DATE: Saturday, August 29, 2009
SITE: Ford Field
KICKOFF: 1:00 p.m. (EDT)
The Indianapolis Colts, 1-1, open the road portion of the 2009 preseason schedule by visiting Ford Field on Saturday, August 29 to meet the Detroit Lions, 1-1. Kickoff for the contest is 1:00 p.m. (EDT).
The Colts played the final of two home preseason games last Thursday, earning a 23-15 victory over Philadelphia. In the club's second outing under Head Coach Jim Caldwell, the starting offensive lineup produced touchdown drives of 81 and 76 yards, spanning 12 and one play respectively. Defensive starters saw nearly as much time as Indianapolis led the entire way. Eleven players sat out of the contest (see Personnel Report). Caldwell was elevated to head coach in January, and this is his eighth season with the franchise. Caldwell began with the club in 2002 as quarterbacks coach, eventually adding the responsibilities of assistant head coach (2005) and associate head coach (2008). Indianapolis opened the preseason on August 14 with a 13-3 home loss to Minnesota. The Colts close preseason play on September 3, meeting Cincinnati in Paul Brown Stadium. Detroit fell 27-10 last Saturday at Cleveland. They opened preseason play with a 27-26 home victory over Atlanta on August 15.
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: DB-Bob Sanders (knee) and K-Adam Vinatieri (hip/knee) are on PUP. Players who missed the Philadelphia game last week included QB-Jim Sorgi, DB-Michael Coe, DB-Kelvin Hayden, DB-Antoine Bethea, TE-Gijon Robinson, DE-Raheem Brock, TE-Tom Santi, DB-Marlin Jackson and DE-Robert Mathis.
TELEVISION/RADIO: WTTV-TV telecasts with Don Fischer, Mark Herrmann and Jeffrey Gorman (field reporter). 1070-The Fan/HANK-FM, 97.1 broadcasts with Bob Lamey, Will Wolford and Kevin Lee (field reporter).
NEXT WEEK: Indianapolis visits Cincinnati on Thursday, September 3 at 7:30 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 hold a bachelor's degree from Iowa. Caldwell was born on January 16, 1955 in Beloit, Wis.
JIM SCHWARTZ became the Lions' 25th head coach on January 16, 2009. Schwartz joined Detroit after 10 seasons with Tennessee, including the last eight as defensive coordinator. From 2001-08, the Titans ranked 5th in rushing yards allowed per game and 6th in third-down conversion percentage. Schwartz spent 1996-98 as defensive assistant/quality control with Baltimore, and he tutored the club's outside linebackers. He worked as a college and pro scout with Cleveland 1993-95. Schwartz served collegiately at Maryland (1989), Minnesota (1990), North Carolina Central (1991) and Colgate (1992). He was a four-year letterman at LB at Georgetown. Schwartz is a native of Baltimore, Md.
COLTS/LIONS SERIES NOTES
The Colts own a 13-6-1 edge in a preseason series that dates back to 1964. The clubs last met in preseason on August 25, 2007, with the Colts taking a 37-10 victory in the RCA Dome. The last Lions victory in the preseason series was on August 18, 2001, 27-26 in the RCA Dome. The Colts last appeared in preseason play in Detroit on August 15, 1987, earning a 22-19 victory. In league play, the Colts and Lions have squared off only six times since the Colts moved Indianapolis in 1984, only nine times since the 1970 NFL Merger and but 12 times since being twice-a-season combatants from 1953-66 in the NFL's Western Conference. The series stands 20-18-2 in the Colts' advantage. The teams last met on December 14, 2008 in Lucas Oil Stadium. Scoring the final 10 points in the last 8:39 of the contest, Indianapolis defeated Detroit, 31-21. Detroit erased two eleven-point deficits before QB-Peyton Manning (28-37-318, 1 TD) drove the Colts 88 and 67 yards for the clinching scores. TE-Dallas Clark (12-142, 1 TD; 3t) became the first Colts TE with 10 receptions in a game, while RB-Dominic Rhodes (20-86, 2 TDs) scored on two 1t runs. 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), while becoming the third NFL team to post 10 wins in seven consecutive seasons (16, San Francisco, 1983-98; 7, Dallas, 1975-81). The Colts will be making their second-ever appearance at Ford Field. Indianapolis met the Lions on Thanksgiving Day in 2004, taking a 41-9 win. Manning (23-28-236, 6 TDs) hit for a club-record six touchdowns. WRs-Marvin Harrison (12-127, 3 TDs; 13t, 10t, 5t) and Brandon Stokley (5-57, 3 TDs; 4t, 12t; 25t) tied the club record for most scoring receptions in a game, while RB-Edgerrin James was 23-105 rushing. The Indianapolis defense produced five takeaways and three sacks. The game marked the club's first Thanksgiving Day outing since 1965. The Colts beat Detroit in Indianapolis on October 29, 2000, 30-18. In that battle, the Colts built a 23-0 halftime lead that shrunk to 23-18 with 2:32 to go, but an interception and clinching touchdown produced the win. The Lions captured a 32-10 decision over the Colts on November 23, 1997 in the last regular-season series win for the Lions.
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.