The 2006 Colts are considered one of the worst Super Bowl teams in history

The Indianapolis Colts last won a Super Bowl during the 2006 season. While fans remember the team fondly, critics have a different view of the group.
Super Bowl XLI - Indianapolis Colts vs Chicago Bears
Super Bowl XLI - Indianapolis Colts vs Chicago Bears / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

The 2006 season will forever be remembered fondly in Indianapolis. That was the year that the Indianapolis Colts went 12-4 in the regular and won Super Bowl 41, defeating the Chicago Bears 29-17. It was the franchise’s first Super Bowl since relocating to Indianapolis and also the first Super Bowl for Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning.

It was the perfect conclusion for a season where Indy had gotten over multiple obstacles that held them back in past years. The Super Bowl victory, and the path to the big game, made the season a special year that all Colts fans will remember forever.

While there’s nothing that can be said about this team that would change its perception to Indy’s fans, there has been a bit of dirt thrown on the 2006 Colts. Aaron Schatz, in a recent piece for ESPN, ranked all 57 Super Bowl winners from worst to best. Schatz looked at the regular season and the postseason, and used DVOA ratings to rank the teams. The result saw the Super Bowl 41 champion Colts ranked as the 46th-best Super Bowl-winning team.

Colts ranked as 46th-best Super Bowl-winning team

With only 57 Super Bowl winners in history, that means only 11 teams are considered to be worst than the 2006 Indianapolis team. One of those 11 teams is the 1970 Baltimore Colts, who were ranked dead last at No. 57. So neither of the Super Bowl teams in franchise history are viewed kindly by the data.

Schatz pointed out that while the 2006 Indianapolis team was great offensively, it was the worst regular-season defensive team of any Super Bowl Champion. However, Schatz did acknowledge the context of Bob Sanders being injured in the regular season: “Bob Sanders returned from injury for the playoffs and the entire defense flipped the switch.”

Ultimately, analysts can make whatever case they want about which Super Bowl team is the best in history. The Indianapolis Colts were the best team in the 2006 season and that’s all that matters.