DATE: Saturday, January 3, 2009
SITE: Qualcomm Stadium
KICKOFF: 8:00 p.m. (EST)/5:00 p.m. (PST)
The Colts and Chargers met on November 23 of this past season, as Indianapolis earned a 23-20 last-play victory over San Diego. The contest was the first since the clubs met in the Divisional Playoffs last January 13, a contest won by the Chargers in the RCA Dome, 28-24. The Colts, the AFC's fifth-seeded playoff team, closed regular-season play last Sunday with a 23-0 victory against Tennessee. The Chargers, the fourth-seeded team as the AFC West champions, bested Denver last Sunday, 52-21. This will be the sixth meeting between the clubs since December, 2004.
The Colts have earned their seventh consecutive playoff berth, and a ninth such accomplishment in the past 10 seasons. The Colts reach post-season play with nine consecutive victories. Indianapolis (2003-08) produced eleven-plus victories for the sixth consecutive year, joining Dallas (1976-81) as the only teams to accomplish that feat. Indianapolis (2003-08) extended its NFL mark to six consecutive seasons with 12 victories, a record previously shared with Dallas (4 seasons, 1992-95). The club's streak of seven consecutive playoff appearances spans Head Coach Tony Dungy's tenure in Indianapolis. Dungy has guided his 10th consecutive team to the playoffs (1999-01, Tampa Bay; 2002-08, Colts), a mark that sets the post-Merger NFL record for the most consecutive playoff appearances by a head coach (9, Tom Landry, Dallas, 1975-83). Overall, Dungy has guided eleven of his 13 teams to playoff appearances. The Colts have extended their streak of double-digit victory seasons to seven, tying the second-longest streak in NFL history (16, San Francisco, 1983-98; 7, Dallas, 1975-81). Indianapolis produced a nine-game winning streak over the last half of the season, making the franchise the only one in NFL history to win seven or more consecutive regular-season games in five consecutive seasons (8, 2004; 13, 2005; 9, 2006; 7 and 6, 2007; 9, 2008).
Owners of the NFL's best regular-season record (114-46) since the start of the 1999 season, while being the only team to earn nine playoff appearances in the last 10 seasons, Indianapolis has won 59 of its last 73 regular-season games. Indianapolis' winning ways include a 32-10 record in AFC South play, while the club has owned or shared the lead in 95 of 119 weeks of the division's existence. The Colts won five AFC South championships from 2003-07, the best divisional-title streak in club history.
Indianapolis is the only NFL team to have double-digit victory totals and playoff appearances each season since the 2002 NFL Realignment.
PERSONNEL REPORT: LB-Gary Brackett (fibula), RB-Dominic Rhodes (chest) were out; DB-Melvin Bullitt (shoulder), DT-Keyunta Dawson (hip), LB-Freddy Keiaho (hamstring), DB-Bob Sanders (knee), RB-Chad Simpson (ankle) were questionable. Last game's inactive players were: Bullitt, DT-Eric Foster, DE-Dwight Freeney, DE-Robert Mathis, Sanders, Rhodes, Keiaho and Brackett.
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 broadcasts with Bill Rosinski, Dan Reeves, and Scott Kaplan (field reporter).
WWW.COLTS.COM: Please check the official website of the Indianapolis Colts for the latest in team information and merchandise.
TONY DUNGY is 85-27 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 139-69, and he has an overall record of 148-78. 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 92-32, 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 115-45 mark since the start of the 1999 season (30-18 at Tampa Bay; 85-27 with Colts), and he is the NFL's winningest coach during that span. He has directed eleven of his 13 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 2002-08, Dungy has directed the Colts to 10-6, 12-4, 12-4, 14-2, 12-4, 13-3 and 12-4 records, becoming the only coach in club history to produce 10 victories and playoff appearances in the first seven seasons with the team. In 2008, Dungy helped produce the 18th 10 -victory season in franchise history, and he is one of five Colts head coaches to earn double-digit victory totals (7, Dungy; 4, Shula; 3, Marchibroda; 2, Don McCafferty; 2, Jim Mora). Dungy has 10 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; 12-4, 2008 with Colts), and he was the first coach to defeat all 32 NFL teams. Under Dungy, Indianapolis has seven consecutive 10 -victory seasons (2002-08), tying the second-longest streak in NFL history (16, San Francisco, 1983-98; 7, Dallas, 1975-81). The Colts (2003-08) joined Dallas (1976-81) as the only franchises to earn at least eleven victories in six consecutive seasons. Indianapolis (14-2, 2005; 13-3, 2007; 12-4, 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2008) is the only team to earn 12 victories in six consecutive seasons, snapping the league mark it had shared with Dallas (1992-95). In 2008, Indianapolis became the only NFL team to win at least seven consecutive games in five consecutive seasons (8, 2004; 13, 2005; 9, 2006; 7 and 6, 2007; 9, 2008). The Colts have produced a 114-46 regular-season record since 1999, a victory total that leads the NFL. The Colts are the only team to qualify for post-season play nine times in the last 10 seasons. Indianapolis won five consecutive AFC South titles from 2003-07, and has owned or shared the division lead in 95 of 119 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 44-12 at home and 41-15 on the road. Dungy (1999-08) has earned 10 consecutive playoff appearances (1999-01 at Tampa Bay; 2002-08 with Colts), surpassing Tom Landry (9, Dallas, 1975-83) for the most consecutive playoff appearances by NFL coaches since 1970. The Colts own an 82-25 record (counting the playoffs) since the start of the 2003 season and are 68-20 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. He took the Chargers to the AFC West title in 2008. 