DATE: Sunday, September 14, 2008
SITE: Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
KICKOFF: 1:00 p.m. (EDT)/12:00 p.m. (CDT)
Indianapolis opened the 2008 season last Sunday with a 29-13 home loss to Chicago. Indianapolis will be making its first regular-season appearance in Minnesota since the 1997 finale. The club's last appearance in the Metrodome came during the 2001 preseason. The Colts lead the overall series, 14-7-1. The Colts conclude action against the NFC North on October 19 by traveling to Green Bay and on December 14 by hosting Detroit. Minnesota opened its season by playing in Green Bay on Monday.
In meeting Chicago last week, the Colts opened their 56th National Football League season, their 25th in Indianapolis and their seventh under Head Coach Tony Dungy. Indianapolis enters this Sunday's game having won 21 of its last 22 outings in September and October, dating back to the 2004 season. In that streak, the Colts are 7-1 against NFC competition. Under Dungy, the Colts are 19-6 versus the NFC during regular-season play.
Owners of the NFL's best regular-season record (102-43) 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 47 of its last 58 regular-season games. Indianapolis' winning ways include a 28-8 record in AFC South play, while the club has owned or shared the lead in 95 of 103 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.
The Colts began the 2008 season with 17 new players on roster. The current roster breakdown of experience reveals the club with only 7 players exceeding 30 years of age, 34 players being 25 years of age and under and an average age of 25.7. The NFL experience of the roster finds 23 players with four or more years of service, while 30 of 53 active players with the club have three years experience or less. The average experience for a Colts player on the opening-day roster is 4.2 years. A total of 36 of 53 players on the active roster finished last season with the club, while 17 new players are on hand (9 via the draft, 6 via free agency and 2 via trades or waivers). As of opening day (9/7), the ages of Colts players are as follows: 22-4; 23-13; 24-10; 25-7; 26-1; 27-5; 28-2; 29-4; 30-1; 31-2; 32-1; 33-1; 35-1; 36-1. As of opening day, the NFL experience of Colts players is as follows: Rookie-12; 1st year-2; 2nd-10; 3rd-6; 4th-5; 5th-4; 6th-3; 7th-2; 8th-3; 9th-1; 10th-2; 11th-1; 13th-2. The roster composition reflects 33 draft picks, 3 players acquired via waivers/trades, 1 acquired via unrestricted free agency and 16 acquired via free agency (including 3 rookie free agents). The following players on the active roster entered the NFL as undrafted free agents (began as Colt): C-Jeff Saturday, TE-Justin Snow(), LB-Gary Brackett(), DE-Josh Thomas(), DT-Darrell Reid(), RB-Dominic Rhodes(), OT-Dan Federkeil(), DB-Melvin Bullitt(), DT-Ed Johnson(), DT-Daniel Muir, TE-Gijon Robinson(), DT-Eric Foster(), DE-Curtis Johnson(), LB-Jordan Senn(*) and K-Adam Vinatieri. A total of 47 of 53 active players have played only for the Colts in the NFL. The players who have NFL experience other than with the Colts are LB-Buster Davis, DT-Daniel Muir, DB-Keiwan Ratliff, RB-Dominic Rhodes, WR-Courtney Roby and Vinatieri.
PERSONNEL REPORT: C-Jeff Saturday (knee), OT-Mike Pollak (knee) were out; WR-Roy Hall (knee), WR-Pierre Garcon (shoulder), DE-Curtis Johnson (shoulder) were questionable; QB-Peyton Manning (knee) was probable for the last game. Last game's inactive players were: Saturday, Pollak, Johnson, DB-Dante Hughes, Garcon, TE-Tom Santi, DT-Daniel Muir and DE-Marcus Howard.
TELEVISION/RADIO: CBS Sports telecasts with Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf. 1070-The Fan/HANK-FM, 97.1 broadcasts with Bob Lamey and Will Wolford. Sports USA provides national radio coverage with Howard David, Ross Tucker and Tony Graziani.
NEXT WEEK: Indianapolis hosts Jacksonville on Sunday, September 21 at 4:15 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 73-24 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 127-66, and he has an overall record of 136-75. 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 80-29, 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 103-42 mark since the start of the 1999 season (30-18 at Tampa Bay; 73-24 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 102-43 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 103 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 38-11 at home and 35-13 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 70-22 record (counting the playoffs) since the start of the 2003 season and are 56-17 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.
BRAD CHILDRESS was named the seventh Minnesota head coach on January 6, 2006. Childress joined the Vikings after serving 1999-2005 with Philadelphia. He has directed Minnesota to records of 6-10 and 8-8. Prior to joining Minnesota, Childress spent the previous four seasons with the Eagles as offensive coordinator, a period when Philadelphia advanced to four consecutive conference championship games and to Super Bowl XXXIX. He served 1991-95 at the University of Wisconsin, and he was a part of two co-champion conference teams that won the Rose Bowl. Childress served collegiately also at Illinois 1978-84, Northern Arizona 1986-89 and Utah 1990. He served in an offensive capacity with the Colts in 1985. Childress was a QB/WR at Illinois before transferring to Eastern Illinois. He is a native of Aurora, Ill.
COLTS/VIKINGS SERIES NOTES
The league series stands 13-7-1 in the Colts' favor, plus the Colts won the only post-season encounter between the clubs (24-14 on December 22, 1968 in the Western Conference Championship). In the last series meeting, the Colts took a last-second 31-28 home victory over Minnesota on November 8, 2004. K-Mike Vanderjagt's 35-yard field goal with :02 remaining capped a back-and-forth battle as the Colts produced a thrilling win. The Colts moved to a 14-0 lead, then earned margins of 21-14 and 28-21 in producing the win. QB-Peyton Manning (23-29-268, 4 TDs) hit TEs-Marcus Pollard (2-29, 2 TDs; 10t, 19t) and Dallas Clark (3-38, 1 TD; 4t) and WR-Reggie Wayne (3-22, 1 TD; 5t) on scoring receptions. The teams met in Indianapolis on December 24, 2000, with the Colts taking a 31-10 win. Manning (25-36-283, 4 TDs/1 int.), RB-Edgerrin James (26-128 rushing/5-79, 1 TD receiving), WR-Marvin Harrison (12-109, 3 TDs) and the Colts defense (236 net yards allowed) shined as the Colts earned a playoff berth by besting Minnesota. Manning hit Harrison on 4t, 15t and 18t strikes and James on a 52t pitch to lead the Colts. The Colts' last appearance in Minneapolis was a 2001 preseason encounter won by the Vikings on August 24, 28-21. The last league series meeting in the Metrodome was on December 21, 1997, with Minnesota producing a 39-28 win. These teams met twice annually from 1961-66 and once a year from 1967-69, but the series has been contested only six times since the 1970 NFL Merger (1971, 1982, 1988, 1997, 2000, 2004).
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 102-43 record during that span. Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy was 30-18 with Tampa Bay from 1999-2001. He is 73-24 with the Colts, and his 103 wins during that span are the most in the NFL.