RELEASE: AFC CHAMPIONSHIP

The press release for the AFC Championship Game between the New York Jets and Indianapolis Colts

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DATE: Sunday, January 24, 2010
SITE: Lucas Oil Stadium
KICKOFF: 3:00 p.m. (EST)
CAPACITY: 63,000
SURFACE: FieldTurf

With a chance to earn a second Super Bowl trip in four years, and meeting an opponent for the second time in the last four weeks, the Indianapolis Colts, 15-2, host the New York Jets, 11-7, on Sunday, January 24 in the AFC Championship Game.  Kickoff for the contest in Lucas Oil Stadium, telecast by CBS Sports, is 3:00 p.m. (EST).  Westwood One provides national radio coverage.

Indianapolis hopes to advance to Super Bowl XLIV in Miami Gardens, Fla., on February 7.  It would be a return trip to the venue where the club earned the Super Bowl XLI title on February 4, 2007, 29-17 over Chicago.  Indianapolis reached the title tilt with a 20-3 home victory last Saturday against Baltimore.  New York earned a 17-14 road win last Sunday at San Diego.  The Jets posted a 24-14 victory at Cincinnati in the Wild Card Playoffs.  These clubs met on December 27 in Lucas Oil Stadium, with the Jets taking a 29-15 victory.  The Jets also own both prior playoff battles with the Colts.  Indianapolis leads the league series, 40-26.

In 2009, the Colts set an NFL record with 23 consecutive regular-season victories (21, New England, 2006-08).  The streak was the sixth 10 -game regular-season winning streak in franchise history (23, 2008-09; 13, 2005; 11, 1964; 11, 1975-76; 11, 1999; 10, 2005-06), the fourth since 1999.  In earning the AFC's top playoff seed for the second time since 2005, the club produced a 14-0 start to the season, marking the 3rd in league history (16-0, New England, 2007; 14-0, Miami, 1972).  The 13-0 start was the second for the club in the past five seasons (13-0, 2005).  The Colts are the only team ever to have three 9-0 starts in a five-year span (also 9-0 in 2006).  Jim Caldwell became the only NFL rookie head coach to win his first 14 games in a season, surpassing Potsy Clark (8, Portsmouth, 1931), and he surpassed Wally Lemm (10, 1961 Houston Oilers-1962 St. Louis Cardinals) for the most consecutive wins to start a career.  Caldwell also became the 2nd rookie head coach since the 1978 NFL move to a 16-game season to win 14 games (George Seifert, SF, 1989).  Indianapolis extended its NFL record as the only franchise to win seven or more consecutive regular-season games in six consecutive seasons (8, 2004; 13, 2005; 9, 2006; 7 and 6, 2007; 9, 2008; 14, 2009).  Additionally, the Colts posted their eighth consecutive 10 -victory season, setting the 2nd-longest such streak in NFL history (16, San Francisco, 1983-98; 7, Dallas, 1975-81).  Indianapolis earned its seventh consecutive season with 11 victories, surpassing the NFL record it had shared with Dallas (6, 1976-81).  The Colts extended their league mark to seven consecutive seasons (2003-09) with 12 victories.  The Colts produced 115 victories for the 2000-09 decade, surpassing the league record of 113 by San Francisco from 1990-99.  It marked the 12th time in NFL history a team topped 100 regular-season wins in a decade.

The Colts are owners of the NFL's best regular-season record (128-48) since the start of the 1999 season, while being the only team to earn 10 playoff appearances in the last eleven seasons, including a league-best eight consecutive post-season berths.  Indianapolis has won 73 of its last 89 regular-season games.  Since 2002, during the regular season, the Colts are 51-13 at home and 48-16 on the road.  The Colts own a 97-28 record (counting the playoffs) since the start of the 2003 season and are 83-23 since 2004. 

