Edgerrin James Joins Ring of Honor: Five Best Players in the History of the Indianapolis Colts

The official website of the Indianapolis Colts reports Edgerrin James, running back from 1999-2005, will be inducted into the Indianapolis Colts Ring of Honor this Sunday, September 23, 2012. He is just the fifth player to be so honored in the 29-year history of the Indianapolis Colts since they moved from Baltimore in 1984. James was the fourth overall pick of the 1999 draft out of Miami, FL. He burst on the scene by winning rushing titles in his first two seasons, 1999 and 2000. Playing for the Colts from 1999-2005, he rushed for 9,226 yards and 64 touchdowns and caught 356 receptions for 2,839 yards and 11 touchdowns. The Colts won four division titles and made one AFC Championship game during the James era. The only year the Colts had a losing record during the James era was 2001, when the team was 6-10 overall and 3-7 during James' absence with a knee injury.

Aside from James, who are the five best players in the history of the Indianapolis Colts? (Note: This article focuses on Indianapolis and does not refer to the storied history of the Baltimore Colts).

Peyton Manning must top the list of the best players for the Indianapolis Colts. Manning was the quarterback and No. 1 pick for the Colts and played every game for the Colts from 1998-2010 until neck problems forced him to miss the entire 2011 season. ESPN reviewed his career when the Colts released him in March, allowing him to sign with the Denver Broncos. The Colts went to the playoffs every year Manning was quarterback except his rookie year and in 2001. They won seven of the first eight AFC South titles from 2002-2009 and the AFC East title in 1999. The Colts went to the Super Bowl in 2006 and 2009, winning it in 2006. In the victory over the Chicago Bears, Manning won the Super Bowl MVP award. Manning broke every passing record for the Colts. Manning is a certainty to be the sixth player to join the Ring of Honor after he retires.

Marvin Harrison must be mentioned at the same time as Manning and James. Harrison completed the triplets for the Colts as wide receiver. He leads the Colts in all-time yards from scrimmage: 14,608 (James is second with 12,065). In almost a quarter of the games that Manning, Harrison and James played, Harrison and James both had 100-yard games. The Colts were 19-3 in those games. Pro-football-reference.com shows all of the career statistics of Harrison while playing for the Colts from 1996-2008. Harrison caught 128 career touchdowns. He led the league in receptions and reception yards twice.

Jim Harbaugh was the quarterback of the Colts from 1994-1997, right before the Manning era. Harbaugh led the league in 1995 and 1997 with the lowest interception rate. The most successful year of the Colts during this time was 1995 when a dropped Hail Mary pass kept the Colts from going to the Super Bowl.
Bill Brooks was a wide receiver for the Colts from 1986 to 1992. Brooks also returned punts in his first two years. Brooks caught 411 passes for 5,818 yards during this tenure with the Colts before he shuffled off to Buffalo, then Washington.

Chris Hinton was a left guard and left tackle for the Baltimore Colts in 1983 as a rookie. He then moved to Indianapolis with the Colts in the middle of the night where he stayed until 1989. He started 92 games for the Colts and played in two others during those years.

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