DATE: Thursday, December 18, 2008
SITE: Jacksonville Municipal Stadium
KICKOFF: 8:15 p.m. (EST)
The Colts will be looking to square the seasonal series against the Jaguars. Jacksonville earned a 23-21 last-second victory in Lucas Oil Stadium on September 21. The teams have been spirited combatants throughout the AFC South's existence. The Colts swept the series in 2002, 2005 and 2007, and the Jaguars are looking for their first-ever seasonal sweep of the Colts. Indianapolis took a 29-7 victory in Jacksonville on October 22 of last season. The Colts lead the overall series, 11-4. The Colts reach Thursday's contest after a 31-21 home victory last Sunday over Detroit. Jacksonville earned a 20-16 home victory last Sunday over Green Bay.
Indianapolis is seeking its seventh consecutive playoff appearance under Head Coach Tony Dungy. A victory this Thursday would ensure the Colts of a post-season berth as a wild card. Dungy is looking to guide his 10th consecutive team to the playoffs (1999-01, Tampa Bay; 2002-07, Colts), a mark that would set the post-Merger NFL record for most consecutive playoff appearances by a head coach (9, Tom Landry, Dallas, 1975-83). Overall, Dungy has guided 10 of his past 12 teams to playoff appearances.
The Colts have extended their streak of double-digit victory seasons to seven, a streak spanning Dungy's tenure in Indianapolis. The club's streak of seven consecutive double-digit victory seasons ties the second-longest streak in NFL history (16, San Francisco, 1983-98; 7, Dallas, 1975-81). Indianapolis produced its seventh consecutive victory last week, 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; 7, 2008). Prior to last week's victory, the Colts had joined San Francisco (1989-95) as the only NFL teams to win at least six consecutive games in five consecutive seasons. Indianapolis became the only NFL team with five consecutive 12 -victory seasons during from 2003-07.
Owners of the NFL's best regular-season record (112-46) 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 57 of its last 71 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 117 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 each season since the 2002 NFL Realignment, and a victory this week would make the Colts the only team to earn playoff berths each year during that same span.
PERSONNEL REPORT: LB-Gary Brackett (fibula), LB-Tyjuan Hagler (knee) were out; RB-Joseph Addai (shoulder), DT-Keyunta Dawson (hamstring), DT-Eric Foster (neck), WR-Pierre Garcon (not injury-related), LB-Freddy Keiaho (abdomen), DB-Bob Sanders (knee), RB-Chad Simpson (ankle), OT-Tony Ugoh (knee) were questionable. Last game's inactive players were: Addai, Sanders, LB-Rufus Alexander, Foster, Garcon, Brackett, Hagler and Dawson.
TELEVISION/RADIO: The NFL Network telecasts with Bob Papa and Cris Collinsworth. 1070-The Fan/HANK-FM, 97.1 broadcasts with Bob Lamey and Will Wolford. WESTWOOD ONE broadcasts with Ian Eagle, Dennis Green and Hub Arkush (field reporter).
NEXT WEEK: Indianapolis hosts Tennessee on Sunday, December 28 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 83-27 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 137-69, and he has an overall record of 146-78. 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 90-32, 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 113-45 mark since the start of the 1999 season (30-18 at Tampa Bay; 83-27 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, 13-3 and 10-4 records, becoming the only coach in club history to produce 10 victories in the first seven seasons with the team, and a playoff berth this year would extend his club-record streak of playoff appearances. 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; 10-4, 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 have produced a 112-46 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 won five consecutive AFC South titles from 2003-07, and has owned or shared the division lead in 95 of 117 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 43-12 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) is the only team to earn 12 victories in five 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; 7, 2008). The Colts own an 80-25 record (counting the playoffs) since the start of the 2003 season and are 66-20 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.
JACK DEL RIO became the second Jacksonville head coach on January 17, 2003. He has guided the Jaguars to 5-11, 9-7, 12-4, 8-8 and 11-5 finishes. Del Rio joined Jacksonville after serving 2002 as defensive coordinator at Carolina. Del Rio started his NFL career as an assistant strength coach with New Orleans in 1997 before serving 1998 as LB Coach. He was LB Coach with Baltimore 1999-01 as the Ravens won Super Bowl XXXV. Del Rio had an eleven-year playing career with New Orleans (1985-86), Kansas City (1987-88), Dallas (1989-91) and Minnesota (1992-95). He played in the Pro Bowl following the 1994 season. Del Rio was a four-year starting LB at USC 1981-84, and was drafted by baseball's Toronto Blue Jays. Del Rio is a native of Castro Valley, Calif.