From November 16, 2003 to December 13, 2009, the Colts produced a regular-season record of 81-19, tying New England (2003-09) for the NFL's best 100-game regular-season mark.  Indianapolis' winning ways include a 38-10 record in AFC South play, while the club has owned or shared the lead in 112 of 136 weeks of the division's existence.  The Colts won five AFC South championships from 2003-07, the best divisional-title streak in club history.  The Colts were wire-to-wire divisional leaders during the 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009 seasons.  The Colts had six division crowns in the 2000-09 decade, two short of the NFL record set by Minnesota (8) in the 1970s.  The club's nine playoff berths in the 2000-09 decade tied the NFL record set by Dallas (9) in the 1970s.  In 2009, the Colts joined San Francisco (1997), Philadelphia (2004) and New England (2007) as the only teams since 1990 to clinch their divisions by the 11th game of the season.  Indianapolis is the only team since 2002 Realignment to earn annual double-digit victory totals and playoff berths.

PERSONNEL REPORT:  DE-Ervin Baldwin (groin), LB-Gary Brackett (quadriceps), DE-Raheem Brock (hip), DB-Melvin Bullitt (shoulder), DT-Keyunta Dawson (knee), OT-Ryan Diem (elbow), DB-Aaron Francisco (quadriceps), DE-Dwight Freeney (foot), WR-Pierre Garcon (hand), DB-Tim Jennings (knee), DT-Antonio Johnson (shoulder), OT-Charlie Johnson (foot), DE-Robert Mathis (shoulder), DT-Dan Muir (shoulder), QB-Curtis Painter (ankle), DB-Jerraud Powers (hamstring), OG-Jamey Richard (shoulder), TE-Gijon Robinson (knee), LB-Clint Session (knee), OT-Tony Ugoh (knee), WR-Reggie Wayne (knee), K-Adam Vinatieri (right hip) were probable for the last game.  Last game's inactive players were:  Vinatieri, WR-Sam Giguere, TE-Colin Cloherty, OT-Michael Toudouze, OT-Mike Pollak, Baldwin, DT-Fili Moala and DT-John Gill. 

TELEVISION/RADIO:  CBS Sports telecasts with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms1070-The Fan/HANK-FM, 97.1 broadcasts with Bob Lamey, Will Wolford and Kevin Lee (field reporter).  WESTWOOD ONE broadcasts nationally with Kevin Harlan, Randy Cross and Mark Malone (field reporter). 

WWW.COLTS.COM: Please check the official website of the Indianapolis Colts for the latest in team information and merchandise.

HEAD COACHES

JIM CALDWELL was named head coach of the Colts on January 13, 2009, and this marks his eighth season with Indianapolis.  Caldwell joined the club in 2002 as quarterbacks coach before adding the title of assistant head coach prior to the 2005 season.  Caldwell was promoted to associate head coach with the club prior to the 2008 season.  The club's offense has produced levels prolific enough during Caldwell's tenure to allow the club to earn an NFL-best eight consecutive playoff appearances.  The club has earned 10 victories in eight consecutive seasons, setting the second-longest NFL streak (16, San Francisco, 1983-98; 7, Dallas, 1975-81).  The Colts have earned their seventh consecutive season with 11 victories, surpassing the league mark they had shared with Dallas (1976-81).  The club's seven consecutive 12 -victory seasons (2003-09) set the NFL's all-time standard.  Caldwell became the 2nd rookie head coach since the 1978 NFL move to a 16-game season to win 14 games (George Seifert, SF, 1989).  Caldwell is the only NFL rookie head coach to win his first 14 games in a season, surpassing Potsy Clark (8, Portsmouth, 1931), and he surpassed Wally Lemm (10, 1961 Houston Oilers-1962 St. Louis Cardinals) for the most consecutive wins to start a career.  From 2004-09, Indianapolis became the only NFL team to earn winning streaks of at least seven games in six consecutive seasons (8, 2004; 13, 2005; 9, 2006; 7 and 6, 2007; 9, 2008; 14, 2009).  Caldwell joined the Colts after serving as quarterbacks coach with Tampa Bay in 2001.  Caldwell has more than 20 years of collegiate coaching experience.  He spent 1993-2000 as head coach at Wake Forest.  He served as an assistant coach at Southern Illinois (1978-80), Northwestern (1981), Colorado (1982-84), Louisville (1985) and Penn State (1986-92).  Caldwell has coached in six bowl games and won a national championship with Penn State in 1986.  In addition to serving on Joe Paterno's title staff, Caldwell tutored under three other coaches who won collegiate crowns (Rey Dempsey, Southern Illinois; Bill McCartney, Colorado; Howard Schnellenberger, Louisville).  Caldwell was a four-year starter at defensive back at Iowa and worked as a graduate assistant for Iowa in 1977.  He holds a bachelor's degree from Iowa.  Caldwell was born on January 16, 1955 in Beloit, Wis.

