Indianapolis Colts: 30 greatest players in franchise history

Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images /
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Indianapolis Colts
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46. . Quarterback. 1973-81. Bert Jones. 14. player

The forgotten quarterback of Colts lore, Bert Jones was a superstar in his own right. Taking over for Johnny Unitas as the next long-term starter under center, he quickly caught on as a capable leader of the Baltimore offense.

Now, Jones often gets overlooked for a few reasons. The first is that the Colts never enjoyed huge success during his time at the helm. Sure, they won the AFC East three years in a row, but were knocked out of the playoffs in the first round each of those years. His overall record as Baltimore’s starter was an unspectacular 46-46. Injuries were also a constant issue.

And yet, Jones was a rock star for the Colts. When his time with the team was over, he was second in nearly every passing category and earned one trip to the Pro Bowl and two All-Pro honors. To top it off, he won the NFL MVP award in 1976, his best season by far.

It’s easy to forget about a guy who tried to fill Unitas’ shoes. However, when you reflect on the history of the Colts franchise, you simply can’t ignore a talent like Jones. It’s safe to say that, had he played for a better team and avoided injuries, Jones’ legend would have been much larger when he finally hung up his cleats.