COLTS/JAGUARS SERIES NOTES
The Colts lead the league series, 11-4, with the rivalry standing 9-4 in Indianapolis' favor since the clubs were paired in the AFC South prior to the 2002 season. Jacksonville took the first meeting this year, 23-21 in Indianapolis on September 21. In that contest, K-Josh Scobee converted field goals of 26, 21 and 51 yards, the final one coming with :04 remaining as Jacksonville prevailed. The Jaguars controlled the ball for 41:35 of the contest, including for 26 minutes of the second half. Jacksonville rushed 48-236 and totaled 403 yards. RBs-Fred Taylor (26-121) and Maurice Jones-Drew (19-107) paced the ground attack. Indianapolis had leads of 7-0, 14-10 and 21-20, with the final lead coming with 1:07 remaining on RB-Joseph Addai's (16-78, 2 TDs rushing) 2t burst. QB-Peyton Manning was 15-29-216, 1 TD/2 ints. Scobee's game-winning boot capped a late 47-yard drive. The Colts took both 2007 meetings, 28-25 in the RCA Dome on December 2, and 29-7 in Jacksonville on October 22. In last year's second meeting, Indianapolis emerged from a battle that lasted until the final minutes in taking the victory. The Colts jumped to 14-0 and 21-7 leads before having their margin trimmed to 21-17 in the final quarter. Manning (20-29-288, 4 TDs/1 int.) tossed his final scoring pass to RB-Luke Lawton (1t) with 8:26 left to provide the eventual winning points. Manning teamed with WR-Reggie Wayne (8-158, 1 TD) on a 48t strike, and he hit TE-Dallas Clark (7-60, 2 TDs; 5t, 14t) on two scoring strikes to offset a Jacksonville offense that netted 27 first downs, 411 net yards and 168 rushing yards, while controlling the ball for 35:45. QB-David Garrard hit 24 of 29 passes as the Jaguars failed to punt. In the 29-7 win in first meeting last year, the Colts scored in the final minute of the first quarter and led the rest of the way. Indianapolis produced 384 net yards, including 141 yards on 33 rushes. Manning was 23-37-259, 1 TD/int., while Wayne was 9-131 and Clark was 4-66, 1 TD (35t). The Indianapolis defense surrendered 226 net yards. DE-Dwight Freeney had two sacks, two forced fumbles and a safety, while DBs-Bob Sanders and Kelvin Hayden had interceptions. Indianapolis took the first meeting in 2006, 21-14 in the RCA Dome on September 24, then dropped a 44-17 decision in Jacksonville on December 10. In the second meeting in 2006, Jacksonville rushed for 375 yards and four touchdowns behind Jones-Drew (15-166, 2 TDs; 93t KOR), Taylor (9-131, 1 TD) and Alvin Pearman (13-71, 1 TD). Manning was 25-50-313, 1 int. as the Colts trailed most of the day. WR-Marvin Harrison became the fourth NFL receiver to top 1,000 career receptions. Winning a slugfest with scores in each of the last three quarters, the Colts produced a 21-14 home win in 2006's first meeting. Jacksonville rushed for 105 and 157 of its 191 yards in the first and second quarters, but the Colts responded with three consecutive touchdowns to earn the win. Manning (14-31-219, 1 TD) hit Clark on a 30t toss on the opening second-half possession to give the Colts their first lead. PR-Terrence Wilkins' 82t second-quarter return squared matters, and Manning's 2t fourth-quarter rush provided the deciding points. Indianapolis took both games in 2005, 10-3 in the RCA Dome on September 18 and 26-18 in Jacksonville on December 11. The series was split in 2003 and 2004. Indianapolis gained a 24-17 win in Jacksonville on October 3, 2004, then the Jaguars topped the Colts, 27-24, in the RCA Dome on October 24. The teams split the meetings in 2003, with each club winning at home (Colts, 23-13 in the RCA Dome on 9/21; Jacksonville, 28-23 in Alltel Stadium on 11/9). The teams met twice in 2002 as members of the new AFC South Division. Indianapolis took a 28-25 decision on September 8 at Jacksonville to open the season and a 20-13 win in the RCA Dome on December 29 to close the season. The two prior meetings came before the clubs were divisional foes. Indianapolis took a 41-31 road win on December 10, 1995, and a 43-14 MNF win in the RCA Dome on September 25, 2000.
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 112-46 record during that span. Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy was 30-18 with Tampa Bay from 1999-2001. He is 83-27 with the Colts, and his 113 wins during that span are the most in the NFL.