REX RYAN became the 15th head coach of the New York Jets on January 19, 2009.  He directed the Jets to a 9-7 record in 2009.  Ryan spent the previous 10 seasons with Baltimore, the most recent as assistant head coach/defensive coordinator.  He served 1999-2004 as defensive line coach before being promoted to coordinator in 2005.  Ryan's initial NFL stint was 1994-95 with Arizona.  He served collegiately at Eastern Kentucky 1987-88, New Mexico Highlands 1989, Morehead State 1990-93, Cincinnati 1996-97 and Oklahoma 1998.  Ryan played DE at Southwestern Oklahoma State.  He is a native of Ardmore, Okla.

COLTS/JETS SERIES NOTES

The Colts own a 40-26 regular season series edge over the Jets, while the Jets are 2-0 against the Colts in the playoffs.  The teams last met on December 27, 2009.  New York scored 26 second-half points to erase a nine-point Colts lead in defeating Indianapolis, 29-15.  Indianapolis' league-record streak of regular-season victories ended at 23, as did the opportunity to add to its NFL mark for most regular-season victories in a decade (115).  QB-Peyton Manning was 14-21-192, to become the 4th QB with 50,000 passing yards.  TE-Dallas Clark was 4-57 receiving to become the 1st Colts TE to have a 1,000 season.  Clark became the 15th NFL TE to produce a 1,000 season, and it marked the 26th by an NFL TE.  WR-Reggie Wayne was 3-33 receiving.  With a playoff seeding ensured, Indianapolis pulled the majority of its starters midway through the third quarter.  The Jets amassed 202 yards on 44 rushes.  The clubs battled on October 1, 2006, when the Colts took a 31-28 victory at the Meadowlands.  Manning (21-30-217, 1 TD) led two fourth-quarter touchdown drives, keeping for the winning score from one-yard out in the final minute, as the Colts produced a comeback victory.  Indianapolis scored 2:32 into the contest, but fell behind, 14-7, before forging a 14-14 halftime tie in a contest that would eventually feature a furious finish.  The Jets squandered a scoring opportunity following a long third-third quarter drive, and the Colts took a 17-14 lead early in the final period.  The Jets re-gained the lead, 21-17, before Manning concluded a 12-play, 68-yard drive with a 2t pass to TE-Bryan Fletcher with 2:34 to go.  KOR-Justin Miller returned the ensuing kickoff 103 yards for a score as the Jets re-took the lead, 28-24, with 2:20 left.  Manning drove the club 61 yards on nine plays, the final being a 1t sneak with :50 left for the winning score.  He became the first quarterback in Colts history with a game-winning TD run in the final minute of a game.  The Colts took a 38-31 home decision over the Jets on November 16, 2003.  Missing five starters with injuries, Manning (27-36-401, 1 TD), RB-Edgerrin James (36-127, 3 TDs rushing/6-33 receiving), Wayne (9-141), WR-Troy Walters (4-88, 1 TD) and Clark (5-100) produced big days as the Colts posted the win.  P-Hunter Smith tallied on a 21t rush and the Colts defense produced three sacks.  Tony Dungy became the only NFL head coach to defeat all 32 teams.  The last Jets playoff win over the Colts was a 41-0 triumph on January 4, 2003 in the AFC Wild Card round.  In that contest, the Jets bolted to a 24-0 halftime lead and added 17 second-half points.  QB-Chad Pennington (19-25-222, 3 TDs) hit three different players with TD passes, while RB-LaMont Jordan was 20-102, 2 TDs.  Pennington hit a 56t pass to RB-Richie Anderson 4:10 into the contest.  Manning was 14-31-137, 2 ints., while the Colts rushed 14-52.  The Jets also took a 29-28 decision on December 23, 2001 in the RCA Dome.  After rallying from a 10-point deficit to a six-point lead, the Colts succumbed when QB-Vinny Testaverde (28-47-285, 2 TDs/ints.) hit TE-Anthony Becht on a 6t pass with :58 left.  Manning (25-35-228, 1 TD), and RB-Dominic Rhodes (17-126, 1 TD rushing) guided the Colts.  TE-Ken Dilger's 39t pass to WR-Marvin Harrison (12-127, 1 TD) gave the Colts their first lead with 9:59 to go.  Testaverde moved the Jets 76 yards on the winning drive.  The Colts' 40 wins over the Jets are the most by the club over any foe.  The initial meeting between the clubs was one of the most significant games in history as the 12-3 Jets, overwhelming underdogs, topped the 13-1 Colts, 16-7, in Super Bowl III on January 12, 1969. 

