NBC’s John Madden made an interesting disclosure moments ago during coverage of the Colts-Chargers game.
Per Madden, San Diego’s defense used a lot of hand signals when the two teams last met in November 2008.  But Chargers defensive coordinator Ron Rivera believed that Manning “had their signals.”
This time around, the Chargers are relying upon the radio system, which debuted this season.
But, wait.  If the Colts had the Chargers’ signals, would that mean that the Colts were cheating?
It depends on how the Colts got them.  If Indy’s advance scouts used a pencil and paper to crack the code, it’s fair game.  But if they videotaped the signals, then it’s cheating.
Either way, the Colts have the same advantage (allegedly) that the Patriots got from their system of videotaping defensive signals.
Cue the Patriots haters, who’ll accuse us of being Patriots apologists.
And cue the Patriots apologists.  We could use your help in the comments.

85 responses to “THE COLTS ARE . . . CHEATERS?

  1. whose apologizing? I say if the Colts are guilty burn em as hard as the patriots. Same crime same time

  2. “believed” that Manning had their signals is a far cry from knowing that he had their signals or investigation revealed that Manning had their signals…

  3. I thought this was going to be a sound violation posting. Since they’ve done that unpunished for 10 years.

  4. Stealing signals is a part of sports. Been going on forever, so shame on SD for not changing up every quarter.
    Spygate …was alot of rubbish, still is rubbish. You cannot diagnose [ same game] signals from a video, esp w/technicians who are non football people….It’s each teams responsibility to disguise signals and change indicators often
    Seems as if spygate was created by those who could not beat NE on the field

  5. Now that you got all the mileage you can out of the story you admit the obvious truth. Mighty big of you Florio.

  6. WTF, that is a HUGE leap! Cheating?? cmon man its payoffs there have to be more storylines available than that.

  7. See, this whole Florio plan to get Patriots apologists and Florio haters to write a lot of comments is to drone out … me.

  8. You’re really scraping the bottom of the barrel these days aren’t you? Yet another post with no real point being made.
    It’s not the advantage that’s the issue. It’s how you get the advantage.

  9. Even if the Colts got red-handed with videotape, the league wouldn’t penalize them since they love them.

  10. Riveria believes Manning at the signals…so he is guilty. Good work Florio.
    Oliver Stone’s JFK must be fact then.

  11. grasping is right, pcik a new headline. the colts office will be pissed when they see this! colts are a great orginization.

  12. All teams cheat. I didn’t care when the Patriots got caught, I wont care when/if the Colts get caught. There’s so much cheating in this league, if you have a serious problem with it you might as well stop watching.

  13. The colt’s mike’d in sound in the old hoosier down.
    They were even caught(listen to Colts/NE Nov 06′ game).
    Then again, Polian would never do such a thing, would he.

  14. They all cheat. It really comes down to not getting caught.
    San Diego has to have some of the best looking cheerleaders I have ever seen. WOW!

  15. Wow. A little bit of knowledge truly is a dangerous thing, eh?
    I really wish there was a separate section of this site for baseless, motivated crap. The factual news presented here is invaluable, but as soon as the human element rears its head, everything comes crashing down.
    -Could the Colts have used pencil and paper to crack the code? Yes.
    -Could the Colts have illegally videotaped the sideline? Yes.
    -Could Peyton Manning (or a WR or any other player) have simply witnessed their codes and remembered the ensuing play? Yes.
    Despite those possibilities and others, despite the fact that this is information from John Madden about what Ron Rivera allegedly told him… the headline that points out this story really has to have the word “cheaters” in it?
    Why don’t you just try reporting the news and let your readers think for themselves? It’s annoying and condescending to have to retranslate every update so that we can remove the spin.

  16. Just because the Chargers believe this, doesnt not make it fact. I believe the Patriots planted the story.

  17. I’m with the guy who said stealing signals is a part of sports. If you don’t want your signals stolen then change your signals once in awhile.

