DATE: Sunday, November 23, 2008
SITE: Qualcomm Stadium
KICKOFF: 8:15 p.m. (EST)/5:15 p.m. (PST)
The Colts and Chargers met in a Sunday Night affair last November 11, as San Diego posted a 23-21 home win. The Chargers bolted to a 23-0 first-half advantage in a soggy contest, then withstood an Indianapolis charge that did not end until a missed field goal in the final two minutes. The teams met in Indianapolis last January 13, with San Diego emerging 28-24 victors in the Divisional Playoffs, a contest that featured six lead changes. Indianapolis reaches Sunday's encounter after a 33-27 home victory last Sunday over Houston. San Diego dropped an 11-10 decision last Sunday at Pittsburgh.
Owners of the NFL's best regular-season record (108-46) 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 53 of its last 67 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 113 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-Antoine Bethea (ankle), WR-Anthony Gonzalez (hamstring), WR-Roy Hall (knee), DB-Kelvin Hayden (hamstring), DE-Robert Mathis (foot), DT-Daniel Muir (hamstring), DB-Keiwan Ratliff (quadriceps), DB-Bob Sanders (knee), TE-Tom Santi (shoulder), WR-Reggie Wayne (ankle) were questionable. Last game's inactive players were: Sanders, Hayden, C-Steve Justice, LB-Buster Davis, DT-Daniel Muir, DE-Curtis Johnson, Santi, and Hall.
TELEVISION/RADIO: NBC Sports telecasts with Al Michaels, John Madden and Andrea Kremer (field reporter). 1070-The Fan/HANK-FM, 97.1 broadcasts with Bob Lamey and Will Wolford. Westwood One provides national radio coverage with Dave Sims and Jim Fassel.
NEXT WEEK: Indianapolis visits Cleveland on Sunday, November 30 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 79-27 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 133-69, and he has an overall record of 142-78. 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). With an overall mark of 86-32, 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 109-45 mark since the start of the 1999 season (30-18 at Tampa Bay; 79-27 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 108-46 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 113 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 38-15 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 76-25 record (counting the playoffs) since the start of the 2003 season and are 62-20 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.
NORV TURNER became the 14th Chargers head coach on February 19, 2007. Turner led the Chargers to an 11-5 regular-season record in 2007, advancing to the AFC Championship Game. Turner is in his third head coaching role, having directed Washington from 1994-2000 and Oakland from 2004-05. Turner posted winning records in four of seven seasons with Washington. He was 9-23 with the Raiders. Turner served as offensive coordinator with San Francisco prior to joining San Diego. He spent 2002-03 as assistant head coach/offensive coordinator with Miami. Turner joined the Redskins after three seasons as offensive coordinator at Dallas, where he was a part of consecutive Super Bowl championships. Prior to Dallas, Turner served 1985-90 with the L.A. Rams, where he oversaw the passing game. Turner played QB at Oregon (1972-74), where he became a graduate assistant in 1975. He coached 1976-84 at Southern Cal before entering the NFL. Turner is a native of LeJeune, N.C.
COLTS/CHARGERS SERIES NOTES
The overall series stands 15-9 in San Diego's favor, including regular-season and post-season victories over the Colts last season. In a contest last January 13 featuring six lead changes, San Diego scored the clinching touchdown midway through the fourth quarter to produce a 28-24 Divisional Playoff victory at Indianapolis. The Chargers were directed by QB-Philip Rivers (14-19-264, 3 TDs/1 int.) for the first three quarters and by QB-Billy Volek (3-4-48 passing/3-(-1), 1 TD rushing) for the final quarter. Volek's score proved to be the decisive tally. San Diego was led on the ground by RB-Michael Turner (17-71). QB-Peyton Manning was 33-48-402, 3 TDs/2 ints., teaming on scoring plays with WRs-Reggie Wayne (7-76, 1 TD; 9t) and Anthony Gonzalez (4-79, 1 TD; 55t) and TE-Dallas Clark (6-95, 1 TD; 25t). Indianapolis suffered turnovers at the San Diego 22-, 11- and two-yard lines, and failed to convert a possession inside the 10 in the game's final three minutes. Last November 11 in Qualcomm Stadium, Indianapolis fell behind, 23-0, in the first half to San Diego before nearly pulling off a dramatic comeback victory. The Colts tallied 14 fourth-quarter points, but K-Adam Vinatieri was wide right on a 29-yard field goal in the final two minutes as the Colts fell, 23-21. KR-Darren Sproles staked San Diego to an early lead with an 89t KOR and a 45t punt return in the first quarter. K-Nate Kaeding booted a 33-yard field goal in the period as the Chargers threatened to pull away. Manning (34-56-328, 2 TDs/6 ints.) suffered four first-half interceptions before teaming with Wayne (10-140, 1 TD) on an 8t pass and RB-Kenton Keith on a 7t pass. LB-Gary Brackett's end zone fumble recovery pulled the Colts within two points early in the fourth quarter. These clubs met in spirited December battles in the RCA Dome during the 2004 and 2005 seasons. Indianapolis prevailed in overtime on December 26, 2004, 34-31, and San Diego earned a 26-17 victory on the return trip on December 18. In that contest, after rallying from a 16-point deficit, the Colts surrendered the final 10 points of the contest in falling to San Diego. The Chargers controlled the first half in earning a 13-0 lead at intermission. Indianapolis tallied 17 points in the third quarter to take the lead, but K-Nate Kaeding's fourth field goal, a 49-yarder with 6:41 left, put San Diego ahead, 19-17. Turner's 83t burst provided the clinching points with 2:09 left. Manning was 26-45-336, 1 TD/2 ints., while Wayne (10-91) and WR-Marvin Harrison (8-135) had big days. San Diego rushed for 206 yards, and QB-Drew Brees was 22-33-255, 1 TD/2 ints. In the Colts' last series win in 2004, rallying from two 15-point deficits to tie the contest in the final minute of regulation, Indianapolis earned a 34-31 overtime win. In only the fourth contest in NFL history pitting teams with seven or more consecutive wins (Chargers 8, Colts 7), Manning was 27-44-383, 2 TDs/1 int. Manning teamed with RB-James Mungro (3t) and WR-Brandon Stokley (21t) on scoring tosses, the final one coming with :56 remaining to cut the deficit to 31-29. RB-Edgerrin James then tallied on a two-point rush. K-Mike Vanderjagt's 30-yard field goal 2:47 into overtime decided the contest. Manning's scoring pass to Stokley was his 49th TD toss of the season, breaking the prior NFL mark (since broken) of QB-Dan Marino (1984). Prior to the 2005 match, the series had been dormant since September 26, 1999, when the Colts earned a 27-19 win at Qualcomm Stadium. The Colts and Chargers have had an unusually active series schedule since the club's 1984 move to Indianapolis. The regular season series was renewed during the 1984, 1986, 1987 (twice), 1988, 1989, 1992 (twice), 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1998 seasons. The teams have met one other time in the playoffs, as the Colts earned a 35-20 wildcard win at San Diego on December 31, 1995.
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 108-46 record during that span. Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy was 30-18 with Tampa Bay from 1999-2001. He is 79-27 with the Colts, and his 109 wins during that span are the most in the NFL.