Colts time machine: Halloween 1988

Indianapolis Colts

INDIANAPOLIS — Halloween night 1988 was one to remember at Hoosier Dome.

A fully costumed crowd gathered for the first-ever Monday Night Football game in Indianapolis against the back-to-back AFC champion Denver Broncos. The game was played one year after the Colts traded for running back Eric Dickerson.

The Horseshoes shocked the NFL after defeating the powerhouse Broncos 55-23. Dickerson scored four touchdowns in the win.

“What’s crazy is Dickerson had 21 carries for 159 yards and he played for one series in the third quarter. I’ve talked to Eric about that and he said he wanted to get back in, he wanted to go for 300,” said Blue Zone analyst Mike Chappell, who covered the game for the Indy Star. “He was pulled for a lot of reasons, not to rub it in their faces, not to get hurt but when you’re at 159 in the third quarter, he could’ve run for how long he wanted to.”

Colts Ring of Honor left tackle Chris Hinton blocked for Ericson and remembers the game like it was yesterday.

“Back then, Monday Night Football was it. There was no competition,” said Hinton. “It was an offensive lineman’s dream night in that we didn’t need to pass. Everything on offense went right for us. We were so dominant and efficient in running the ball, passing was an afterthought.”

Hinton and Chappell agree, the 1988 Halloween night game was one of the most important the team has played since moving to Indianapolis.

“It was historic,” said Hinton. “It put the city on the map as an NFL franchise. It put the franchise itself on the map too. You can’t overstate it.”

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