DATE: Sunday, November 8, 2009
SITE: Lucas Oil Stadium
KICKOFF: 1:00 p.m. (EST)/12:00 p.m. (CST)
Concluding the first round of divisional play, the Indianapolis Colts, 7-0, host the Houston Texans, 5-3, on Sunday, November 8. Kickoff for the contest, telecast by CBS Sports, is 1:00 p.m. (EST)/12:00 p.m. (CST). Sports USA provides national radio coverage.
The Colts and Texans are meeting for the first of two times this month. Indianapolis travels to Houston on November 29. The Colts look to add to their 2-0 divisional record this Sunday. The Colts own a 14-12 victory over Jacksonville (9/13) and a 31-9 triumph at Tennessee (10/11). The Colts host Tennessee one week after appearing in Houston, then Indianapolis travels to Jacksonville for a December 17 clash with the Jaguars.
Indianapolis reaches Sunday's game after an 18-14 victory last Sunday at home over San Francisco. The victory over the 49ers extended the sixth 10 -game regular-season winning streak in franchise history (16, 2008-09; 13, 2005; 11, 1964; 11, 1975-76; 11, 1999; 10, 2005-06), the fourth since 1999. In extending their streak to 16 consecutive regular-season victories, the Colts became the 8th team to earn a streak of 16 consecutive regular-season victories (21, New England, 2006-08; 18, New England, 2003-04; 17, Chicago, 1933-34; 16, Chicago, 1941-42; 16, Miami, 1971-73; 16, Miami, 1983-84; 16, Pittsburgh, 2004-05). Last week's victory provided the Colts with their fourth 7-0 start in the past five seasons (13-0, 2005; 9-0, 2006; 7-0, 2007) and made Jim Caldwell the only Colts head coach to win his first seven games. Caldwell now stands as the only rookie head coach in the Super Bowl era to start 7-0. He had been tied with Chuck Knox (LA Rams, 1973), Red Miller (Denver, 1977), Mike Martz (St. Louis, 2000) and Josh McDaniels (Denver, 2009) as the only such coaches with a 6-0 career start. The 7-0 record now ties Caldwell for the 2nd-best start in NFL history by a rookie coach (8, Potsy Clark, Portsmouth, 1931; 7, Barney Lepper, Buffalo, 1920). Indianapolis also 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; 7, 2009). Additionally, the club produced its ninth consecutive home win, tying the 3rd-longest streak in team history (12, 2006-07; 11, 2004-05; 9, 1957-59; 9, 1975-76). Houston earned a 31-10 victory last Sunday at Buffalo. Indianapolis leads the series between the clubs, 13-1. In 2008, the Colts posted a 31-27 comeback win at Houston on October 5, then forged a 33-27 home on November 16.
The Colts are owners of the NFL's best regular-season record (121-46) 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 66 of its last 80 regular-season games. Indianapolis' winning ways include a 34-10 record in AFC South play, while the club has owned or shared the lead in 102 of 126 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).
PERSONNEL REPORT: WR-Anthony Gonzalez (knee), DB-Marlin Jackson (knee), K-Adam Vinatieri (knee) were out; RB-Donald Brown (shoulder) was doubtful; DT-Eric Foster (shoulder), DE-Dwight Freeney (knee), TE-Jacob Tamme (hamstring), WR-Reggie Wayne (groin) were questionable for the last game. Last game's inactive players were: Gonzalez, Jackson, Vinatieri, DB-T.J. Rushing, Brown, OG-Jamey Richard, OT-Tony Ugoh and QB-Curtis Painter.
TELEVISION/RADIO: CBS Sports telecasts with Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots. 1070-The Fan/HANK-FM, 97.1 broadcasts with Bob Lamey, Will Wolford and Kevin Lee (field reporter). Sports USA broadcasts nationally with Tom McCarthy, Ross Tucker and Tony Graziani (field reporter).
NEXT WEEK: Indianapolis hosts New England on Sunday, November 15 at 8:20 p.m. (EST).
**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.
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 15th time, with Indianapolis owning a 13-1 series edge, including a sweep of last year's meetings (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. QB-Peyton Manning (30-46-320, 2 TDs) directed an attack that produced 474 yards, while RB-Joseph 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. WR-Reggie 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). DE-Dwight 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.
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 121-46 record during that span.