DATE: Monday, September 21, 2009
SITE: Land Shark Stadium
KICKOFF: 8:30 p.m. (EDT)
SURFACE: Grass (PAT)
Making a nationally-televised appearance on their first 2009 regular-season road game, the Indianapolis Colts, 1-0, meet the Miami Dolphins, 0-1, on Monday, September 21. Kickoff in Land Shark Stadium for the contest, telecast nationally by ESPN, is 8:30 p.m. (EDT). Westwood One provides national radio coverage of the contest.
The Colts opened their 57th National Football League season, their 26th in Indianapolis and their first under Head Coach Jim Caldwell last Sunday with a 14-12 home victory over Jacksonville. Miami dropped a 19-7 decision last Sunday at Atlanta. The contest pits two of the NFL's most successful teams during recent regular-season play. The Colts reach Monday night's battle with a 10-game regular-season game winning streak. The victory gave the Colts their sixth 10 -game regular-season winning streak in franchise history (13, 2005; 11, 1964; 11, 1975-76; 11, 1999; 10, 2005-06, 10, 2008-09), the fourth since 1999. Miami has produced nine wins in its last eleven outings. Additionally, the Colts will be making their first appearance in this venue since taking a 29-17 victory over Chicago in Super Bowl XLI on February 4, 2007.
The Colts are owners of the NFL's best regular-season record (115-46) since the start of the 1999 season, while being the only team to earn nine playoff appearances in the last 10 seasons, including a league-best seven consecutive post-season berths. Indianapolis has won 60 of its last 74 regular-season games. Indianapolis' winning ways include a 33-10 record in AFC South play, while the club has owned or shared the lead in 96 of 120 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. In 2008, Indianapolis produced its seventh consecutive 10 -victory season, tying the second-longest streak in NFL history (16, San Francisco, 1983-98; 7, Dallas, 1975-81). Indianapolis extended it NFL record with a sixth consecutive season with 12 -victory season and became the only franchise 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).
The Colts began the 2009 season with 12 new players on roster. The current roster breakdown of experience revealing the club with only four players exceeding 30 years of age, 30 players being 25 years of age and under and an average age of 25.9. The NFL experience of the roster finds 25 players with four or more years of service, while 28 of 53 active players with the club have three years experience or less. The average experience for a Colts player on the opening-day roster is 4.0 years. A total of 41 of 53 players on the active roster finished last season with the club, while 12 new players are on hand (six via the draft, four via free agency and two via trades or waivers). As of opening day, the ages of Colts players were as follows: 22-6; 23-3; 24-16; 25-5; 26-7; 27-2; 28-4; 29-2; 30-3; 31-1; 32-1; 33-1; 34-1; 36-1. The roster composition reflects 33 draft picks, four players acquired via waivers/trades, one acquired via unrestricted free agency and 15 acquired via free agency (including eleven rookie free agents). The following players on the active roster entered the NFL as undrafted free agents (began as Colt): C-Jeff Saturday, TE-Justin Snow(), LB-Gary Brackett(), OT-Dan Federkeil(), DB-Melvin Bullitt(), DT-Ed Johnson(), DT-Daniel Muir, TE-Gijon Robinson(), DT-Eric Foster(), K-Shane Andrus(), OL-Kyle DeVan, LB-Ramon Humber(), DB-Jacob Lacey(*) and K-Adam Vinatieri. A total of 50 of 53 active players have played only for the Colts in the NFL. The players who have NFL experience other than with the Colts are DT-Daniel Muir, DB-Aaron Francisco and Vinatieri.
PERSONNEL REPORT: DB-Bob Sanders (knee), TE-Tom Santi (ankle), DB-Jamie Silva (abdomen) were out; DT-Fili Moala was
questionable for the last game. Last game's inactive players were: Sanders, Santi, Silva, Moala, OT-Dan Federkeil, LB-Cody Glenn,
OL-Kyle DeVan and QB-Curtis Painter.
TELEVISION/RADIO: ESPN telecasts with Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski and Jon Gruden, while Michele Tafoya and Suzy Kolber are field reporters. The Fan/HANK-FM, 97.1 broadcasts with Bob Lamey, Will Wolford and Kevin Lee (field reporter). Westwood One provides national radio coverage with Marv Albert, Boomer Esiason and Steve Tasker (field reporter).
