DATE: Sunday, October 25, 2009
SITE: Edward Jones Dome
KICKOFF: 1:00 p.m. (EDT)/12:00 p.m. (CDT)
Playing the fourth road game in six outings and returning to a venue where the club has played but once, the Indianapolis Colts, 5-0, meet the St. Louis Rams, 0-6, at the Edward Jones Dome on Sunday, October 25. Kickoff for the contest, telecast by CBS Sports, is 1:00 p.m. (EDT)/12:00 p.m. (CDT).
Indianapolis comes off its bye week by traveling to St. Louis for the first time since 2001. The Colts hope to extend their franchise-record 14-game regular-season winning streak in meeting the Rams. A victory also would set a new club record for consecutive road wins. Indianapolis currently has won seven consecutive road games, a streak dating back to the final four road games in 2008. The Colts have tied the road mark that was matched on two prior occasions. Along with home wins over Jacksonville (14-12; 9/13) and Seattle (34-17; 10/4), Indianapolis has won at Miami (27-23; 9/21), Arizona (31-10; 9-27) and Tennessee (31-9; 10/11). The victory at Tennessee set a club record for consecutive regular-season victories and extended the sixth 10 -game regular-season winning streak in franchise history (14, 2008-09; 13, 2005; 11, 1964; 11, 1975-76; 11, 1999; 10, 2005-06), the fourth since 1999. It provided the Colts with their fifth 5-0 start in the past seven seasons (2003, 2005-07, 2009) and made Jim Caldwell the only Colts head coach to win his first five games. Caldwell joined Charley Winner (St. Louis, 1966), Chuck Knox (LA Rams, 1973), Red Miller (Denver, 1977), Mike Martz (St. Louis, 2000) and Josh McDaniels (Denver, 2009) as the only head coaches in the Super Bowl era with a 5-0 career start. Caldwell hopes to join McDaniels, Miller, Knox and Martz as the only rookie head coaches to extend a career-opening streak to 6-0. St. Louis dropped a 23-20 overtime verdict last Sunday at Jacksonville.
The Colts are owners of the NFL's best regular-season record (119-46) 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 64 of its last 78 regular-season games. Indianapolis' winning ways include a 34-10 record in AFC South play, while the club has owned or shared the lead in 100 of 124 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).
PERSONNEL REPORT: DB-Marlin Jackson (knee), WR-Anthony Gonzalez (knee), DB-Kelvin Hayden (hamstring) were out; DB-Bob Sanders (knee) was doubtful; RB-Joseph Addai (hand), OT-Charlie Johnson (knee) were questionable for the last game. Last game's inactive players were: Gonzalez, Hayden, Sanders, Jackson, RB-Mike Hart, Johnson, DT-Fili Moala and QB-Curtis Painter.
TELEVISION/RADIO: CBS Sports telecasts with Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots. 1070-The Fan/HANK-FM, 97.1 broadcasts with Bob Lamey, Will Wolford and Kevin Lee (field reporter).
NEXT WEEK: Indianapolis hosts San Francisco on Sunday, November 1 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.
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.
STEVE SPAGNUOLO became the 25th head coach of the Rams on January 19, 2009. Spagnuolo joined St. Louis from the New York Giants, where he served 2007-08 as defensive coordinator. He was a part of the Giants' Super Bowl XLII club. Spagnuolo served 1999-2006 with Philadelphia in three different defensive capacities. With the Eagles, he was in four conference championship games and one Super Bowl. In addition to two WLAF stints, he served collegiately at Massachusetts 1982-83, Lafayette 1984-86, Connecticut 1987-91, Maine 1993-94, Rutgers 1994-95 and Bowling Green 1996-97. Spagnuolo was as WR at Springfield College 1978-81. He is a native of Whitinsville, Mass.
COLTS/RAMS SERIES NOTES
These teams have met 41 prior times, with the Colts owning a 22-17-2 series edge. The majority of games were played as the teams shared residence in the NFL's Western Conference from 1953-69. The Colts and Rams met twice annually during that time. Since the 1970 NFL-AFL Merger, the teams have squared off but seven times and not since October 17, 2005. In the last meeting, producing the franchise's first 6-0 start since 1958, the Colts overcame a 17-0 first-quarter deficit in topping St. Louis at home, 45-28. Indianapolis scored four touchdowns off four takeaways in the comeback win. LB-Cato June had two interceptions, while DB-Nick Harper had an interception and fumble recovery as the Colts out-scored the Rams, 45-3, after falling behind. QB-Peyton Manning (22-32-191, 2 TDs) directed the offense which saw RB-Edgerrin James rush 23-143, 3 TDs. James tallied three of the club's four rushing scores. Manning hit WR-Marvin Harrison on a 6t pass to set the NFL record for most touchdowns between a quarterback and receiver (86) in NFL history (the duo ended at 112). Manning and Harrison passed Steve Young and Jerry Rice as the NFL's most prolific TD tandem. In the club's only outing at St. Louis on December 30, 2001, the Rams produced 42-17 home win. St. Louis produced 28 of its points in the second quarter in earning the win. RB-Marshall Faulk (25-118, 3 TDs rushing/7-47, 1 TD receiving) had four scores, while QB-Kurt Warner was 23-30-359, 3 TDs/1 int. Indianapolis matched the Rams' first two touchdowns on a pair of 1t rushes by RB-Dominic Rhodes (20-83, 1 TD) and Manning. Manning was 15-28-195, 1 int. The Rams have appeared two other times in Indianapolis. In the club's 1995 inaugural season in St. Louis, the Colts earned a 21-18 win on October 1 in the RCA Dome. In that contest, the 1-2 Colts topped the previously-unbeaten 4-0 Rams as Faulk totaled 222 yards from scrimmage for the Colts, including 19-177, 3 TDs rushing (32t, 33t, 1t). Indianapolis limited St. Louis to 16-37 rushing, but WR-Isaac Bruce was 8-181, 2 TDs receiving. The Rams earned a 24-7 win on September 21, 1986 in the club's first appearance in Indianapolis. In the only other series renewal in the Colts' Indianapolis era, the Rams topped the Colts, 31-17, in Anaheim on September 17, 1989. The game featured the return of RB-Eric Dickerson against the Rams. Dickerson joined the Colts in a blockbuster October 31, 1987 trade that involved Buffalo. Dickerson rushed 21-116 on the afternoon. Perhaps the most notable series meeting came on December 17, 1967, as the 11-0-2 Colts visited the 10-1-2 Rams at the Coliseum. The Rams posted a 34-10 win over the Colts, sending Baltimore home without a playoff berth despite an 11-1-2 record.
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 119-46 record during that span.