Colts Open the Season Sunday at Houston
As the NFL regular season officially kicks off Thursday, the Colts' 2010 season-opener comes Sunday with a visit to the Houston Texans. The new season will contain all of the challenges of season's past. While the club is coming off a number of successful seasons, the focus is on the future and the immediate game at hand.
Noteworthy accomplishments such as a 115-win decade and eight consecutive playoff appearances are part of the distant past. The players who helped create those memorable seasons will forge ahead.
To help give Colts fans a primer, here are some notes as the 2010 season ensues:
- COLTS WANT TO GET ON A ROLL
The team has winning streaks of seven or more consecutive games in the last six seasons, which is a league record. The Colts set a record with 23 consecutive regular season victories that stretched from Nov. 2, 2008 to Dec. 17, 2009.
Colts Winning Streaks in the Last Six Seasons
- FAST STARTS ARE BENEFICIAL
In the last 10 seasons, the Colts have a record of 26-6 (.813) in the opening month of the season. This is the best mark in the league. In four of the last five seasons, the Colts entered the month of October undefeated.
Best Opening Month Records in NFL
1. COLTS 26-6 .813
2. Denver 25-10 .714
3. NY Giants 22-11 .667
- AND SUSTAINING FAST STARTS ARE, TOO
Since 2000, the Colts are 27-10 (.730) in the month of October, which is the second-best record in the NFL in that time span. Only Pittsburgh 28-10 has a better record in October.
In the month of November, the Colts are 31-12 (.721) since 2000, which is the best record in the league.
- MANNING'S MARK ON THE RECORD BOOKS
Quarterback Peyton Manning has set many records in his 12 years in the league. Among the records, Manning is the first quarterback to pass for 4,000 yards or more in 10 seasons. He will look to extend that to 11 this season.
Manning has thrown for 25 or more touchdown passes in all 12 of his NFL seasons, the only quarterback in NFL history to accomplish this feat. The Colts' offensive captain has led the league in touchdown passes three times in his career and needs to lead the league one more time in touchdown passes to tie the NFL record.
The four-time NFL MVP is 34 touchdown passes away from becoming just the third player in NFL history to throw for 400 touchdowns.
Manning's 50,128 passing yards currently ranks fourth all-time among NFL quarterbacks. He needs 1,348 more yards to pass John Elway and move into third place.
- MANNING CONNECTS WITH WAYNE AND CLARK
Manning has thrown 366 touchdown passes to 32 different receivers in his career, and current Colts Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark have combined to catch 102 of those touchdown passes.
Manning and Wayne have hooked up 61 times for touchdowns, which is the most prolific active duo in the NFL. The tandem ranks sixth on the all-time list and needs five more touchdowns to move into fourth place. The most prolific touchdown duo in NFL history is Manning to Marvin Harrison. They connected for 112 touchdowns from 1998-2008.
Manning also has completed 668 passes to Wayne. That is the most of any duo in the NFL right now and ranks as the second-most completions to one receiver in league history. (Manning completed 953 passes to Harrison).
Manning and Clark have connected for 41 touchdowns. That ranks as the second-most in the NFL currently and the most between a quarterback and a tight end. Manning and Clark need five more touchdown passes to become the most prolific QB-TE touchdown duo in NFL history.
- MANNING AND SATURDAY HAVE A STREAK OF THEIR OWN
Offensive linemen don't have stats like quarterbacks, running backs and receivers, but C-Jeff Saturday, along with Manning, is on the verge of a major milestone. The Colts' longtime center has started 154 games with Manning in his career. The duo needs four more starts together to surpass Jim Kelly and Kent Hunt (157) for the most quarterback-center combination starts since the NFL Merger in 1970.
- FREENEY AND MATHIS GET AFTER THE QUARTERBACK
The Colts explosive offense allows defensive ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis to do what they do best: sack the quarterback.
The duo has combined for 147 sacks since 2002 and both were voted as the AFC's starting defensive ends at last season's Pro Bowl. They also both share a league record with eight consecutive games with a sack to start a season.
Since 2002, the sack tandem ranks first and second in the NFL in most forced fumbles. Freeney has forced 36 and Mathis has forced 35.
With 84 sacks since 2002, Freeney stands behind only Jason Taylor (88) for the most sacks in that time period.