Remembering the best of Bob Sanders on his birthday
Bob Sanders was a pivotal piece to the Indianapolis Colts Super Bowl win and we celebrate his birthday today!
Former Indianapolis Colts safety and current legend in Indianapolis, Bob Sanders was an absolute terror on the field. Unfortunately, the former Defensive Player of the Year didn’t see the field nearly as much as Indianapolis would have loved to.
Plagued by injuries, Sanders played just 48 games in his seven seasons on the Colts roster, which is just over 42% of eligible games. In 2005 and 2007, Sanders was not just a Pro Bowler, but a First-Team All-Pro as well.
Any Colts fan remembers Bob Sanders for two things: hitting hard and being injured. Let’s take a look at some of his best moments on the field.
Hard-hitting and making plays
It didn’t matter who you were, you were afraid to play against Bob Sanders. When he hit that field, all eyes on offense had to know where Sanders was at any moment.
Whether in the backfield or in coverage, he was your shadow. Similar to Darius Leonard now, Sanders was on top of you if you had the ball. Where Leonard is a master at punching the ball out, Sanders was a master at hitting you as hard as he could.
The hard-hitting came at a price though. He missed 58% of games in the regular season, which doesn’t help at all. However, when it mattered most, he got healthy and made a run at the Super Bowl.
In the Super Bowl, his presence was enough. It forced Bears QB, Rex Grossman, to throw away from him as much as possible. He ended the game with three tackles, one interception, and one forced fumble.
Forcing two turnovers in the Super Bowl, on the biggest stage, is a tone-setter and really got the Colts’ offense moving.
What could have been
It’s easy to think about what could have been if Sanders was healthy his entire career in Indy. When he was in and playing, the defense was the most efficient they could be. When he was missing, it often fell apart.
Had Bob been healthy all seven seasons, the Colts would likely have had a better chance at winning a few more Super Bowls. A big problem for the Colts in the late 2000s was Tom Brady, who was able to get the ball out to his receivers easily.
Sanders would have been able to lock Brady up just a tad more, allowing the Colts offense to keep to their game plan and not force the ball down the field as often. Peyton Manning often had his worst games against New England in the playoffs, because we were often playing from behind.
After being named Defensive Player of the Year, we saw Sanders just nine more times in a Colts uniform before playing two games for the Chargers before retirement.
Had he stayed healthy, it’s likely that he would have remained in Indianapolis and made many more commercials like this one.
Bob Sanders was always one step ahead and Indianapolis was lucky to have him flying around on the defense. Happy Birthday to the legend, Bob Sanders.