NEXT WEEK: Indianapolis visits Arizona on Sunday, September 27 at 8:20 p.m. (EDT).
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 seven consecutive playoff appearances. The club has earned 10 victories in seven consecutive seasons, tying the second-longest NFL streak, and the club's six consecutive 12 -victory seasons set the NFL's all-time standard. From 2004-08, Indianapolis became the only NFL team to earn winning streaks of at least seven games in five consecutive seasons. 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.
TONY SPARANO became the eighth Miami head coach on January 16, 2008. Sparano guided Miami to an 11-5 record and the AFC East crown in his first season. He directed the Dolphins to a 10-game, one-season rebound in victory total from the previous season, tying the mark established by the Colts in 1999. Sparano spent 2003-07 with Dallas, serving as the club's offensive line leader the final three years, and he held the title of assistant head coach the last two seasons. Sparano had NFL stops in Cleveland 1999-2000, Washington 2001 and Jacksonville 2002, before directing tight ends in Dallas for two seasons. Sparano lettered four years at center at the University of New Haven. He coached two tenures at his alma mater, including 1994-98 as head coach. He is native of New Haven, Conn.
COLTS/DOLPHINS SERIES NOTES
The Colts and Dolphins have met 67 times in regular-season play. Miami owns a 44-23 series edge during the league series, while the Dolphins have captured two playoff battles between the clubs. The teams last met on December 31, 2006 in the RCA Dome, with Indianapolis gaining a 27-22 triumph. The victory allowed the Colts to join Dallas (1992-95) as the only teams to produce four consecutive seasons with 12 victories, a streak Indianapolis now has stretched to a league-record six straight seasons. Indianapolis led through most of the contest. QB-Peyton Manning (22-37-282, 2 TDs) guided an offense that produced 399 yards, while the Indianapolis defense limited Miami to five field goals and kept the Dolphins out of the end zone for nearly 57 minutes. The victory came after three losses in four games and helped propel the Colts on a playoff run that ended with a victory in Super Bowl XLI in Miami. On November 2, 2003, Indianapolis took the last series meeting played in South Florida. In that contest, a 16-point burst in the second and third quarters helped the Colts earn a 23-17 win at Miami. K-Mike Vanderjagt hit FGs of 50, 44 and 25 yards, while Manning (23-37-266, 1 TD/int.) and RB-Edgerrin James (26-89, 1 TD rushing) provided offensive assistance. James scored on a 1t burst early in the third quarter, then Manning hit WR-Troy Walters on a 3t pass to give the Colts a 23-14 lead. The Colts defense thwarted two late Miami threats. Indianapolis held Miami at its five with 3:10 to go, forcing a field goal, then DE-Dwight Freeney produced a sack-fumble at the Colts' 23 with 1:55 left to seal the win. Freeney had three sacks and two forced fumbles. Indianapolis sacked Miami five times and forced two turnovers. The win snapped a three-game Miami series winning streak. The Dolphins' last series win was 21-13 in Indianapolis on September 15, 2002. That day, the Colts fell behind, 21-3, in the opening half and held Miami scoreless in the second half, but fell in the final seconds. Manning (26-45-289, 1 TD/3 ints.) drove the club from its 16 to the Miami 6 in the final 2:15, before time ran out. QB-Jay Fiedler (13-18-187, 2 TDs/1 int.) staked Miami to its lead with a 1t rush and 9t and 10t passes to RBs-Rob Konrad and Ricky Williams (24-132 rushing/2-62, 1 TD receiving). James was 30-138 rushing/8-82 receiving for 220 scrimmage yards. WR-Marvin Harrison was 11-144, 1 TD receiving. The teams were division mates in the AFC East from 1970-01. This week's game is the fourth series renewal after the teams were aligned in different divisions following the 2001 season. The Colts own a 7-10 series record in Land Shark Stadium since the site opened in 1987.
BEST NFL RECORDS DURING 1999-2009 REGULAR SEASONS
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 115-46 record during that span.