DATE: Sunday, November 29, 2009
SITE: Reliant Stadium
KICKOFF: 1:00 p.m. (EST)/12:00 p.m. (CST)
Initiating the second round of divisional play, the Indianapolis Colts, 10-0, meet the Houston Texans, 5-5, on Sunday, November 29 at Reliant Stadium. Kickoff for the contest, telecast by CBS Sports, is 1:00 p.m. (EST)/12:00 p.m. (CST). Westwood One provides national radio coverage of the AFC South battle.
The Colts and Texans will be meeting for the second time this month. Indianapolis took a 20-17 home victory over Houston on November 8, and leads the series, 14-1. The Colts hope to push their divisional mark to 4-0 this weekend. Indianapolis defeated Jacksonville on September 13, 14-12, and earned a 31-9 victory at Tennessee on October 11. Indianapolis hosts Tennessee on December 6, and will close the AFC South slate by visiting Jacksonville on December 17. Indianapolis reaches this week's game after a 17-15 victory last Sunday at Baltimore. Houston fell at home to Tennessee, 20-17, last Monday night.
The victory at Baltimore extended the sixth 10 -game regular-season winning streak in franchise history (19, 2008-09; 13, 2005; 11, 1964; 11, 1975-76; 11, 1999; 10, 2005-06), the fourth since 1999. The Colts became the 2nd team to earn a streak of 19 consecutive regular-season victories (21, New England, 2006-08). Last week's victory provided the Colts with their second 10-0 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). Jim Caldwell is the only NFL rookie head coach to win his first 10 games, and he has tied Wally Lemm (1961 Houston Oilers-1962 St. Louis Cardinals) for the most consecutive wins to start a career. 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; 10, 2009). Last week, the club extended its franchise record with a ninth consecutive road win. 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). The Colts are seeking their seventh consecutive season with 11 victories. Indianapolis currently shares the NFL record of six straight with Dallas (1976-81). One victory also would make Caldwell 20th rookie head coach since the 1978 NFL move to a 16-game season to win 11 games.
The Colts are owners of the NFL's best regular-season record (124-46) 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 69 of its last 83 regular-season games. Indianapolis' winning ways include a 35-10 record in AFC South play, while the club has owned or shared the lead in 105 of 129 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: TE-Gijon Robinson (concussion), DB-Aaron Francisco (ankle), OT-Dan Federkeil (concussion), WR-Anthony Gonzalez (knee), DB-Kelvin Hayden (knee), K-Adam Vinatieri (right knee) were out; DB-Antoine Bethea (foot), DT-Eric Foster (back), DE-Dwight Freeney (hip), WR-Pierre Garcon (ankle), QB-Jim Sorgi (right shoulder) were questionable; WR-Hank Baskett (illness), TE-Justin Snow (elbow) were probable for the last game. Last game's inactive players were: Francisco, Gonzalez, Hayden, Vinatieri, Robinson, RB-Mike Hart, OT-Mike Pollak and QB-Jim Sorgi.
TELEVISION/RADIO: CBS Sports telecasts with Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf. 1070-The Fan/HANK-FM, 97.1 broadcasts with Bob Lamey, Will Wolford and Kevin Lee (field reporter). Westwood One broadcasts nationally with Howard David and Tony Boselli.
NEXT WEEK: Indianapolis hosts Tennessee on Sunday, December 6 at 1:00 p.m. (EST)/12:00 p.m. (CST).
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 eight consecutive seasons, setting the second-longest NFL streak (16, San Francisco, 1983-98; 7, Dallas, 1975-81), and the club's six consecutive 12 -victory seasons (2003-08) set the NFL's all-time standard. The Colts are seeking their seventh consecutive season with 11 victories. Indianapolis currently shares the NFL record of six straight with Dallas (1976-81). Caldwell also can become the 20th rookie head coach since the 1978 NFL move to a 16-game season to win 11 games. 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; 10, 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.
GARY KUBIAK became the second head coach in Texans history on January 26, 2006. Kubiak has directed the Texans to 6-10, 8-8 and 8-8 records. Kubiak joined Houston after serving eleven seasons as offensive coordinator with Denver. Kubiak was with Denver for Super Bowl XXXII and XXXIII titles, while totaling six championship appearances with the Broncos, three each as a player and coach. Kubiak began his coaching career in 1992 at Texas A&M. He joined San Francisco as QB Coach in 1994 before joining Denver. Kubiak was a QB at Texas A&M from 1979-82. He is a native of Houston.
