INDIANAPOLIS – Jim Irsay spoke like a father watching his son accomplish something that took a substantial amount of work.
That was the word of choice Irsay used three times in 12 seconds on Sunday evening, deep in the bowels of Sports Authority Field as he headed towards a winning visiting locker room.
Five days before Irsay would address his team after the Colts first road playoff victory since 2007, the Colts Owner talked about the type of challenge coming in the Divisional Round.
"We're really excited about our opportunity," Irsay said last Tuesday. "Again, I thought we played better on (against Cincinnati) and when I say that, I mean that I don't think we've played our best game yet. With the task at hand where we're going, we're going to have to take it to that next level. There's no question about it."
The level Irsay witnessed on Sunday ranks among some of the most impressive he has seen his team put together.
"We knew it was going to be 60 minutes. We knew it was going to be tough. I'm so proud of the guys," Irsay said.
"The quarterbacks, they get a lot of credit and they get a lot of responsibility for winning and losing. But, it's a complete team effort. Again, just like in our Super Bowl run in '06, we had to go into Baltimore and win—we didn't look at it any differently. It was a team we had to beat to get where we wanted to go."
As Irsay stood inside the victorious locker room, it was fitting he was next to a bunch of Colts defenders.
It's a unit that has been rebuilt over the last three years and Sunday, in the ultimate chess match, the Colts defense was Bobby Fischer-like with their moves.
"It was incredible," Irsay said of the Colts defense.
"[The Broncos] are so talented offensively, being at home and to do what we did, we knew our corners could matchup. It was a very difficult challenge. We give those guys so much credit, because we knew how tough it was. Two weeks to prepare for us and coming here on their home turf, it was an incredible victory for the franchise."
Highlights from the Colts Divisional Playoff win over the Broncos.