  18. Somebody direct me to where the ‘rubbish’ pile is valued at 500,000 dollars and a first round draft pick.

  19. Maybe some loser golf instructor (who used to work for the Colts) will come forward on January 31st claiming to have video of the Bears walkthrough at the SB two years ago and this will cause a distraction that leads to the Colts losing in the SB this year. Of course since the NFL loves Peyton and enforces rules that Polian wants enforced, a new rule next year will allow for videotaping of opposing team signals. F the Colts.

  20. Spygate was TWO years ago, the Patriots have been 26-5 since. Get over it.
    At least BB isn’t as duplicitous as Saint Dumpy is.

  21. ar1888 says:
    January 3rd, 2009 at 8:59 pm
    Sure are alot of Pats fans on here since there team is home early this year.
    ….same as you I guess.

  22. What bs Florio. You post this when theres real things to talk about? Are you bored or drunk? Oh writting the real stuff for Sporting News right?

  23. In other news – nice non-challenge Dungy – obvious call that would have been overturned. Who do you think you are, Mike McCarthy?

  24. Don’t worry Colts phan, nothing will ever happen because they don’t want Peyton and his cro magnon head getting a legacy tarnished. Plus they like to keep Tony Dungee perfect since he’s the first kinda black head coach to win a Super Bowl. He’s black like Michael Jackson (without the child molestation).

  25. Yup, we Patriots fans are home early this year after an 11-5 season without Tom Brady. None of us are heartbroken. We’ll all be back and the haters know this.
    The media drinks Dungy’s urine the same way that they have done for Favre for years. Polian and company have changed the rules, piped in audio of crowd noise, and done everything else to gain a competitive advantage. I will actually root for the Giants in the SB if it comes to that, if they are playing the Colts.

  26. geez Florio-you should know better than to mess with Saint Tony and the Colts…’s heresy!! However, it does bring to mind the rather shocking and unexpected Pro-Patriot reation from the world’s biggest Pat hater- Bill Polian. Hmm, maybe he knew something. How about this for your next headline….Colts were allowed to collude with Titans and keep Browns out of playoffs, pipe music in, and steal signals(as long as it’s them and not the Pats.) Florio, any way to pull up Polian’s quotes re spygate? Might make those straws you’re grasping at seem a little more credible.

  27. its not abnojut being saint tony its about saying talking BS with no credible sources. impuning the reputation of all that work for the colts. its totally rediculous.

  28. Taping of signals goes back 50 years and continues today. In fact Goodell still allows signals to be videotaped legally – just as long as the video is not taken from the sidelines.
    Since there’s no indication the Colts taped from the sidelines, no reason for them to be labled “cheaters” – they’re cheating legally. Such semantics are lost on most fans however who like to delude themselves that videotaping signals for later review makes one the anti-Christ.

  29. Florio knows less about football than both my ass cheeks put together.
    And the dumbass bit on the Packer mini-purge deal too.

  30. If Manning knew their signals, I am sure it from the hours and hours of prep he puts in. So what?

  31. The Colts as cheaters. Saint Tony would never allow that to happen (right). We need that beacon of justice, Arlen Specter, to investigate or at the very least make a spectacle of the Colts.

  32. Hey Patriots** that win against the Cardidnals last week was’nt all that it was cracked up to be.
    The Cardinals are in the the Playoffs and your sitting at home!!!

  33. All Peyton has to say is that he wasn’t aware that having the other team’s signals was against the rules.
    Like Belichick did not know that having a mistress in New York was against the rules of marriage.
    Peyton Manning is like Baby Jesus. Brady is like Eddie Haskell.

  34. i will drink and type if i so chose, hopefully florio was drinking as well when he posted this crap even so hopefully he will get sued!!

