INDIANAPOLIS — Momentum gained in the regular season doesn’t necessarily translate into postseason success.
Coch Tony Dungy’s Colts will carry a nine-game winning streak into Saturday night’s AFC wildcard game with the San Diego Chargers. Norv Turner’s Chargers, meanwhile, have won four straight. So who’s mojo is better? Which team is hotter?
“No, there really isn’t [a way to gauge momentum] heading into the postseason. The playoffs are completely different. You’re playing against good teams. Everybody you play is tough. You have to come out and win. And what you did last week really isn’t going to have a bearing on what you do this week. Hopefully we can go out there and get a postseason streak started,” the Indianapolis coach said this week.
If there is a team that could carry its success from the regular season on into the playoffs, though, it could very well be the Colts.
Indianapolis has played well on the road in recent years, posting a 41-15 mark (.732 away from the friendly confines of the RCA Dome/Lucas Oil Stadium since the start of the 2002 season. That’s the NFL’s second-best road winning percentage during that time period, coming in just behind New England’s .750 mark (42-14).
As the AFC’s fifth-seeded team, the Colts won’t have a chance to play another home game this season unless the sixth-seeded Baltimore Ravens also get onto a postseason roll. Which pretty much means that Dungy’s crew will probably have to keep their travel bags packed the rest of the way.
“We’ve always been a good road team. People don’t always believe that, but if you just look at the facts and don’t let the perception get in the way, we’ve won just about as many games on the road as we’ve won at home. I think we’re well-suited to go on the road because our offense is a veteran offense. We can score points on the road,” he said.
“That’s usually what you have trouble doing when you go on the road playing against good defenses and the noise, but we’ve been able to do that. I don’t think we’re any better off or worse off. We have done it this year. We’ve had to go win some tough games and games that we needed in tough venues, but in the playoffs everything starts over 0-0 and right now we have to win four games.”
The fact that the Colts are facing San Diego once again is pretty much a wash for both sides. Both teams know each other very well. There won’t be a lot of surprises when Indianapolis and the Chargers take the field at Qualcomm Stadium.
Familiarity breeds respect. And the Colts have a high regard for the AFC West champions.
“It’s kind of similar with us and New England the past few years, maybe even us and Baltimore. It’s almost like a division game. You’re playing them twice a year. You’re definitely seeing them once a year. Obviously, there’s a lot of familiarity amongst the players. There’s always going to be changes in schemes each time you play, wrinkles here and there, but you do know the players,” said quarterback Peyton Manning.
“I think the thing is I know how good of a team they are and I know the problems they can cause. Like I said, defensively they’re a challenge to move the ball against. I know it’s important for us to try to score some points because their offense is really playing at a high level right now.”
• Injury list — No decision on the availability of rookie offensive linemen Mike Pollak (ankle) and Jamey Richard (foot/ankle), or rookie wide receiver Pierre Garcon (knee), until sometime today or Friday. Neither Pollak or Richard have taken part in practice this week.
Running back Dominic Rhodes (chest/ribs), weak side linebacker Freddy Keiaho (hamstring), wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez (hip pointer), safeties Melvin Bullitt (shoulder) and Bob Sanders (knee), and rookie defensive tackle Eric Foster (neck/burner) are all expected to play against the Chargers on Saturday night.
n Rivers just having fun — Colts fans still remember last year’s AFC divisional playoff game loss to San Diego, but it had nothing to do with the way Indianapolis played in the game.
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers had a lengthy shouting match with some of those in attendance at the RCA Dome. Even after he was sidelined with a knee injury, Rivers just kept talking.
“I just play the game and have a lot of fun. As you picture a 10-year old in the back yard down in North Alabama, where I grew up, I kind of play it the same way, where you’re going back and forth with your buddies and you’re playing. I kind of have that same mentality, obviously with a little more structure and at a lot higher of a level,” he said this week.