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

The Colts' playoff berth represents the 23rd in the 57-year history of the team, the 13th since moving to Indianapolis in 1984, the 12th in the past 15 years and the 10th in the past eleven seasons.  The 2009 season marked the first year of the Owner and C.E.O Jim Irsay-President Bill Polian-Head Coach Jim Caldwell regime.  Under Irsay's stewardship, the Colts have made the playoffs 12 times in the past 15 years, including consecutive seasons from 1999-2000 and 2002-09.  The Colts are the only team to earn 10 playoff appearances in the last eleven seasons, including a league-best eight consecutive post-season berths.  Indianapolis is the only team since 2002 Realignment to earn annual double-digit victory totals and playoff berths.  The Colts won five AFC South championships from 2003-07, the best divisional-title streak in club history.  The Colts were wire-to-wire divisional leaders during the 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009 seasons.  The Colts won six division crowns in the 2000-09 decade, two short of the NFL record set by Minnesota (8) in the 1970s.  The club's nine playoff berths in the decade tie the NFL record set by Dallas (9) in the 1970s.  In 2009, the Colts joined San Francisco (1997), Philadelphia (2004) and New England (2007) as the only teams since 1990 to clinch their divisions by the 11th game of the season.  The club has posted the most regular-season victories (128) in the NFL since 1999.  Indianapolis is the only team to earn 12 victories in seven consecutive seasons.  The club's seven-year streak with 11 victories is an NFL record, and eight consecutive seasons with 10 wins is 2nd in league history (16, San Francisco, 1983-98).  Indianapolis is the only NFL team to win at least seven consecutive games in six consecutive seasons (8, 2004; 13, 2005; 9, 2006; 7 and 6, 2007; 9, 2008, 14, 2009).  In 2009, the Colts set an NFL record with 23 consecutive regular-season victories (21, New England, 2006-08).  The club produced a 14-0 start to the season, marking the 3rd in league history (16-0, New England, 2007; 14-0, Miami, 1972).  The 13-0 start was the second for the club in the past five seasons (13-0, 2005).  The Colts are the only team ever to have three 9-0 starts in a five-year span (also 9-0 in 2006).  The Colts produced 115 victories for the 2000-09 decade, surpassing the league record of 113 by San Francisco from 1990-99.  It marked the 12th time in NFL history a team topped 100 regular-season wins in a decade.  Indianapolis has won 73 of its last 89 regular-season games.  From November 16, 2003 to December 13, 2009, the Colts produced a regular-season record of 81-19, tying New England (2003-09) for the NFL's best 100-game regular-season mark.  Indianapolis is 38-10 against the AFC South, and the club has owned or shared the lead in 112 of 136 weeks of the division's existence.  Indianapolis won 51 regular-season games from 2006-09 to rank among the leaders for the most regular-season victories over any four-year span (52, Chicago, 1985-88; 52, San Francisco, 1989-92; 52, New England, 2004-07; 51, San Francisco, 1987-90; 51, Colts, 2004-07; 51, Colts, 2005-08; 51, Colts, 2006-09; 50, Chicago, 1984-87; 50, New England, 2003-06; 50, Colts, 2003-06).  