INDIANAPOLISCOLTS HEAD COACH TONY DUNGY
(On which is more important; having a plus-16 turnover margin or leading the NFL in scoring offense) "I think being plus-16. When you get to the playoffs, that's what's really going to take over for you. We were minus-one last week. That was the first time since opening day we've been minus. That's not a trend we want to continue. I think we know we can move the ball and that we have weaponry. We have to really be precise with taking care of the football and we have to things with the size of our defense. If we're not taking the ball away, then we're not going to be as effective. We always emphasize that. Even with all the yards we had last week, it was very disappointing to be minus-one after the game."
(On where he draws the line on throwing the ball with a big fourth-quarter lead) "People have asked me that the last couple of weeks. The interesting thing that people don't realize is that we have averaged six passes a game in the fourth quarter. We're throwing it very little, especially in these games where we get ahead. You still want to make first downs. That's what our offense is all about. There are going to be times where we have to throw it. We're not just going to run the ball three times and punt, in any situation. There are going to be some times where we throw the ball in the fourth quarter, if we think we can throw well, make first down and keep the clock moving. That's what we like to see in those situations."
(On how the Colts lost three games this season and their offensive production) "We played pretty well on offense all year. In the New England game we fumbled twice in the red zone and threw an interception on the six-yard line. That's basically why we lost that game. In the Jacksonville game we fumbled twice on first down. Dallas Clark didn't even get hit by anybody one time. He was just running with the ball and fumbled it. Another time they made a good hit and we had two turnovers and we lost that game. In the Kansas City game we had some breakdowns on defense and didn't do a good job stopping them on third down. We've played pretty consistent all year and in the games we haven't turned the ball over, we've done pretty well."
(On if the Colts need a close game before the postseason to know it will react in the fourth quarter) "That's a thing you kind of hate to see in these games. We've gotten off to good starts and gotten up on some people, so we haven't played typical games in the last five weeks or so. Even in the Minnesota game, we got up 14-0 right away and took them out of their running game. We know it's not always going to be like that, but we also know that if we can get a fast start and get a three-and-out in the first defensive series, if we can score offensively the first time, it does change the way the game is played."
(On if he is excited about the records his team is approaching, as a former coaching) "It excites me the way we are executing and the way our guys are playing. They are reaping the benefits of a great offseason, of working out. It's a lot of guys, not just Peyton and our skill position guys. Our offensive line, our tight ends, guys putting a lot of time into it. It would be great if Edgerrin leads the league in rushing and our receivers do some of the things they are capable of doing. I think it would be a just reward for a very, very hard year of work."
(On if he worries about the repercussions from the throwing the ball in the fourth quarter in the Colts' first meeting with the Texans this year) "People can read a lot of things into it. Nobody knows what we're doing. We are not trying to run up the score on people. I don't believe in that, personally, and we don't do that. We are trying to make first downs and we have a way of making first downs. People can read a lot of things into what you do and they really don't know what you're all about. We had a team last year that was upset at us because we announce our special teams in the introductions, rather than offense or defense. They thought we were trying to show them up. People don't really have any idea of what we're doing, so we can't worry about it."
(On the pressure his defensive front has put on the opposition this season) "We've gotten ahead and we've played a lot of zone coverage and rushed four guys. But they've gotten to tee off a lot. A lot of our sacks have been in the second half of games when we've gotten up. Our front has done a great job of getting pressure. Robert Mathis has been a big factor in that. Dwight Freeney gets a lot of chips and line sliding his way and Robert has gotten some one-on-ones. In the last couple of weeks Raheem Brock and Montae Reagor have gotten some one-on-ones and done a good job with it. That's the way it should operate. If you play efficiently early in the game, you get a lead and are basically playing pass defense in the third and fourth quarter, then that's when the sacks come. That's basically what's happened the second half of this year."
(On the likelihood of playing on the road in the playoffs and the difference between this year's team as opposed to last year's in those situations) "We have to do our job. Whether you're at home or you're on the road, you have to win. Philadelphia was home last year and they didn't win. It's not in the end-all saying that you have to have the home-field advantage. In the games that we played down the stretch, when we played good, solid run defense and we didn't turn the ball over the last 10 weeks of the year, we basically won those games. We went to Kansas City and we didn't turn the ball over and we won. We went to New England, had a great chance to win, turned the ball over four times and snapped the ball over the punter's head. When we do that, whether we're playing in the RCA Dome, a neutral field or the Super Bowl, you're probably not going to win those types of games. I think our team understands that. I don't think our team has a fear of playing on the road. We actually have a better record on the road than we do at home, since I've been here. It's really not that big of a deal for us."
(On if Jeff Fisher's strategy last week to onside kick the ball rather than face the Colts' offense is flattering and if other teams may employ that same tactic) "I thought Jeff coached a great game. I thought he did the things that were going to give him a chance to win it. They were undermanned, they had some DBs hurt, they were going to have a tough time stopping us. I think we got 500-something yards in about 25 minutes of offense and they were banged up. I don't know that we'll see that from anybody who is healthy, but you have to ready to play those types of games. For the first quarter at least, last week, we weren't."
(On if he appreciates Dan Marino's passing records given that he didn't have a premiere rusher) "They (the Dolphins) were much more of a passing team. I think we're a little more balanced. There is a lot more specialization now. There are more sophisticated defenses and designated rushers and nickel- and dime-type defenses. They played a lot of b