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1976 Baltimore Colts season

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


Week Date Opponent Result Record Game Site Attendance
1 September 12, 1976 at New England Patriots W 27–13 1–0 Schaeffer Stadium
2 September 19, 1976 Cincinnati Bengals W 28–27 2–0 Memorial Stadium
3 September 26, 1976 at Dallas Cowboys L 27–30 2–1 Texas Stadium
4 October 3, 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 42–17 3–1 Memorial Stadium
5 October 10, 1976 Miami Dolphins W 28–14 4–1 Memorial Stadium
6 October 17, 1976 at Buffalo Bills W 31–13 5–1 Rich Stadium
7 October 24, 1976 at New York Jets W 20–0 6–1 Shea Stadium
8 November 1, 1976 Houston Oilers W 38–14 7–1 Memorial Stadium
9 November 7, 1976 at San Diego Chargers W 37–21 8–1 San Diego Stadium
10 November 14, 1976 New England Patriots L 14–21 8–2 Memorial Stadium
11 November 22, 1976 at Miami Dolphins W 17–16 9–2 Miami Orange Bowl
12 November 28, 1976 New York Jets W 33–16 10–2 Memorial Stadium
13 December 4, 1976 at St. Louis Cardinals L 17–24 10–3 Busch Memorial Stadium
14 December 12, 1976 Buffalo Bills W 58–20 11–3 Memorial Stadium

Game summaries

Week 6

1 234Total
• Colts 3 14014 31
Bills 3 1000 13




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

See also


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