field goals.

The most recent playoff matchup may be the most famous: the 2014 AFC Championship that has since become known as the Deflategate game. Regardless of how much air was in the footballs, the Patriots won 45-7.

Brady threw for 226 with three touchdowns and an interception. Blount absolutely dominated again and had 148 yards with three touchdowns. Rob Gronkowski, Nate Solder (yes, the offensive tackle) and James Develin each caught touchdown passes.

Luck had 126 passing yards and two interceptions. The only score of the game for Indianapolis was a Zurlon Tipton rushing touchdown.

Most Memorable Matchup: Despite all of the playoff history the most memorable game might just be the 4th-and-2 debacle in a regular season contest on Nov. 15, 2009. The Colts won this game 35-34.

Bill Belichick went for it on his own 28-yard line late in the fourth quarter and the team did not convert. Shortly after that play, Peyton Manning found Reggie Wayne for a touchdown and Matt Stover kicked the game-winning extra point.

Brady threw for 375 and three touchdowns with an interception. Laurence Maroney had 31 rushing yards with a touchdown. Randy Moss had 179 yards and two touchdowns while Julian Edelman had two catches and a score of his own.

Manning went for 327 with four touchdowns and two interceptions. Addai had 41 rushing yards and a touchdown on the ground while adding a score through the air. Wayne had 126 yards and two touchdowns while a young Pierre Garcon had 50 yards and a score as well.