  35. Couldn’t resist another opportunity to slander Tony’s reputation down to the level of ‘ol cheating Bill’s, couldn’t you? A comment by a mentally foggy joke of a commentator (that probably barely registered with people without such an agenda) was enough to bring your personal animus against Dungy out of hiding. Let’s all remind ourselves that this isn’t actually journalism based on solid facts – but just empty speculation based on nothing but your personal hangups.
    What is it? Is it that you cannot stand the very real possibility that Dungy may actually have the ethical behavior to back up his (sparse) words – and/or that the playing field may not have been exactly level during those epic Colts-Patriots games of the past five years? Is this why you are doing more than your part to convince yourself and your readership otherwise?
    You have no idea what all could have been going through Dungy’s mind when he spoke out about Spygate (or actually – you just might, but you’re putting your own spin on things anyway). Dungy likely had some very legitimate reasons to be quite “tense” about Bill’s (alleged) cheating and the actual repercussions (or lack thereof) of the infraction – reasons that may fall beyond the scope of even a self-proclaimed genius like yourself.

  36. First of all it is entirely within the rules to steal signs and any coach worth even vaguely competent has to have a database built up of what the other coaches around the league do.
    Second, veteran players often recognize alignments and formations and will have a very good idea of what’s coming even if they don’t know exactly what to expect. It doesn’t matter what signs you use, a given set of players in a given formation will often result in a one of a set of plays being called, sometimes a very small set. Part of what being a veteran is means you recognize things you seen many times before and adjust your play to that knowledge. That’s one of the main reasons players watch film of the other teams, so they recognize formations and know what’s going to follow as a result.

  37. Well, if the Colts did have their signals, it didn’t help. One and done. Peyton Manning for MVP – Most Visibly Pissed.

  38. The Colts are about as guilty of cheating as Marvin Harrison was guilty of pistol whipping and obstruction of justice and stupidity by “hiding” the gun at his car wash. Oh, nevermind. Colts choke in the playoffs:$6 for a six pack, Jets don’t even make the playoffs: $65 bucks at the bar, watching the Colts and Phony Dungy choke and lose AND watching the Jets miss the playoffs AND having Eric”Dough Boy”Mangini lose his job:PRICELESS.

  39. Anniev123 you might want to get an education, a new keyboard, or a degree from somewhere other than the back of a matchbook cover.

  40. Methinks you Colt fans doth protest too much…but you obviously aren’t as good at your craft as Belichek, which is the real reason you’re so pissed off!
    And Florio is about to be as popular with Polian as Mel Kiper!!!

  41. For all of you that say the Patriots didn’t make the playoffs, you may be right but I would rather have an 11-5 record and NOT make the playoffs than lose in the first round to someone with a worse record.

  42. Hey Wingnut the only frauds are the teams that play in the Cards division, including the Cards. Barely at or above the .500 mark is really nothing to thump your chest over. We’ll see where your team the Cards are at the end of next year and where the Patriots are next year.

  43. Its only cheating if Belichick does it- its not a story if Dungy does it, don’t you get it? Look at it this way can you ever picture Tom Jackson on the set of ESPN ever saying anything bad about Dumgy? Where’s the Rams walkthrough tape? And what the hell’s the name of that loser who apparently had it?

  44. Lots of low lifes with anger issues commenting tonight! For those of you that haven’t played sports at a competitive level, getting some type of competitive advantage (ie. stealing signals) is done all the time.
    People like hated on the Patriots, or tried to make it something the government should investigate (Specter) are obviously non-sports playing people, or don’t have the talent to get to those competitive levels. It’s as simple as that.

  45. If John Madden had said, “I have to think that Dwight Freeney could only move that fast because he has the help of performance enhancing drugs”, would we have gotten a similar post like this? I don’t think this is remotely fair, and just reeks of you wanting your conjecture to be the story, more than the actual story itself. When Cooper made the signal tonight that seemed to turn the Charger blitz into a drop back cover scheme, Madden himself pointed that out and suggested that signal meant to drop back. If Peyton Manning also picks up on this, does that make him a cheater? Could he have figured a lot of signs out through several contests because the Chargers were too lazy to change them? Maybe if he closes his eyes real real tight, he can keep his integrity.
    “This is where they film the game.”
    “This is where the splice the game signals for me to study.”
    “If my team helps me cheat with a Sony, shouldn’t you watch me reap the benefits with a Sony?”

