DATE: Sunday, December 7, 2008
SITE: Lucas Oil Stadium
KICKOFF: 1:00 p.m. (EST)
Indianapolis is playing at home for the first time in three weeks, and the Colts close regular season play by hosting Cincinnati, Detroit (December 14) and Tennessee (December 28). The lone remaining road contest is a divisional battle at Jacksonville on December 18. Sunday's game marks the final outing against the AFC North, as well as the second consecutive match against an Ohio team. The Colts earned a 10-6 road victory last Sunday at Cleveland. Cincinnati dropped a 34-3 home game to Baltimore last Sunday. Prior to meeting the Browns, Indianapolis bested Baltimore, 31-3, on October 12, and posted a 24-20 victory at Pittsburgh on November 9.
Owners of the NFL's best regular-season record (110-46) since the start of the 1999 season, while being the only team to earn eight playoff appearances in the last nine seasons, Indianapolis has won 55 of its last 69 regular-season games. Indianapolis' winning ways include a 30-10 record in AFC South play, while the club has owned or shared the lead in 95 of 115 weeks of the division's existence. The Colts have won the past five AFC South championships, the best divisional-title streak in club history. Indianapolis became the only NFL team with five consecutive 12 -victory seasons. The Colts were tied with Dallas (1992-95) as the only teams to do it four consecutive seasons.
PERSONNEL REPORT: DB-Bob Sanders (knee), C-Jeff Saturday (calf) were out; DB-Antoine Bethea (ankle), LB-Gary Brackett (hamstring), DB-Melvin Bullitt (rib), LB-Tyjuan Hagler (knee) were questionable; OT-Tony Ugoh (quadriceps) was probable. Last game's inactive players were: Sanders, DB-Brandon Foster, LB-Buster Davis, TE-Jamie Petrowski, WR-Roy Hall, DT-Daniel Muir, DE-Curtis Johnson and Saturday.
TELEVISION/RADIO: CBS Sports telecasts with Ian Eagle and Solomon Wilcots. 1070-The Fan/HANK-FM, 97.1 broadcasts with Bob Lamey and Will Wolford.
NEXT WEEK: Indianapolis hosts Detroit on Sunday, December 14 at 1:00 p.m. (EST).
**WWW.COLTS.COM**: Please check the official website of the Indianapolis Colts for the latest in team information and merchandise.
TONY DUNGY is 81-27 at the Colts' helm. Dungy joined the Colts on January 22, 2002, after serving as Tampa Bay's head coach for six seasons (1996-01). Dungy's career regular-season record is 135-69, and he has an overall record of 144-78. Dungy became the 35th coach in NFL history to earn 100 career victories with a 38-20 win at Houston on 10/23/05. Dungy became the 20th coach since entering the league in 1970 to win 100 career games. Of those 20, only George Seifert (132), Joe Gibbs (148), Mike Ditka (151), Mike Holmgren (160) and Mike Shanahan (161) reached 100 career wins faster than Dungy's pace of 163 games. Dungy recorded his 100th regular-season victory vs. Tennessee 12/4/05, becoming only the 6th coach to win 100 regular-season games in the first 10 years as a head coach (113, Seifert; 105, Don Shula; 103, John Madden; 102, Dungy; 101, Gibbs; 101, Ditka).
Dungy coached his 200th regular-season game on 11/2/08, and the 24-20 victory over New England was his 131st, the third-highest total by any NFL head coach over the first 200 regular-season career games (147, Shula; 131, George Halas). With an overall mark of 88-32, Dungy became the winningest coach in Colts history with a 31-7 win at Carolina on 10/28/07, bettering the prior total of 73 by Shula and Ted Marchibroda. Dungy owns a 111-45 mark since the start of the 1999 season (30-18 at Tampa Bay; 81-27 with Colts), and he is the NFL's winningest coach during that span. He has directed 10 of his 12 teams into the playoffs, while leading Tampa Bay (1999) and the Colts (2003, 2006) to the conference championship game, and his 2006 Colts squad won Super Bowl XLI. Dungy took Tampa Bay to four playoff appearances during his tenure as field general. From 2002-07, Dungy has directed the Colts to 10-6, 12-4, 12-4, 14-2, 12-4 and 13-3 records, becoming the only coach in club history to produce 10 victories and playoff berths in the first six seasons with the team. In 2007, Dungy helped produce the 17th 10 -victory season in franchise history, and he is one of five Colts head coaches to earn double-digit victory totals (6, Dungy; 4, Shula; 3, Marchibroda; 2, Don McCafferty; 2, Jim Mora). Dungy has nine career double-digit victory seasons (10-6, 1997; 11-5, 1999; 10-6, 2000 with Tampa Bay; 10-6, 2002; 12-4, 2003; 12-4, 2004; 14-2, 2005; 12-4, 2006; 13-3, 2007 with Colts), and he was the first coach to defeat all 32 NFL teams. Under Dungy, Indianapolis has six consecutive 10 -victory seasons (2002-07), tying the third-longest streak in NFL history (16, San Francisco, 1983-98; 7, Dallas, 1975-81; 6, Dallas, 1968-73; 6, Miami 1970-75; 6, LA Rams, 1973-78; 6, Dallas, 1991-96; 6, Colts, 2002-07). The Colts have produced a 110-46 regular-season record since 1999, a victory total that leads the NFL. The Colts are the only team to qualify for post-season play eight times in the last nine seasons. Indianapolis has won the AFC South five consecutive seasons and has owned or shared the division lead in 95 of 115 weeks of AFC South existence. The Colts were wire-to-wire