DATE: Monday, October 27, 2008
SITE: LP Field
KICKOFF: 8:30 p.m. (EDT)/7:30 p.m. (CDT)
Monday's game features the only two franchises to win the AFC South. Tennessee earned divisional honors in the inaugural 2002 season, while the Colts have won the title the remaining seasons. Indianapolis reaches Monday's contest after a 34-14 loss last Sunday at Green Bay. Tennessee earned a 34-10 victory last Sunday at Kansas City. Indianapolis is 1-1 in AFC South play, with a 23-21 home loss to Jacksonville on September 21, and a 31-27 win at Houston on October 5. Tennessee has built its record in part with two home divisional wins, 17-10 over Jacksonville (9/7) and 31-12 over Houston (9/21). These clubs meet in Indianapolis to close the regular season on December 28. The Colts lead the regular-season series, 15-11. The clubs split last season's meetings by winning road affairs. Indianapolis produced a 22-20 victory at LP Field on September 16, and the Titans closed the RCA Dome's regular-season history on December 30 with a 16-10 victory over the Colts. Tennessee owns the only playoff meeting between the club's, a 19-16 victory in Indianapolis following the 1999 season.
Owners of the NFL's best regular-season record (105-45) 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 50 of its last 63 regular-season games. Indianapolis' winning ways include a 29-9 record in AFC South play, while the club has owned or shared the lead in 95 of 109 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: DB-Bob Sanders (knee), DB-Kelvin Hayden (knee), WR-Roy Hall (knee), RB-Joseph Addai (hamstring), TE-Gijon Robinson (ankle) were out; LB-Freddy Keiaho (groin) was questionable. Last game's inactive players were: DE-Curtis Johnson, OT-Dan Federkeil, LB-Buster Davis, Addai, Robinson, Hayden, Hall and Sanders.
TELEVISION/RADIO: ESPN telecasts with Mike Tirico, Tony Kornheiser, Ron Jaworski. Suzy Kolber and Michelle Tafoya are field reporters. 1070-The Fan/HANK-FM, 97.1 broadcasts with Bob Lamey and Will Wolford. Westwood One provides national radio coverage with Wayne Larrivee and Boomer Esiason.
NEXT WEEK: Indianapolis hosts New England on Sunday, November 2 at 8:15 p.m. (EDT).
WWW.COLTS.COM: Please check the official website of the Indianapolis Colts for the latest in team information and merchandise.
TONY DUNGY is 76-26 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 130-68, and he has an overall record of 139-77. 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 83-31, 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 106-44 mark since the start of the 1999 season (30-18 at Tampa Bay; 76-26 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 105-45 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 109 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 39-12 at home and 37-14 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 73-24 record (counting the playoffs) since the start of the 2003 season and are 59-19 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.
JEFF FISHER became the 15th head coach in franchise history on January 5, 1995. Fisher was elevated to head coach-defensive coordinator on November 14, 1994 and guided the 1-9 squad through the final six games of the season. His 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2006 teams made the playoffs. The Titans advanced to Super Bowl XXXIV following the 1999 season, dropping a 23-16 decision to St. Louis. Fisher joined the team as defensive coordinator for the 1994 season, after serving 1992-93 as DB Coach at San Francisco. He was defensive coordinator with the L.A. Rams in 1991. He served 1986-90 at Philadelphia, the final two years as coordinator. Fisher was a D7-81 pick of Chicago, playing 1981-85 as DB/KR. Fisher was a DB at USC 1977-80. He is a native of Culver City, Calif.
COLTS/TITANS SERIES NOTES
The Colts lead the regular-season series, 15-11. The clubs split the meetings during the 2007 season, with each winning on the road. On last December 30, in a game void of playoff significance for Indianapolis, the Colts dropped a 16-10 decision to Tennessee. Missing five starters and playing front-liners mostly through the first half, the Colts battled Tennessee, needing a win to gain a playoff berth, to a 10-10 tie through three quarters before falling. K-Rob Bironas scored the game's final nine points on field goals of 40, 54 and 33 yards to gain the win. The contest played before a crowd of 57,202 was the last regular-season game in the RCA Dome. In the season's first meeting on September 16 in LP Field, the Colts took the lead midway through the opening period and never trailed in a contest that was not decided until the final seconds. The Colts topped Tennessee, 22-20. Indianapolis posted a 6-0 first-quarter lead and grew the margin to 19-6 in the second half before a final defensive stand as the clock expired spelled victory. QB-Peyton Manning (28-42-312, 1 TD/int.) directed the club to 381 net yards behind a trio of receivers and a productive running game. WRs-Marvin Harrison (6-87) and Reggie Wayne (5-70) and TE-Dallas Clark (7-69, 1 TD; 22t) had solid days, along with RB-Joseph Addai (20-81, 1 TD; 8t). The Indianapolis defense produced three sacks and two takeaways, led by DB-Bob Sanders (2.5 sacks). QB-Vince Young was 17-27-184, 1 TD. The teams split the series in 2006, with each club winning at home. Indianapolis triumphed on October 8, 14-13, and the Titans posted a 20-17 last-minute win on December 3. In the second meeting of 2006, dropping a contest with a 14 -point lead for the first time in more than five years, the Colts fell at Tennessee. Bironas booted a 60-yard field goal with :07 remaining to produce the comeback win. Indianapolis assumed a 14-0 first half lead behind a 68t pass from Manning (21-28-351, 1 TD/2 ints.) to Harrison (7-172, 1 TD) and a 2t rush by RB-Dominic Rhodes. Tennessee trimmed 10 points off the lead in the last two minutes of the first half, then took a 17-14 lead in the fourth quarter. After Indianapolis tied the contest at 17-17 in the final three minutes, Tennessee drove to the Colts' 42, where Bironas converted in the waning seconds. Tennessee rushed for 219 yards and controlled the second half. The loss snapped a 12-game divisional winning streak by the Colts. In 2007's initial battle, using a fourth-quarter comeback for the second consecutive week, the Colts notched a 14-13 win. The Titans scored the game's first 10 points and held the lead until 5:10 remained. Manning (20-31-166, 2 TDs/1 int.) hit two second-half touchdown passes to provide the winning scores. Manning teamed with Harrison (3-29, 1 TD; 13t) on the first toss, then hit Wayne (3-24, 1 TD; 2t) for the deciding score. Tennessee rushed 31-214, including 19-123 by RB-Travis Henry. Indianapolis countered with Rhodes (20-84) and Addai (13-62), while the Colts defense halted two final Tennessee possessions. The Colts swept Tennessee in 2005, winning 31-10 in Nashville on October 2 and 35-3 in the RCA Dome on December 4. The Colts swept Tennessee in 2004. Indianapolis won 31-17 in Nashville on September 19, then took a 51-24 decision at home on December 5. Indianapolis took both meetings in 2003. The Colts won at home on September 14, 33-7, then posted a 29-27 win in Nashville on December 7. The sweep by the Colts reversed Tennessee's sweep in 2002. The Titans won in Indianapolis, 23-15, and held service at home, 27-17. Tennessee owns the only playoff encounter between the clubs, earning a 19-16 win in Indianapolis on January 16, 2000 in the AFC Divisional Playoffs.
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 105-45 record during that span. Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy was 30-18 with Tampa Bay from 1999-2001. He is 76-26 with the Colts, and his 106 wins during that span are the most in the NFL.