DATE: Sunday, December 13, 2009
SITE: Lucas Oil Stadium
KICKOFF: 1:00 p.m. (EST)/11:00 a.m. (MST)
Playing the second outing of a two-game home stand, the Indianapolis Colts, 12-0, host the Denver Broncos, 8-4, on Sunday, December 13. Kickoff for the contest, telecast by CBS Sports, is 1:00 p.m. (EST)/11:00 a.m. (MST). Sports USA provides national radio coverage from Lucas Oil Stadium.
The Colts and Broncos will be meeting for the first time since the 2007 regular season and for the ninth overall time this decade. Indianapolis and Denver battled six times during league play (2001-03, 2005-07) and twice during the playoffs following the 2003 and 2004 seasons. Denver leads the overall series, 11-8, but the Colts have taken six of the last eight battles, including both post-season affairs. The Colts have won the last three encounters, including a 38-20 home decision on September 30, 2007, in the last meeting between the clubs. Indianapolis reaches this week's game after a 27-17 victory last Sunday at home over Tennessee. The Colts entered action last week in possession of the AFC South crown. The club 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. Denver earned a 44-13 victory last Sunday at Kansas City.
The victory over Tennessee extended the sixth 10 -game regular-season winning streak in franchise history (21, 2008-09; 13, 2005; 11, 1964; 11, 1975-76; 11, 1999; 10, 2005-06), the fourth since 1999. The Colts joined New England (2006-08) as the only NFL teams to earn a streak of 21 consecutive regular-season victories. Last week's victory provided the Colts with their second 12-0 start in the past five seasons (13-0, 2005). The Colts had been the only team ever to have three 9-0 starts in a five-year span (also 9-0 in 2006). Of the 14 teams that started a season 11-0, eight went on to go 12-0 (16-0, New England, 2007; 14-0, Miami, 1972; 13-0, Chicago, 1934; 13-0, Denver 1998; 13-0, Colts, 2005; 12-0, Chicago, 1985; 12-0, Colts, 2009; 12-0, New Orleans, 2009). Jim Caldwell is the only NFL rookie head coach to win his first 12 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 has become the 9th rookie head coach since the 1978 NFL move to a 16-game season to win 12 games. Earlier this season, 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; 12, 2009).
This season, the club has extended its franchise record to 10 consecutive road wins. Indianapolis has won its last 12 home games, tying the franchise record. Additionally, the Colts have 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 also has earned its seventh consecutive season with 11 victories, surpassing the NFL record it had shared with Dallas (6, 1976-81). The Colts have extended their league mark to seven consecutive seasons (2003-09) with 12 victories. The Colts now have 113 victories for the 2000-09 decade, tying the league record of 113 by San Francisco from 1990-99.
The Colts are owners of the NFL's best regular-season record (126-46) 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 71 of its last 85 regular-season games. The Colts also produced a 100-game regular-season record of 80-20 (2003-09). New England earned an 81-19 record during this decade for the NFL's best 100-game regular-season mark. Indianapolis' winning ways include a 37-10 record in AFC South play, while the club has owned or shared the lead in 107 of 131 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.
PERSONNEL REPORT: RB-Donald Brown (chest), DT-Keyunta Dawson (knee), DB-Aaron Francisco (ankle), WR-Anthony Gonzalez (knee), K-Adam Vinatieri (right knee) were out; DE-Dwight Freeney (abdomen), OT-Charlie Johnson (foot), QB-Jim Sorgi (right shoulder) were questionable; RB-Joseph Addai (knee), LB-Gary Brackett (foot), OG-Kyle DeVan (shin), DB-Kelvin Hayden (knee), LB-Ramon Humber (calf), DB-Tim Jennings (ankle), QB-Peyton Manning (glute), DE-Robert Mathis (neck), DB-Jerraud Powers (knee), OG-Jamey Richard (shoulder), TE-Tom Santi (hand), C-Jeff Saturday (calf), OT-Tony Ugoh (knee/rested), WR-Reggie Wayne (foot) were probable for the last game. Last game's inactive players were: Dawson, Francisco, Gonzalez, Vinatieri, Brown, Johnson, Santi and QB-Jim Sorgi.
TELEVISION/RADIO: CBS Sports telecasts with Dick Enberg and Dan Fouts. 1070-The Fan/HANK-FM, 97.1 broadcasts with Bob Lamey, Will Wolford and Kevin Lee (field reporter). Sports USA broadcasts with Larry Kahn, Ross Tucker and Troy West (field reporter).
NEXT WEEK: Indianapolis visits Jacksonville on Thursday, December 17 at 8:20 p.m. (EST).
**WWW.COLTS.COM**: Please check the official website of the Indianapolis Colts for the latest in team information and merchandise.
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 has become the 9th rookie head coach since the 1978 NFL move to a 16-game season to win 12 games. Caldwell is the only NFL rookie head coach to win his first 12 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; 12, 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.
