DATE: Sunday, October 11, 2009
SITE: LP Field
KICKOFF: 8:20 p.m. (EDT)/7:20 p.m. (CDT)
Playing a third road prime-time outing in four weeks, including a second NBC Sunday Night affair, the Indianapolis Colts, 4-0, return to divisional action by visiting the Tennessee Titans, 0-4. Kickoff at LP Field is 8:20 p.m. (EDT)/7:20 p.m. (CDT). Westwood One provides national radio coverage of the contest.
Indianapolis is coming off a 34-17 home victory last Sunday over Seattle. The contest was the first home outing for the club since Kickoff Weekend. The Colts posted a 27-23 MNF win at Miami on September 21, and followed that with a 31-10 SNF victory at Arizona on September 27. Sunday's game will be the third of five scheduled prime-time outings this season for the Colts. Indianapolis hosts New England on November 15, then travels to Jacksonville for a December 17 outing with the Jaguars. The victory over Seattle last week extended the sixth 10 -game regular-season winning streak in franchise history (13, 2005; 13, 2008-09; 11, 1964; 11, 1975-76; 11, 1999; 10, 2005-06), the fourth since 1999. It provided the Colts their fifth 4-0 start in the past seven seasons (2003, 2005-07, 2009) and placed Jim Caldwell with Lindy Infante (1996) as the only Colts head coaches to win their first four games. Tennessee dropped a 37-17 battle last Sunday at Jacksonville. The Colts own a 16-12 regular-season series advantage over Tennessee. The teams split last year's outings by winning at home. This is the second consecutive meeting in Nashville to be played in front of a national audience. Tennessee earned a 31-21 MNF verdict last October 27. The Colts and Titans meet in Indianapolis on December 6.
The Colts are owners of the NFL's best regular-season record (118-46) 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 63 of its last 77 regular-season games. Indianapolis' winning ways include a 33-10 record in AFC South play, while the club has owned or shared the lead in 99 of 123 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: WR-Anthony Gonzalez (knee), DB-Bob Sanders (knee) were out; DB-Kelvin Hayden (hamstring), Dwight Freeney (quadriceps), LB-Gary Brackett (knee), DT-Keyunta Dawson (foot) were questionable for the last game. Last game's inactive players were: Gonzalez, Sanders, Hayden, Brackett, OG-Jamey Richard, OT-Tony Ugoh, DT-Fili Moala and QB-Curtis Painter.
TELEVISION/RADIO: NBC Sports telecasts with Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Andrea Kremer (field reporter). 1070-The Fan/HANK-FM, 97.1 broadcasts with Bob Lamey, Will Wolford and Kevin Lee (field reporter). Westwood One provides national radio coverage with Dave Sims, James Lofton and Hub Arkush (field reporter).
NEXT WEEK: Indianapolis observes its open week. The Colts visit St. Louis on Sunday, October 25 at 1:00 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 holds a bachelor's degree from Iowa. Caldwell was born on January 16, 1955 in Beloit, Wis.
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, 2006 and 2008 teams made the playoffs, with his 2002 and 2008 teams winning the AFC South. 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, 16-12. The team split last year's meetings by winning at home. On last December 28, Indianapolis topped Tennessee, 23-0, to end the season with a nine-game winning streak, while extending its NFL record to six consecutive seasons with 12 victories. The club produced its first shutout since 1997. At 13-2 with the division clinched, the Titans rested selected starters, and Indianapolis was able to produce some individual milestones. QB-Peyton Manning was 7-7-95, 1 TD (55t) to extend his NFL record with a ninth 4,000 season (4,002). TE-Dallas Clark (848) was 6-59 receiving to set the club's seasonal yardage record for TEs (829, Mackey, 1966). The clubs met last season on October 27 in Nashville, as Tennessee overcame an eight-point second-half deficit by scoring 25 consecutive points to top Indianapolis, 31-21. The Colts and Titans battled to a 7-6 halftime count before the Colts took a 14-6 lead early in the second half. Tennessee countered by scoring on four consecutive possessions to gain the victory. QB-Kerry Collins was 24-37-193, while the Titans rushed for three scores. DB-Chris Hope had two interceptions for the game's only takeaways. Manning was 26-41-223, 2 TDs/ints. Indianapolis out-rushed Tennessee, 94-88, but the Titans controlled the ball for 34 minutes. The clubs split the meetings during the 2007 season, with each winning on the road. On December 30 of that season, 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 was the last regular-season game in the RCA Dome. In 2007'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. 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 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. 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 1999-2009 REGULAR SEASONS
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 118-46 record during that span.