Colts Sweep Division—It was goal No. 1 on Chuck Pagano's preseason list and the easiest way to accomplish it is control your own fate.
That's exactly what the Colts did in 2013.
Six AFC South games.
"We said at the beginning of the year, they give you a 16-game schedule. It's not in their DNA or any of our coaches' DNA, not our mindset not to play," Chuck Pagano said of completing an undefeated AFC South schedule.
"We come in week-in and week-out, go to work, put the time in, prepare the best we can and go play as hard as we can for 60 minutes. We're going to do that week-in and week-out. As long we're here together, that's going to be our mindset and how we approach things."
This marks the third time in franchise history that the Colts have compiled an undefeated AFC South slate of games (division was created in 2002).
The win on Sunday also marked a few milestones for Chuck Pagano.
He became the first Colts head coach to win at least 11 games in each of his first two seasons with the team.
Pagano will head into 2014 having never lost back-to-back games (32 games), and is just two short of the Colts record for most consecutive games without two straight loses.
The Colts were the only NFL team to record an undefeated record in its division this season.
Whether it was the domination of the Jaguars, or second half comebacks in Houston and Tennessee, the Colts seized control of the AFC South in every way possible.
Since 2008, the Colts are 17-1 against divisional opponents the second time they play them in a season (best in the NFL) and Sunday only added to that mark.
"Hats off to the players and hats off to the coaches. Got the best owner in the National Football League. He gives us everything we need to be successful. Ryan (Grigson) and his crew do an unbelievable job of getting us players," Pagano said after the 30-10 win.
"But it's the guys. It's their resiliency. They don't read the clippings, good or bad, listen to talk radio and all that stuff and everybody telling them what they can't do. We always talk about faith is believing in something that you can't see and the reward is if you believe in it long enough, you'll probably get to see it. Our journey continues and we're very excited to be in the playoffs."
Freeman Makes Statement—When the Pro Bowl rosters were announced on Friday night, Jerrell Freeman did not see his name on the list.
Not even an alternate notion was given to Freeman.
On Sunday, he surely played like a guy with a chip on his shoulder.
Freeman led the Colts with eight tackles, added his 5.5 sack of the year, knocked down two passes and forced an opening series fumble.
The sack for Freeman came in close quarters to 2013 sack champion Robert Mathis, and the inside linebacker was quick to thank the six-time Pro Bowler.
"Hey, (Mathis) gave me a layup on that one," Freeman said of his sack. "I told him I really appreciated that layup he gave me. If they give him half I'm not going to argue that one at all."
For a second straight season, Freeman has led the Colts in tackles and continues to add chapters to a remarkable NFL journey.
His focus now turns to January in trying to write a few more pages to an already best seller.
"It was pretty intense how we played Baltimore last year," Freeman said. "Everything is magnified. It comes down to a couple of plays. You've got to be on your game each and every play. You never know when that play is coming up."Colts Set Numerous Individual Records—With the 2013 regular season coming to a close on Sunday, the Colts set numerous individual records this year.
Here's a rundown of some of the highlights:
-Andrew Luck set an NFL record for most passing yards (8,196) by a quarterback in his first two NFL seasons.
-Luck tied Ben Roethlisberger for the second-most victories (22) for a quarterback in his first two NFL seasons since 1970.
-Donald Brown finished the year with a 5.3 yards per carry average. That is the highest average for the Colts since 1961.
-T.Y. Hilton's 1,853 receiving yards is the most for a Colts player in their first two NFL season.
-Adam Vinatieri became the seventh player in NFL history to reach 2,000 career points.
-Pat McAfee set a single-season franchise record with 27 punts pinned inside the 20-yard line.