JOSH McDANIELS became the 12th Broncos head coach on January 12, 2009. McDaniels spent the previous eight seasons (2001-08) with New England. He served 2006-08 as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach. McDaniels helped guide New England to three Super Bowl titles, and he was a part of seven 10-win seasons. McDaniels served as personnel/coaching assistant in 2001, and he added duties with defensive backs in 2003. In 2004, he was the club's quarterbacks coach. McDaniels was a QB/WR at John Carroll 1995-98. He served at Michigan State in 1999. McDaniels is a native of Barberton, Ohio.
COLTS/BRONCOS SERIES NOTES
The Colts trail the league series, 11-6, but have won two playoff encounters over Denver this decade, along with regular-season battles in 2006 and 2007. The Colts took a 38-20 home win on September 30, 2007 in the last meeting with the Broncos. The Colts overcame a 10-0 deficit with scores on six of seven possessions to post the win. QB-Peyton Manning was 20-27-193, 3 TDs, along with a 1t rush. The Colts rushed for 226 yards, off-setting Denver's 223 rushing yards. TE-Dallas Clark (6-76, 2 TDs; 9t, 3t), WR-Reggie Wayne (5-38, 1 TD; 5t) and RB-Joseph Addai (19-136, 1 TD rushing; 14t) helped pace the offense. DE-Dwight Freeney forced two fumbles and had one sack as the club tied a franchise record with an eleventh consecutive home win. On October 29, 2006, scoring on each of five second-half possessions, the Colts rallied for a 34-31 victory at Denver. Down 14-6 at halftime, the Colts scored touchdowns on the first two drives of the third quarter, and Manning (32-39-345, 3 TDs) guided two late scoring drives. Manning hit WR-Reggie Wayne (10-138, 3 TDs) on a 19t scoring toss with 3:35 remaining, then added a two-point pass to Wayne. Following a 49-yard field goal by K-Jason Elam with 1:49 to go, Manning marshaled a 62-yard drive that resulted in a 37-yard field goal by K-Adam Vinatieri with :02 left. Vinatieri booted field goals of 42, 30, 48 and 37 yards, while Wayne tied the club record for touchdown receptions in a game. Denver entered the contest having allowed but two touchdowns all season. Addai (17-93 rushing/5-37 receiving) produced a key performance. Denver rushed 36-227 yards. The teams met in Denver on January 2, 2005, with the Broncos taking a 33-14 victory. With Indianapolis having secured the AFC's third playoff seed, Denver roared to a 20-14 halftime decision the Colts could not overcome. QB-Jake Plummer was 17-30-246, 2 TDs, hitting WR-Ashley Lelie on a 38t toss and TE-Patrick Hape on a 2t strike to stake the Broncos to the lead. QB-Jim Sorgi was 16-25-168, 2 TDs after Manning exited after three plays. Sorgi hit WR-Marvin Harrison on a 7t strike and Wayne on a 71t toss for the Colts' points. The teams met one week later in Indianapolis in the Wild Card Playoffs. Bolting to a 35-3 halftime lead behind the passing of Manning (27-33-458, 4 TDs/1 int., 145.7 rating), the Colts posted a 49-24 victory. Manning was 21-27-361, 3 TDs/1 int. in the opening half. Manning's 361 yards marked the most yards in one half of NFL playoff action since 1970. Manning teamed with RB-James Mungro (1-2, 1 TD receiving; 2t), TE-Dallas Clark (6-112, 1 TD; 19t) and Wayne (10-221, 2 TDs; 35t, 43t) on the first-half scores. Manning and RB-Edgerrin James (18-63, 1 TD) had 1t rushing scores in the first half. Manning eclipsed his own playoff record for passing yards (377 vs. Denver 1/4/04), while producing the second-highest total in NFL playoff history (489, Bernie Kosar, Cleveland vs. NYJ, 1986). Wayne set the club's post-season reception yardage record (178, WR-Raymond Berry at NYG 12/28/58), and produced the third-highest yardage total in NFL playoff history. Denver scored three second-half touchdowns behind Plummer (24-34-284, 2 TDs/1 int.). The Colts' 49 points established a club playoff record (41, vs. Denver 1/4/04). The teams met twice in Indianapolis in a three-week span at the end of the 2003 season, with Denver taking a 31-17 win on December 21 and the Colts taking a 41-10 playoff verdict on January 4, 2004. In the second encounter, the Colts scored on their first seven possessions, including five touchdown passes by Manning (22-26-377, 5 TDs, 158.3 rating). Manning set the club mark for most scoring passes in a playoff game, and he found WRs-Brandon Stokley (4-144, 2 TDs; 31t, 87t) and Harrison (7-133, 2 TDs; 46t, 23t) on touchdown tosses. Harrison and Stokley set the club playoff record for most touchdown receptions in a game. The Colts bolted to a 14-3 first-quarter lead that swelled to 41-3 before Denver tallied midway through the final period. In the regular season meeting, Denver rushed 54 times for 227 yards and three TDs and controlled the ball for 44:58 in opening a 28-17 halftime lead that resulted in the victory. Plummer tallied on 6t and 1t rushes and was 14-17-238, 1 TD/int. passing, while RB-Quentin Griffin was 28-136 rushing and Lelie was 5-115 receiving to lead Denver.
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 126-46 record during that span.