A Capsule Look at the Colts' Potential Divisional Round Opponents
INDIANAPOLIS – Who the Colts will play next weekend has become a bit of a guessing game for fans, but the team's coaching staff is taking a much more cerebral approach to the post-season puzzle.
"What we try to do this week is familiarize ourselves with all the possibilities," Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell said. "Right now, there's a possibility we play Baltimore, New York or Cincinnati."
Having faced the Ravens and Jets in the regular season, and the Bengals in the preseason, Caldwell said the Colts have some familiarity with their potential opponents.
But that is not going to stop the Colts' coaches from taking a good, long look at each team in the film room.
Caldwell said last week that the Colts would concentrate on a different potential playoff opponent every day.
"I'll just take the entire day and study every aspect of that particular team," he said. "I'll look at as many tapes as I possibly can. I'll look at their personnel situation. Then the next day, if there is another team that it is a possibility that we may play, I'll take a look at that team."
In possession of a first-round bye this Wild Card weekend, the Colts will watch their second-round opponent, whoever it may be, from the comfort of their own homes.
Here is a capsule look at the team's potential Divisional Round opponents:
2009 Record: 10-6 (4-4 on the road)
2009 Offensive Rankings: No. 22 scoring offense (19.1 points per game), No. 24 total offense (309.1 yards per game), No. 26 passing offense (180.6 ypg) and No. 9 rushing offense (128.5 ypg).
2009 Defensive Rankings: No. 6 scoring defense (18.2 ppg), No. 4 total defense (301.4 ypg), No. 6 passing defense (203.1 ypg) and No. 7 rushing defense (98.3 ypg).
Against the Colts: In the two teams' preseason finale, the Colts lost to the Bengals 38-7 in Cincinnati. Just one week before the regular-season opener, the Colts rested a majority of their regulars and used the game to evaluate "individual performances" of players fighting to make the team.
Inside Look: "We played the Bengals the last pre-season game so we do have some familiarity with them and what they do. We'll (coaches) be ready to try to make certain we study them (Bengals) and study them hard just in case we play them. We have a lot of work to do in those areas. We try to formulate a mock game plan." – Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell
Necessary Scenario: The Colts play the Bengals if Cincinnati defeats the New York Jets and Baltimore loses at New England.
NEW YORK JETS
2009 Record: 9-7 (5-3 on the road)
2009 Offensive Rankings: No. 17 scoring offense (21.8 points per game), No. 20 total offense (321.0 yards per game), No. 31 passing offense (148.8 ypg) and No. 1 rushing offense (172.3 ypg).
2009 Defensive Rankings: No. 1 scoring defense (14.8 ppg), No. 1 total defense (252.3 ypg), No. 1 passing defense (153.7) and No. 8 rushing defense (98.6 ypg).
Against the Colts: With the AFC South title clinched and the number one overall seed in the AFC playoffs secured, the Colts lost to the Jets 29-15 in Week 16.
Inside Look: "The Jets have a very powerful running game. Thomas Jones is doing a great job, and their offensive line is probably one of the best in the playoffs, in terms of running the ball. They have a big-play receiver in Braylon Edwards, and I think (Mark Sanchez) is starting to make some smarter decisions down the stretch." – Colts Linebacker Gary Brackett
Necessary Scenario: The Colts play the Jets if New York defeats Cincinnati and Baltimore loses at New England.
2009 Record: 9-7 (3-5 on the road)
2009 Offensive Rankings: No. 9 scoring offense (24.4 points per game), No. 13 total offense (351.2 yards per game), No. 18 passing offense (213.7 ypg) and No. 5 rushing offense (137.5 ypg).
2009 Defensive Rankings: No. 3 scoring defense (16.3 ppg), No. 3 total defense (300.5 ypg), tied for No. 8 passing defense (207.3 ypg) and No. 5 rushing defense (93.3 ypg).
Against the Colts: The Colts improved to 10-0 with a come-from-behind victory over the Ravens, 17-15, on November 22. Indianapolis forced two late turnovers on the road, including an interception by linebacker Gary Brackett with 2:42 remaining.
Inside Look: "We played Baltimore before and they are going to come out excited and explosive. If we play them, we have to be calm in terms of what we are trying to do." – Colts Running back Joseph Addai
Necessary Scenario: The Colts play the Ravens if Baltimore defeats New England on Sunday.