Indianapolis won 65 games from 2005-09, to rank among the leaders for most regular-season victories over a five-year span (66, New England, 2003-07; 65, Colts, 2005-09; 63, Colts, 2003-07; 63, Colts, 2004-08; 63, New England, 2004-08; 62, Chicago, 1984-88; 62, San Francisco, 1988-92; 62, San Francisco, 1989-93; 61, San Francisco, 1986-90; 61, San Francisco, 1987-91; 61, San Francisco, 1990-94; 61, San Francisco, 1994-98).  Polian's teams have produced a combined regular-season record of 228-139 with him as either general manager or president.  Discounting his first two building years in Buffalo and his first seasons with Carolina and the Colts, his record is 212-91.  In 22 seasons as a general manager or president, his teams have made 16 playoff and seven conference championship game appearances, and he has been a part of 13 11 -victory seasons.  In addition to Indianapolis winning an NFL-record 115 regular-season games from 2000-09, Buffalo produced 102 victories from 1990-99, making Polian the only NFL president/general manager to serve with two such teams.  From 2002-09, Caldwell has been a part of Colts teams that led the league in victories.  In 2009, Caldwell helped produce the 19th 10 -victory season in franchise history, and he is one of five Colts head coaches to earn double-digit victory totals (7, Tony Dungy; 4, Don Shula; 3, Ted Marchibroda; 2, Don McCafferty; 2, Jim Mora; 1, Caldwell).  Caldwell joined McCafferty (11-2-1, 1970, Super Bowl champion), Marchibroda (10-4, 1975, Divisional Playoffs) and Dungy (10-6, 2002, Wild Card Playoffs) as the only Colts head coaches to earn a double-digit victory total and a playoff berth in the first year with the club (Lindy Infante directed the club to the Wild Card Playoffs in 1996).  Caldwell became the first Colts head coach to win his first 14 games.  Caldwell joined Chuck Knox (L.A. Rams, 1973), Red Miller (Denver, 1977), Mike Martz (St. Louis, 2000) and Josh McDaniels (Denver, 2009) as the only rookie head coaches in the Super Bowl era to start 6-0.  He became the fourth coach ever to start 6-0 when succeeding a head coach who won 100 games (Blanton Collier, Cleveland, 1963, succeeded Paul Brown, 111 wins; Jack Pardee, Washington, 1978, succeeded George Allen, 116 wins; Josh McDaniels, Denver, 2009, succeeded Mike Shanahan, 146 wins; Caldwell, Colts, 2009, succeeded Tony Dungy, 139 wins).  Caldwell has become the 2nd rookie head coach since the 1978 NFL move to a 16-game season to win 14 games (George Seifert, SF, 1989).  Caldwell is the only NFL rookie head coach to win his first 14 games in a season, surpassing Potsy Clark (8, Portsmouth, 1931), and he surpassed Wally Lemm (10, 1961 Houston Oilers-1962 St. Louis Cardinals) for the most consecutive wins to start a career. 

COLTS COACHES IN PLAYOFFS: Weeb Ewbank 1958-59; Don Shula 1964-68; Don McCafferty 1970-71; Ted Marchibroda 1975-77; Ron Meyer, 1987; Marchibroda, 1995; Lindy Infante 1996; Jim Mora 1999-2000; Tony Dungy, 2002-08; Jim Caldwell, 2009.

The Colts' all-time post-season record is 18-18.  

COLTS ARE NFL'S WINNINGEST TEAM FROM 1999-2009: The Colts stand as the NFL's winningest team since the start of the 1999 season.  The Colts own a 128-48 record during that span. 

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