DATE: Sunday, November 9, 2008
SITE: Heinz Field
KICKOFF: 4:15 p.m. (EST)
SURFACE: DD GrassMaster
The Colts first ventured to Heinz Field on October 21, 2002, dropping a 28-10 decision in Head Coach Tony Dungy's first season with the club. The Colts and Steelers have met on two prior occasions since that meeting. The teams battled in Indianapolis twice during the 2005 season, the second one being a Divisional Playoff contest won by Pittsburgh, 21-18. Indianapolis earned an 18-15 home win last week against New England. Pittsburgh played on Monday night at Washington.
Owners of the NFL's best regular-season record (106-46) 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 51 of its last 65 regular-season games. Indianapolis' winning ways include a 29-10 record in AFC South play, while the club has owned or shared the lead in 95 of 111 weeks of the division's existence. The Colts have won the past five AFC South championships, the best divisional-title streak in club history. Indianapolis became the only NFL team with five consecutive 12 -victory seasons. The Colts were tied with Dallas (1992-95) as the only teams to do it four consecutive seasons.
PERSONNEL REPORT: WR-Roy Hall (knee) was out; RB-Joseph Addai (hamstring), RB-Clifton Dawson (concussion), DB-Kelvin Hayden (knee/hamstring), DB-Dante Hughes (ankle), LB-Freddy Keiaho (knee), RB-Dominic Rhodes (ankle), DB-Bob Sanders (ankle/knee), TE-Tom Santi (shoulder), WR-Reggie Wayne (knee) were questionable. Last game's inactive players were: Hughes, Hayden, Dawson, C-Steve Justice, Keiaho, Hall, Santi and DT-Daniel Muir.
TELEVISION/RADIO: CBS Sports telecasts with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms. 1070-The Fan/HANK-FM, 97.1 broadcasts with Bob Lamey and Will Wolford. Westwood One provides national radio coverage with Harry Kalas and Mark Malone.
NEXT WEEK: Indianapolis hosts Houston on Sunday, November 16 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 77-27 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 131-69, and he has an overall record of 140-78. 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). With an overall mark of 84-32, 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 107-45 mark since the start of the 1999 season (30-18 at Tampa Bay; 77-27 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 and 13-3 records, becoming the only coach in club history to produce 10 victories and playoff berths in the first six seasons with the team. In 2007, Dungy helped produce the 17th 10 -victory season in franchise history, and he is one of five Colts head coaches to earn double-digit victory totals (6, Dungy; 4, Shula; 3, Marchibroda; 2, Don McCafferty; 2, Jim Mora). Dungy has nine 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 with Colts), and he was the first coach to defeat all 32 NFL teams. Under Dungy, Indianapolis has six consecutive 10 -victory seasons (2002-07), tying the third-longest streak in NFL history (16, San Francisco, 1983-98; 7, Dallas, 1975-81; 6, Dallas, 1968-73; 6, Miami 1970-75; 6, LA Rams, 1973-78; 6, Dallas, 1991-96; 6, Colts, 2002-07). The Colts have produced a 106-46 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 has won the AFC South five consecutive seasons and has owned or shared the division lead in 95 of 111 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 40-12 at home and 37-15 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) has become the only team to earn 12 victories in five consecutive seasons, snapping the league mark it had shared with Dallas (1992-95). The Colts own a 74-25 record (counting the playoffs) since the start of the 2003 season and are 60-20 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.
MIKE TOMLIN became the 16th Steelers head coach on January 22, 2007. Tomlin joined Pittsburgh from Minnesota, where he served in 2006 as defensive coordinator. He coached defensive backs at Tampa Bay 2001-05, including the 2002 season when the Buccaneers won Super Bowl XXXVII. Tomlin served 1999-2000 in the same capacity at the University of Cincinnati, and he also served collegiate positions at Tennessee-Martin, Arkansas State, Memphis and VMI. Tomlin was a WR at William and Mary. He is a native of Hampton, Va.
COLTS-STEELERS SERIES NOTES
Pittsburgh leads the overall series, 18-5. The teams last met on January 15, 2006 in the RCA Dome as the Steelers posted a 21-18 victory in the Divisional Playoffs. Pittsburgh assumed a 7-0 lead on its first possession and grew the lead to 21-3 entering the fourth quarter, then withstood a late Colts charge to win. QB-Ben Roethlisberger (14-24-197, 2 TDs/1 int.) led the way, hitting TE-Heath Miller (7t) and WR-Antwaan Randle El (6t) on scoring tosses before RB-Jerome Bettis added a 1t rush. Indianapolis overcame a sluggish start to have a final chance to force overtime as QB-Peyton Manning (22-38-290, 1 TD) marched the Colts back into contention. Manning hit TE-Dallas Clark on a 50t pass early in the final period, then RB-Edgerrin James tallied on a 3t rush with 4:24 left to mount the charge. DB-Nick Harper returned a late fumble 35 yards to give the Colts one final chance. The club moved to the Pittsburgh 28, but K-Mike Vanderjagt was wide right with a 46-yard field goal with :17 remaining. The last Colts series win came on November 28, 2005, a 26-7 Monday Night win in the RCA Dome. Taking the lead less than two minutes into the game, the Colts led from wire-to-wire in topping Pittsburgh. The win marked the 400th in franchise history. Manning (15-25-245, 2 TDs/1 int.) hit WR-Marvin Harrison (4-128, 1 TD) on an 80t pass on the first play from scrimmage. Vanderjagt hit three of his four FGs in the first half as the club led at halftime, 16-7. James was 29-124 rushing. The Indianapolis defense produced three sacks and two takeaways, while limiting Pittsburgh to a seven-yard scoring drive and blanking the Steelers over the final three periods. Pittsburgh took a 28-10 Monday Night decision over the Colts in Heinz Field on October 21, 2002. Indianapolis fell into a 21-0 first-half hole at Pittsburgh. RB-Jerome Bettis (11-33, 2 TDs) rushed for 3t and 5t scores, while QB-Tommy Maddox (15-23-188, 2 TDs/1 int.) hit 17t and 14t passes to WR-Hines Ward (5-76, 2 TDs). Manning was 32-48-304, 1 TD/3 ints. In addition to the 2006 Divisional Playoffs, the Colts and Steelers have met in the playoffs in consecutive seasons on two different occasions. Pittsburgh gained Divisional Playoff victories over the Colts on December 27, 1975 (28-10 in Three Rivers Stadium) and December 19, 1976 (40-14 in Memorial Stadium in Baltimore). The Steelers and Indianapolis met in Pittsburgh following the 1995 and 1996 seasons. One of the most notable meetings came on January 14, 1996, as Pittsburgh took a 20-16 win over the Colts in the AFC Championship Game. The outcome was not decided until the final gun as QB-Jim Harbaugh's desperation pass from the Steelers' 29 rolled off the stomach of WR-Aaron Bailey in the Pittsburgh end zone. Pittsburgh had scored the go-ahead points with 1:15 remaining as the Colts, under Head Coach Ted Marchibroda, nearly pulled a memorable upset. Pittsburgh produced a 42-14 wild-card win over the Colts on December 29, 1996.
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 106-46 record during that span. Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy was 30-18 with Tampa Bay from 1999-2001. He is 77-27 with the Colts, and his 107 wins during that span are the most in the NFL.