  46. I am a Pats Fan…If it is true….All is fair in love and war, Brothers and sisters. Not cheating…It is called game preparation.

  47. drock81 says “For all of you that say the Patriots didn’t make the playoffs, you may be right but I would rather have an 11-5 record and NOT make the playoffs than lose in the first round to someone with a worse record.”
    Guess you’re wishing the Patriots never made the playoffs last year eh? Guess you won’t be talking much about having an 18 and 0 record heading into the super bowl only to lose to someone with a worse record.

  48. I guess now we know why Dungy went out of his way to accuse the Pats of being cheaters….so he could turn the attn away from him and his decaying franchise.
    Indy in decline. Loving it in New England.

  49. The Patriots were punished. Why were they punished? Because they were caught cheating.
    Has anyone else been punished for stealing signals illegally? No. Because no other team has been caught cheating. End of Story.

  50. Having lived through spygate going on in my backyard and having to watch the greatest Team in the last decade take the fall for what is common practice by all 32 teams in the NFL, I am not suprised that this last acusation against the Colts and Manning is being buried under the rug. The league realized that the Patriots were taking the parody out of the game by stomping there opponents left and right. They could not be defeated between the lines so they destroyed them the best way they could, going public with a story that contained more holes than swiss chesse. Wether it was a bold faced lie about taping the Rams walkthrough that was coincedentally leaked 48 hours before kickoff agains the Giants in the Super Bowl, or a loser like Arlen Spector who was pissed his Eagles loss the Super Bowl to the Pats,which had everything to due with an out of shape Mcnabb puking during the last 2 minutes and nothing to do with videotaping and stealing singals. In short Peyton is the NFL’s golden boy with his ads every five seconds and his 3 MVPS so he is allowed to steal signs from the sidelines,It is my understanding that when your coach doesnt smile and is not as forthcoming with injury reports you get the media on your ass and they will look to bury you, which is exactly what is happening. I guarantee this latest accusation against the Colts will go unnoticed and unpunished, while the Pats will be associated with spygate for life!

  51. Stealing signals is not cheating, but since the public ran the Patriots through the mud for doing so they should steal the signals.
    I mean the Patriots and the Jets were both cuaght filming in areas they were not supposed to, but only the Pats got shit for it. “Spygate” had nothing to do with stealing signals like ESPN would want you to believe.
    I say the Colts have been long overdue to recieve the cheatet moniker. Polian had to change the pass interference rules, they piped in sound 2 years ago, now they steal signs. I’m just glad they lost last night. There is no team more boring than the DOLTS!

  52. hbdive they were not punished for stealing signals. They were punished for filming from a undesignated area. They could have been filming the cheerleaders and by rule they would have gotten the same punishment. They did the same thing the Jets did in the 2006 playoffs and they were not punished.

  53. All teams are looking for an advantage. Colts had an advantage in November; Chargers took the advantage back in January. It’s all a chess match. No problem with this story at all. It’s not grasping, it’s speculating. That’s the point of this website. It’s called Pro Football Talk because the point of the website is to start discussion. If it wasn’t, then comments wouldn’t be allowed on the posts. I’m not a Pats hater, nor am I an apologist, and I don’t think Florio is either. Hearing John Madden say that is gonna make everyone think the same thing after how blown out of proportion the whole Spygate thing was. Florio just has the vehicle to talk about it, while most people don’t. It’s very possible that they cheated; don’t tell me Polian wouldn’t do that (or that he would learn from what the Pats did and how they got punished for it). He’s gonna do anything he can to make his team the best it can be. Starting the season probably made his head explode, because Indy just doesn’t have bad seasons. Going 9-0 over that span will make people wonder. Even if they didn’t cheat, it’s a valid discussion to have.

