What team is the Patriots rival?

New England Patriots

The New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts are rivals in the National Football League (NFL), and their rivalry is known as the Colts-Patriots rivalry.

Even though the rivalry started in 1970 when the AFL and NFL combined, it is still regarded as one of the most well-known NFL rivalries from the 2000s since both teams had several winning seasons in that decade and because it was the height of the rivalry between Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.

New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers
New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers

The Colts were one of the few teams that could retroactively compete with the Patriots, especially after their higher winning percentage and 2006 season.

The two teams have combined for seven Super Bowl victories (six by the Patriots) and eleven AFC Championships (nine by the Patriots) since 2001. The Patriots have won seven of those games and nine of the other eleven.

The Patriots and Colts were AFC East division rivals from 1970 to 2001 (dating before the Colts moved from Baltimore to Indianapolis), but their rivalry only really heated up after the 2001 season when Indianapolis was transferred into the newly established AFC South as part of the NFL’s restructuring.

Following Indianapolis’ 27-17 victory in 2021, the Patriots are currently leading the overall series with 52 victories (12 after 2001, 4 in the playoffs), compared to the Colts’ 30 victories (6 after 2001, 1 playoff), and they are also ahead in terms of points scored (2,056 to 1,564). This rivalry was recognized as the top NFL rivalry of the 2000s by CBS in 2020