DATE: Thursday, December 17, 2009
SITE: Jacksonville Municipal Stadium
KICKOFF: 8:20 p.m. (EST)
The Indianapolis Colts, 13-0, conclude 2009 divisional play by meeting the Jacksonville Jaguars, 7-6, on Thursday, December 17 at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium. Kickoff for the contest, telecast by the NFL Network (airing in the Indianapolis area on WXIN-TV) is 8:20 p.m. (EST). Westwood One provides national radio coverage.
The Colts and Jaguars opened the 2009 season on September 13 as combatants in Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis emerged a 14-12 victor. The Colts have earned a 5-0 record in 2009 in the AFC South and look to gain at third consecutive series road victory. Indianapolis earned a 28-16 victory last Sunday at home over Denver. Jacksonville fell to Miami last Sunday at home, 14-10. Indianapolis owns a 13-4 series record and has won six of the past eight meetings. The Colts also are 6-2 at Jacksonville.
The Colts clinched the AFC South crown on November 29, joining 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.
The victory over Denver extended the sixth 10 -game regular-season winning streak in franchise history (22, 2008-09; 13, 2005; 11, 1964; 11, 1975-76; 11, 1999; 10, 2005-06), the fourth since 1999. The Colts surpassed New England (21, 2006-08) to set the record for the most consecutive regular-season victories in NFL history. The victory also ensured Indianapolis the AFC's top playoff seed. Last week's victory provided the Colts with their second 13-0 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). It marks only the 7th 13-0 start in league history (16-0, New England, 2007; 14-0, Miami, 1972; 13-0, Chicago, 1934; 13-0, Denver 1998; 13-0, Colts, 2005; 13-0, Colts, 2009; 13-0, New Orleans, 2009). Jim Caldwell is the only NFL rookie head coach to win his first 13 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 4th rookie head coach since the 1978 NFL move to a 16-game season to win 13 games (14, George Seifert, SF, 1989; 13, Steve Mariucci, SF, 1997; 13, Wade Phillips, Dallas, 2007). 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; 13, 2009).
The club has extended its franchise record to 10 consecutive road wins and seeks to extend the streak this week. Indianapolis has won its last 13 home games, setting 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 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 114 victories for the 2000-09 decade, surpassing the league record of 113 by San Francisco from 1990-99.
The Colts are owners of the NFL's best regular-season record (127-46) 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 72 of its last 86 regular-season games. From November 16, 2003 to December 13, 2009, the Colts produced a regular-season record of 81-19, tying New England (2003-09) 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 108 of 132 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. The Colts have six division crowns this decade, two short of the NFL record set by Minnesota (8) in the 1970s. The club's nine playoff berths this decade ties the NFL record set by Dallas (9) in the 1970s
PERSONNEL REPORT: RB-Donald Brown (chest), DB-Aaron Francisco (ankle), WR-Anthony Gonzalez (knee), K-Adam Vinatieri (right knee) were out; DT-Keyunta Dawson (knee), OT-Ryan Diem (hamstring), OT-Charlie .(foot), DE-Robert Mathis (quadriceps), DT-Dan Muir (hamstring), LB-Clint Session (calf), OT-Tony Ugoh (hip) were questionable; LB-Gary Brackett (foot), DB-Melvin Bullitt (shoulder), OG-Kyle DeVan (shin), DB-Kelvin Hayden (knee), DB-Tim Jennings (ankle), QB-Peyton Manning (glute), OG-Jamey Richard (shoulder), TE-Tom Santi (hand), WR-Reggie Wayne (foot) were probable for the last game. Last game's inactive players were: Vinatieri, Gonzalez, Brown, Francisco, DB-De'von Hall, OT-Michael Toudouze, TE-Tom Santi and DE-Ervin Baldwin.
TELEVISION/RADIO: The NFL Network (local airing on WXIN-TV) telecasts with Bob Papa and Matt Millen. 1070-The Fan/HANK-FM, 97.1 broadcasts with Bob Lamey, Will Wolford and Kevin Lee (field reporter). Westwood One broadcasts with Larry Kahn, Dan Fouts and Laura Okmin (field reporter).
NEXT WEEK: Indianapolis hosts the New York Jets on Sunday, December 27 at 4:15 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 4th rookie head coach since the 1978 NFL move to a 16-game season to win 13 games (14, George Seifert, SF, 1989; 13, Steve Mariucci, SF, 1997; 13, Wade Phillips, Dallas, 2007). Caldwell is the only NFL rookie head coach to win his first 13 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; 13, 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.
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, 11-5 and 5-11 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, 13-4, with the rivalry standing 11-4 in Indianapolis' favor since the clubs were paired in the AFC South prior to the 2002 season. In the season opener on September 13, with a last-minute defensive stand near midfield, Indianapolis topped Jacksonville, 14-12. Indianapolis led most of the way in a contest whose outcome was not settled until QB-David Garrard's final attempt fell incomplete due to a fierce pass rush. Jacksonville's final possession from its 35 came after holding Indianapolis on downs seconds earlier. QB-Peyton Manning was 28-38-301, 1 TD/int., teaming with WR-Reggie Wayne (10-162, 1 TD) on a 35t third-quarter pass to provide a 14-6 cushion. Jacksonville tallied with eleven minutes to go, but failed on a two-point rushing attempt to tie the contest. The victory gave the Colts their sixth 10 -game regular-season winning streak in franchise history, Manning tied QB-John Unitas' team record for most starting wins (118). The teams split the series in 2008. Jacksonville won in Lucas Oil Stadium on September 21, 23-21. Indianapolis prevailed at the Jaguars on December 18, 31-24. In the second meeting last year, erasing a 14-point deficit and two 10-point deficits with 17 fourth-quarter points, Indianapolis posted a playoff-clinching victory. DB-Keiwan Ratliff's 35t interception return with 4:48 left gave Indianapolis its only lead. Manning's outstanding performance (29-34-364, 3 TDs) helped pace the Colts. Wayne (7-108; 1 TD; 41t), TE-Dallas Clark (8-105, 1 TD; 1t) and RB-Dominic Rhodes (6-62, 1 TD; 10t) had scoring receptions, while the Colts defense produced three sacks. Manning set a club record by completing 23 consecutive passes (including six straight from the previous week), and his total fell one shy of QB-Donovan McNabb's NFL record (Philadelphia, 2004). It marked the club's fourth seasonal road win after trailing by 10 points, tying the NFL seasonal mark of Dallas (1983), and it was the third road win after trailing by 14 points, setting a new NFL seasonal record. Jacksonville took the first meeting of 2008, 23-21 in Indianapolis. 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, 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. Manning was 15-29-216, 1 TD/2 ints. The Colts took both 2007 meetings, 28-25 in the RCA Dome on December 2, and 29-7 in Jacksonville on October 22. In that year's second meeting, 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 Wayne (8-158, 1 TD) on a 48t strike, and he hit 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. Garrard hit 24 of 29 passes as the Jaguars failed to punt. In the 29-7 win in first meeting of 2007, 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. 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. 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.
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 127-46 record during that span.