“Speaking of the fans back there [in Indianapolis], there’s really nothing of any tenacity between any of it. It was really fun, playing with a lot of fun. You got the guys behind you [in the stands] that give it to you all game, every time Peyton [Manning] throws a completion and says, ‘That’s how you do it right there.’ So you’re kind of interacting with these guys for three-and-a-half hours. I think the thing I did learn there, though, is you’re not going to win. So I’ve left that part of it alone. But as far as playing with passion and emotion, I think it works to my benefit as long as it works to our team’s benefit, as long as it’s a positive. I never want it to come and get in the way of what we’re trying to get done.”
INDIANAPOLIS — Momentum gained in the regular season doesn’t necessarily translate into postseason success.
Update: Colts owner Irsay arrested for DWI
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Colts owner Jim Irsay was jailed today on suspicion of intoxicated driving after police said he failed sobriety tests during a traffic stop and they found multiple prescription drugs inside his vehicle.
Colts sign former Giants receiver Nicks
Ryan Grigson loves to make a deal. The Indianapolis Colts third-year general manager has earned a reputation around the National Football League as a guy who will act decisively and quickly if there’s somebody that he really wants. That trait proved true again Friday as the Colts added former New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks to the team’s roster.
Colts keep Vinatieri, Davis, Bradshaw in fold
With the NFL’s free-agency signing period getting underway at 4 p.m. Tuesday, it was fairly certain that the Indianapolis Colts would be active participants.
The Colts went into free agency with around $40 million of salary cap space in their back pocket. Indianapolis general manager Ryan Grigson, however, had indicated at the National Football Scouting Combine that he wanted to be judicious in how the team spent its money.
Colts re-sign punter McAfee for five years
Shortly before 10 a.m. Friday, Pat McAfee — the Indianapolis Colts’ punter and kickoff specialist — tweeted that he had a special announcement to make at the top of the hour.
Colts excited to add talent, experience of D'Qwell Jackson
With the National Football League's veteran free agency period set to start on March 11, the Indianapolis Colts front office has started to make the decisions needed to retool for the 2014 season.
Former Cleveland Browns inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson, who had been released by Cleveland on Feb. 26, signed a reported four-year, $22 million deal with Indianapolis on Thursday. Only the first two years of the contract are guaranteed.
Jackson (6-foot, 240) started 96-of-97 games over the past eight seasons with the Browns since being selected by the team in the second round of the 2006 draft. He played collegiately at Maryland.
EIU’s Garoppolo hopes to impress scouts
Let the Eastern Illinois University quarterback tradition continue.
Mike Shanahan, Jeff Christensen, Sean Payton, Tony Romo and, now, Jimmy Garoppolo. All were record-setting quarterbacks on the Division II and FCS levels.
Grigson says Colts likely not to make big splash in free agency
Don’t expect the Indianapolis Colts to go wild in the upcoming free-agent market.
While the Colts will have anywhere from $33 to $37 million to spend this offseason, Indianapolis general manager Ryan Grigson says the franchise will be a bit more selective when it comes to signing any prospective veteran free agents.
SEASON IN REVIEW: Colts make progress in 2013 season
The Indianapolis Colts made plenty of progress over the course of the 2013 season.
And the Colts fought through some adversity as injuries hit the team hard at several positions, most notably at wide receiver (Reggie Wayne), tight end (Dwayne Allen), running back (Vick Ballard, Ahmad Bradshaw), offensive line (Donald Thomas) and cornerback (Greg Toler).
Moving on: Coach likes what he sees, gets ready for phase three of Colts’ development
Time to move on. In the wake of the Indianapolis Colts’ 43-22 AFC divisional playoff loss at New England last Saturday night, head coach Chuck Pagano is ready to take time off and then start getting after it again late this spring.
Blunt force trauma: Patriots running game too much for Colts
LeGarrette Blount ran the New England Patriots into their third straight AFC championship game.
The 250-pound back had four touchdown runs and New England kept Andrew Luck from a second straight comeback win to beat the Indianapolis Colts 43-22 Sunday night.
‘Still the same Tom’
How do you attempt to stop, or even slow down, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady?