COLTS/TEXANS SERIES NOTES
The Colts and Texans are meeting for the 16th time, with Indianapolis owning a 14-1 series edge, including a victory over Houston on November 8 of this season. Countering a 17-0 Houston run that erased a 13-point lead, Indianapolis scored midway through the final period to outlast the Texans, 20-17. The victory was not secured until K-Kris Brown's 42-yard field goal attempt drifted wide left at the gun. Indianapolis led from the outset until the first play of the final period, but rallied when it mattered. QB-Peyton Manning was 34-50-318, 1 TD/int., earning his 125th starting victory, surpassing Fran Tarkenton for 4th-most wins by an NFL starting QB. Manning became the first player in NFL history with 40,000 passing yards in one decade (40,299, 2000-09), and he became the first NFL QB with seven 300 outings in the first eight games of a season. Indianapolis extended its franchise record with a 17th consecutive regular-season victory. DE-Dwight Freeney had a sack in a ninth consecutive game. Rookie DB-Jerraud Powers had an interception, while RB-Joseph Addai (14-63, 1 TD; 2t rushing/5-49, 1 TD; 7t receiving) had two scores. TE-Dallas Clark (14-119) tied the club record for single-game receptions and fell one reception shy of the NFL single-game mark for TEs. WR-Reggie Wayne (635) passed WR-Raymond Berry (631) for 2nd-most receptions in club history. The Colts swept the series in 2008 (33-27 in Indianapolis 11/16; 31-27 at Houston on 10/5). In last year's meeting in Lucas Oil Stadium, scoring on its final five full possessions, Indianapolis posted a 33-27 victory. Manning (30-46-320, 2 TDs) directed an attack that produced 474 yards, while Addai (22-105, 1 TD rushing; 7t/4-48, 1 TD receiving; 23t) and WR-Marvin Harrison (9-77, 1 TD; 10t) had touchdown receptions. The club's five final scoring drives covered 66, 81, 80, 73 and 69 yards. Wayne was 7-90 receiving, and Indianapolis rushed 34-154. Houston was 25-177 rushing, led by RB-Steve Slaton (14-156, 1 TD; 71t). Freeney had two sacks, while DB-Melvin Bullitt ended the contest with an interception. K-Adam Vinatieri booted field goals of 40, 39, 32 and 31 yards. In Reliant Stadium on October 5, scoring 21 points in a 2:10 span of the final quarter, Indianapolis produced a stirring 31-27 victory. Indianapolis scored 10 first-quarter points before seeing Houston tally 27 unanswered points in taking a 17-point lead into the final minutes. Manning (25-34-247, 2 TDs/1 int.) sandwiched 7t and 5t scoring passes to TE-Tom Santi and Wayne (7-97) around LB-Gary Brackett's 68t fumble return as the Colts earned the win. The first scoring pass came with 4:04 remaining, and the final one came with 1:54 to go as Indianapolis became the first NFL team to erase a 17-point deficit in a game's final five minutes to win in regulation. The final touchdown was set up by DE-Robert Mathis' sack-fumble recovery at the Houston 20. Bullitt intercepted a pass at the club's 22 with :42 remaining as the three late takeaways spurred the comeback. Addai was 17-71, 1 TD rushing. Indianapolis won both 2007 meetings, 30-24 in Houston on September 23 and 38-15 in the RCA Dome on December 23. Fueled by a 21-point second quarter, Indianapolis produced a 38-15 victory in the second meeting in 2007. The Colts scored 35 points in the middle two periods. Manning (28-35-311, 3 TDs) directed an offense that produced 458 net yards. Addai tallied on a 2t rush, then TE-Dallas Clark (6-60, 2 TDs; 6t, 11t) and Wayne (10-143, 1 TD; 7t) helped produce the win. The Colts tallied three interceptions and controlled the ball for 35:45. In that year's game in Houston, overcoming a scoring kickoff return to start a game it would never trail again, the Colts posted a 30-24 win. Down 7-0 after 21 seconds, the Colts scored in every quarter afterwards. Manning (20-29-273, 1 TD) led an offense that gained 362 net yards and produced points off two defensive takeaways. Manning hit Clark (4-58, 1 TD; 2t) on a scoring pass, and Addai (22-72, 2 TDs; 4t, 8t) tallied two rushing scores. Indianapolis pushed a 14-10 halftime lead to 27-10 after three quarters. The teams split the series in 2006, with each team winning at home. Indianapolis posted a 43-24 win on September 17, while the Texans produced a 27-24 win on December 24 at Reliant Stadium. In 2005's battles the Colts took a 38-20 win at Houston on October 23 and a 31-17 win in the RCA Dome on November 13.
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 124-46 record during that span.