divisional leaders from 2005-07. Under Dungy during the regular season, the Colts are 41-12 at home and 40-15 on the road. Dungy (1999-07) has earned nine consecutive playoff appearances (1999-01 at Tampa Bay; 2002-07 with Colts), tying Tom Landry (9, Dallas, 1975-83) for the most consecutive playoff appearances by NFL coaches since 1970. Indianapolis (14-2, 2005; 12-4, 2003, 2004 and 2006; 13-3, 2007) has become the only team to earn 12 victories in five consecutive seasons, snapping the league mark it had shared with Dallas (1992-95). The Colts own a 78-25 record (counting the playoffs) since the start of the 2003 season and are 64-20 since 2004. Dungy held a 54-42 record as head coach with Tampa Bay, qualifying for the playoffs four times in six seasons. Dungy produced some of the NFL's stingiest defenses during his years at Tampa Bay. His units ranked no lower than 11th during his stay and ranked 6th or higher in four of his last five years. His 2007 Colts unit ranked 3rd in the NFL and 1st in scoring defense. Dungy also served 1981-88 with Pittsburgh, including 1984-88 as defensive coordinator. After serving 1989-91 as DB Coach at Kansas City, Dungy was the defensive coordinator at Minnesota from 1992-95. During his years in Minnesota, the Vikings intercepted an NFL-high 95 passes and made three playoff appearances. The Chiefs made two playoff appearances during Dungy's tenure. At Pittsburgh in 1984, he became the NFL's youngest coordinator (age 28). In five seasons as Pittsburgh's coordinator, the Steelers averaged 24 interceptions and 37 takeaways, while scoring 20 touchdowns. Dungy entered the coaching ranks in 1980 at his alma mater, Minnesota, where he was a quarterback (1973-76). He made the Steelers as a free agent in 1977 and was a member of the Super Bowl XIII title team, then was traded to San Francisco in 1979. Dungy is a native of Jackson, Mich.
MARVIN LEWIS became the ninth Bengals head coach on January 14, 2003. Lewis joined Cincinnati after serving as defensive coordinator/assistant head coach with Washington in 2002. Lewis directed Cincinnati to 8-8 records in his first two seasons with the team, and the Bengals produced a record of 11-5 in 2005 in winning the AFC North. Cincinnati was 8-8 in 2006 and 7-9 in 2007. Lewis spent 1996-01 as defensive coordinator with Baltimore, a tenure that included a Super Bowl title during the 2000 regular season. Lewis' 2000 defensive unit set the NFL record for fewest points allowed in a 16-game season (165) and ranked 1st in the NFL in rushing yards allowed (970), rushing average (2.7), takeaways (49), fumbles recovered (26) and shutouts (4). Lewis was LB Coach with Pittsburgh 1992-95. He started his career at his alma mater, Idaho State, as LB Coach from 1981-84. He served at Long Beach State 1985-86, New Mexico 1987-89 and Pittsburgh 1990-91 before entering the NFL. Lewis was a LB, QB and DB at Idaho State. He is a native of McDonald, Pa.
COLTS/BENGALS SERIES NOTES
The league series stands 14-8 in favor of the Colts, and 1-0 in favor of the Colts in post-season play. The teams last met in series play on December 18, 2006 in the RCA Dome, as the Colts posted a 34-16 win. QB-Peyton Manning (29-36-282, 4 TDs) directed a potent offensive attack that included solid efforts from WRs-Marvin Harrison (8-86, 3 TDs) and Reggie Wayne (7-84, 1 TD). DE-Dwight Freeney totaled three sacks as the club assumed a second-quarter lead it would not relinquish. The last series renewal in Cincinnati was on November 20, 2005, as Indianapolis forged a 45-37 win. Taking a 35-27 halftime lead with touchdowns on the first five possessions, the Colts earned an offensive shootout victory. Manning was 24-40-365, 3 TDs/1 int. Wayne was 5-117, 1 TD, while TE-Dallas Clark was 6-125, 1 TD and RB-Edgerrin James was 24-89, 2 TDs rushing.
Cincinnati produced 492 yards behind QB-Carson Palmer (25-38-335, 2 TDs/1 int.). Cincinnati rushed for 164 yards, while WR-Chad Johnson was 8-189, 1 TD receiving. The Colts posted a 28-21 victory over the Bengals on October 6, 2002. In that contest, Indianapolis raced to a 21-0 first-half lead and never trailed. Manning was 21-34-224, 2 TDs/1 int. and tallied on an 11t rush. He teamed with TE-Marcus Pollard (3t) and Harrison (9-145, 1 TD, 3t) on first-half scoring plays, while James' (22-60, 1 TD) 3t fourth-quarter rush provided the winning points. The clubs met on October 24, 1999, with the Colts winning in the RCA Dome, 31-10. Cincinnati's last win in the league series came on November 9, 1997, 28-13 in Indianapolis. The Colts won the only playoff encounter between the clubs, 17-0 in Baltimore on December 26, 1970. The teams met annually in league play from 1992 through 1999. The teams met in Indianapolis this past preseason, with Cincinnati winning on August 28, 27-7.
BEST NFL RECORDS DURING 1999-2008 REGULAR SEASONS
COLTS ARE NFL'S WINNINGEST TEAM FROM 1999-2008: The Colts stand as the NFL's winningest team since the start of the 1999 season. The Colts own a 110-46 record during that span. Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy was 30-18 with Tampa Bay from 1999-2001. He is 81-27 with the Colts, and his 111 wins during that span are the most in the NFL.