  54. If Peyton manning knows their calls because he is smarter than everybody else in the NFL why fine him
    The New England Fans are weak sauce
    rate me with a 1 if you want
    Speaking the Truth

  55. drock81 says “For all of you that say the Patriots didn’t make the playoffs, you may be right but I would rather have an 11-5 record and NOT make the playoffs than lose in the first round to someone with a worse record.”
    Guess you’re wishing the Patriots never made the playoffs last year eh? Guess you won’t be talking much about having an 18 and 0 record heading into the super bowl only to lose to someone with a worse record.
    Hey Blast Furnace, I got no problem with last years Super Bowl loss to the Giants. Probably one of the most exciting SB’s in a long time. Yeah we lost and I’m disappointed but that is why you play the game and if you ever played a competitive sport you would know there can only be one team that wins. The Giants got hot at the right time and they played the game of their life and they were the better team that night. And yes the Patriots lost to a team with a record that was worse than the Patriots but we made it a lot farther than the teams I was commenting on douche bag.

  56. zod says:
    January 3rd, 2009 at 9:47 pm
    Florio knows less about football than both my ass cheeks put together.
    So they spend most of the time spread apart. Thanks for the insight.

  57. zod says:
    January 3rd, 2009 at 9:47 pm
    Florio knows less about football than both my ass cheeks put together.
    So they spend most of their time spread apart. Nice to know.

  58. drock81:
    I think I get it… It’s something like complete, 100%, delusional denial that your team offered the world the BIGGEST CHOKE in the history of the NFL – if not the history of all of sports, when they got beat by the Giants in the Super Bowl – but you got your gag reflex under control so its okay cuz they made it further.
    p.s. One doesn’t have to have played a competitive sport to know that only one team wins – just ask donavan mcnabb.
    P.P.S. An interesting thought here is that what became the BIGGEST CHOKE in the history of the nfl when the Patriots got beat by the Giants in the Super Bowl actually surpassed what was the BIGGEST CHOKE in the history of the nfl – which was offered to the world the year prior – you know – when the Patriots blew the biggest half time lead in the AFC championship game to Peyton Mannings Colts.

  59. I think I get it… It’s something like complete, 100%, delusional denial that your team offered the world the BIGGEST CHOKE in the history of the NFL – if not the history of all of sports, when they got beat by the Giants in the Super Bowl
    Actually the biggest choke in all sports belongs to the Yankees…losing one game to a lesser opponent is certainly an upset, but losing four straight games after going up 3-0 is a far bigger choke due to the fact that it was four separate games that became the biggest upset. The saying in the NFL is in fact Any Given Sunday…
    Don’t get me wrong that lost the Gents still stings, but the Pats have still accomplished more than Forehead’s Dolts have in the last 10 years choke or no choke.

  60. “The Blast Furnace”, you should really learn what ‘choke’ means. They played with an injured Brady and Moss, and lose a starting o-lineman early in the game (everyone remembers how well the o-line played that game). Hours before the game the team is accused of the biggest scandal in sports history. Giants get a miracle helmet catch via Tyree. Still, the Pats were ahead on the scoreboard with 40 seconds left in the game. I would call it the biggest disappointment in sports, but not the biggest choke. It’s surprising you think they choked since judging by your comments, you seem like a Colts fan, so you should know better then anyone what the word choke means.

  61. Puhlease… not even the colts choked as bad…
    NFL record 36 points averaged per game
    Undefeated in 18 games
    12 point favorites
    #1 seed vs. wildcard
    QB is League MVP
    QB sets NFL TD record
    WR sets NFL TD record
    19 and 0 trademarked
    Lost Super Bowl 17 – 14…
    Sir, there is no better definition of choke in NFL History… it surpassed what used to be the biggest choke which took place the year prior when the Patriots lost an 18 point lead and the biggest lead ever to be lost at halftime against the colts……. which was probably one of the most exciting championship games in a long time.

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