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Indianapolis Colts

Jim Irsay Talks Sunday's Divisional Matchup, Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck

Intro: On Tuesday, Colts Owner Jim Irsay met with the media to recap the 2014 season and take a look ahead to this weekend’s Divisional Round. What all did Irsay have to say on Tuesday?





INDIANAPOLIS – Dressed as sharp as his quarterback's play on Sunday, Colts Owner Jim Irsay spoke on Tuesday with plenty of eager looking ahead.

Irsay's Colts are one of eight teams remaining in the 2015 playoffs, a spot his franchise has been so many times over the last decade and a half.

After a quantum leap from 2-14, to the playoffs in 2013, the Colts won a postseason game last season, and achieved that again on Sunday.

The next chance to climb that mountain comes this weekend, albeit in an environment, and against a formidable opponent, where visiting success is rarely achieved.

The Colts Owner is confident though.

"We've been blessed with a lot of success and that's something we really appreciate," Irsay said of the Colts reaching the 11-win mark in each of the last three seasons. "At the same time, we are looking forward to taking that next step. We are really excited about the opportunity.

"I thought we played better on Sunday and when I say that, I mean I don't think we've played our best game yet. With the task at hand and where we are going, we have to take it to that next level. There's no question about it."

Colts owner, Jim Irsay, talked to the media about the 2014 season and the upcoming playoff game against the Broncos.

Irsay's belief comes from a healthy defensive unit that has plugged in different guys to make up for the pass rush loss of Robert Mathis.

A complete secondary also is healthy coming into this weekend, where they matchup with arguably the most diverse pass catching group in the league.

Offensively, Irsay likes what he saw from the offensive line against the Bengals while acknowledging that the Colts must clean up their friendly fire mistakes.

These are just a few of the reasons why Irsay thinks this team is capable of earning the franchise's first road playoff victory since their Super Bowl run in 2006-2007.

"There's no question that we are a much better football team this time of year, or ever in this era (2012-2014)," Irsay said on Tuesday.

"The expectation is that we haven't played our best game and that we have to play it (on Sunday)."

Irsay began his press conference on Tuesday by thanking the home faithful for their support in the team's 26-10 Wild Card victory.

The Colts Owner then shifted his attention towards the Broncos, an organization with several ties to the team they will face this weekend.

In 2012, the Colts caused "a major shift" around the NFL when they parted ways with Peyton Manning after 13 seasons as the team's quarterback.

When Irsay spoke in the spring of 2012, he truly believed that future success was on the horizon for Peyton, with another team, and for the Colts with Andrew Luck.

That has held true.

"My vision at the time was it would be able to work out this way—that Peyton would be able to go somewhere, continue his greatness, continue his career, (and) we would be able to go forward with Andrew," Irsay said.

"Having the type of success we have had so soon was a surprise to me. To be in the playoffs three straight years and win 33 games in three years, to have already won two playoff games, that's something we don't take for granted."

The word "rebuilding" could have been used in that 2012 season but it was never talked about among the new brass Irsay brought in three years ago.

"I really think that when Chuck came in and Ryan (Grigson) came in, the feeling was, along with Andrew, that there was greatness, there was a legacy in this building. When people like Reggie Wayne and Robert Mathis were still here, there was a big pull to win and win right away," Irsay said.

A key component of that legacy was what Manning helped create after the Colts took him No. 1 overall in 1998.

Irsay says the two have communicated in the recent months and now will see each other at a level both are used to being a part of this time of year.

"I think it's going to be a great game and having these two great quarterbacks going against each other at this point of their careers is really exciting," Irsay said of Sunday's trip to Denver.

"Our goal is to win the World Championship. We are really looking forward to the opportunity going forward and bringing our best to Denver. It's going to be a difficult task, but I know we are up for it."

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