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 15-10 in San Diego's favor, including a 23-20 Colts victory in Qualcomm Stadium on November 23 of this past regular season. In that contest, K-Adam Vinatieri booted field goals of 23, 38 and 51 yards, the final one coming at the gun as Indianapolis prevailed. The Colts survived a late 10-point Chargers rally that tied the contest with 1:30 remaining. QB-Peyton Manning was 32-44-255, 2 TDs, while QB-Philip Rivers was 24-31-288, 2 TDs. Manning brought the club back from a 10-3 second-quarter deficit, and the Colts led most of the final half. WR-Anthony Gonzalez (6-95, 1 TD; 13t) snared a scoring reception, as did RB-Dominic Rhodes (5-21, 1 TD; 1t). The Chargers out-rushed the Colts, 120-91. DE-Robert Mathis had two sacks and a forced fumble. The Chargers earned regular-season and post-season victories over the Colts in 2007. 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). Manning was 33-48-402, 3 TDs/2 ints., teaming on scoring plays with WRs-Reggie Wayne (7-76, 1 TD; 9t) and 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. On November 11, 2006, 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 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 December, 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 2004 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.
The Colts' playoff berth represents the 22nd in the 56-year history of the team, the 12th since moving to Indianapolis in 1984, the 11th in the past 14 years and the ninth in the past 10 seasons. The 2008 season marked the seventh year of the Owner and C.E.O Jim Irsay-President Bill Polian-Head Coach Tony Dungy regime. Under Irsay's stewardship, the Colts have made the playoffs eleven times in the past 14 years, including consecutive seasons from 1999-2000 and 2002-08. The club has posted the most regular-season victories (114) in the NFL since 1999, and the club won a franchise-record five consecutive divisions titles from 2003-07. Indianapolis (14-2, 2005; 13-3, 2007; 12-4, 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2008) is the only team to earn 12 victories in six consecutive seasons, snapping the league mark it had shared with Dallas (1992-95). In 2008, Indianapolis became the only NFL team to win at least seven consecutive games in five consecutive seasons (8, 2004; 13, 2005; 9, 2006; 7 and 6, 2007; 9, 2008). Indianapolis won 51 regular-season games from 2005-08 to rank among the teams with 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; 50, Chicago, 1984-87; 50, New England, 2003-06; 50, Colts, 2003-06). Indianapolis won 63 games from 2004-08, to rank among the leaders for most regular-season victories over a five-year span (66, New England, 2003-07; 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 214-137 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 198-89. In 21 seasons as a general manager or president, his teams have made 15 playoff and seven conference championship game appearances, and he has been a part of 12 11 -victory seasons. Dungy is 85-27 at the Colts' helm. His career regular-season record is 139-69, and he has an overall record of 148-78. 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). Dungy owns a 115-45 mark since the start of the 1999 season (30-18 at Tampa Bay; 85-27 with Colts), and he is the NFL's winningest coach during that span. He has directed eleven of his 13 teams into the playoffs. From 2002-08, Dungy has directed the Colts to 10-6, 12-4, 12-4, 14-2, 12-4, 13-3 and 12-4 records, becoming the only coach in club history to produce 10 victories and playoff appearances in the first seven seasons with the team. In 2008, Dungy helped produce the 18th 10 -victory season in franchise history, and he is one of five Colts head coaches to earn double-digit victory totals (7, Dungy; 4, Shula; 3, Marchibroda; 2, Don McCafferty; 2, Jim Mora). Dungy has 10 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; 12-4, 2008 with Colts). Under Dungy, Indianapolis has seven consecutive 10 -victory seasons (2002-08), tying the second-longest streak in NFL history (16, San Francisco, 1983-98; 7, Dallas, 1975-81). The Colts (2003-08) join Dallas (1976-81) as the only franchises to earn at least eleven victories in six consecutive seasons. Dungy (1999-08) has earned 10 consecutive playoff appearances (1999-01 at Tampa Bay; 2002-08 with Colts), surpassing Tom Landry (9, Dallas, 1975-83) for the most consecutive playoff appearances by NFL coaches since 1970.
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.
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 114-46 record during that span. Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy was 30-18 with Tampa Bay from 1999-2001. He is 85-27 with the Colts, and his 115 wins during that span sare the most in the NFL.