Belichick impressed with Luck's skills, poise under pressure
Bill Belichick doesn’t have to be reminded about the talents of Indianapolis Colts second-year quarterback Andrew Luck.
Although Belichick’s New England Patriots handed the Colts a 59-24 loss in Foxboro last year, he came away from the game with plenty of respect for the young signal caller.
Colts, Patriots, both with many new faces, to meet in playoffs for fourth time
Here we go again. Yet another Indianapolis Colts-New England Patriots playoff game.
Up next for Colts: Brady, Patriots
Hello Tom Brady.
Thanks to the San Diego Chargers’ 27-10 AFC wild-card playoff win over Cincinnati on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium, the Indianapolis Colts will be traveling to Foxboro, Massachusetts to face Brady’s New England Patriots Saturday (8:15 p.m.).
Luck leads huge rally as Colts grab first playoff win for Pagano
What a game.
Just when it looked like the Indianapolis Colts were going to be blown out at home in an AFC wild-card playoff game by the Kansas City Chiefs, the impossible happened.
Colts sell out today's Kansas City game
There will be no local television blackouts in the NFL this weekend.
The Indianapolis Colts, Cincinnati Bengals and Green Bay Packers said Friday that their weekend wild-card playoff games are sellouts. Normally, teams must sell out 72 hours before kickoff to have a game broadcast in their local market. The NFL gave the Colts, Bengals and Packers an extra day to do it.
The Colts host Kansas City today. On Sunday, the Packers host San Francisco and the Bengals host San Diego.
NFL honors Colts' Mathis with Deacon Jones Award
Robert Mathis never got to see Deacon Jones take down opposing quarterbacks in person.
He learned to appreciate Jones’ creativity over time.
The Colts Pro Bowl linebacker and newly crowned sacks champion was honored Thursday as the inaugural winner of the NFL’s Deacon Jones Award, which goes to the league’s sacks leader. Mathis will be recognized at the NFL award banquet Feb. 1.
Victory over Chiefs means nil, Mathis says
Robert Mathis doesn’t care that the Indianapolis Colts registered a 23-7 win over the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium two weeks ago.
Record-setting Indy win
Finish the National Football League regular season strong. That’s what the Indianapolis Colts wanted to accomplish Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
In major gain, Colts lead NFL in fewest turnovers
Play clean. That’s been a credo that the Indianapolis Colts have tried to live by this season.
Has Luck's growth been accelerated by Colts' adversity? Probably
Indianapolis Colts second-year quarterback Andrew Luck is quickly becoming known as a guy who can quickly adjust to any situation.
Toeing the line: Colts’ offensive line getting healthy, finding niche as playoffs near
The Indianapolis Colts’ offensive line has certainly taken its share of hits this season, both on and off the field.
Colts’ chief strength: No panic
The Indianapolis Colts had watched the Kansas City Chiefs march downfield for an easy score on the first series of the game, yet nobody on their sideline seemed to be worried.
In fact, it seemed as if their confidence soared.
Luck has knack for knowing when to run
To run or not to run. When it comes to Indianapolis Colts second-year quarterback Andrew Luck, his competitive nature usually comes into play.
Loss at Chiefs could cost Colts bye in playoffs
Chuck Pagano doesn’t have to make his Indianapolis Colts players aware of the playoff implications surrounding the team’s road game at Kansas City on Sunday.
Back in the mix: Colts are hoping to improve their playoff seeding in final two weeks of NFL’s regular season
Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano stresses that he is not a scoreboard watcher when it comes to other National Football League games.
Back in stride: Colts finally put points on board early, roll to ninth victory of season
It had been a long time in coming, a National Football League game in which the Indianapolis Colts had a comfortable lead well into the second half.
Whalen, Richardson make waves on offense
It’s not too hard to figure out who the offensive and defensive players of the game were in the Indianapolis Colts’ 25-3 win over Houston Sunday.
Mathis, Colts hoping to gain defensive momentum against Texans
Outside linebacker Robert Mathis, one of the Indianapolis Colts two most vested veterans, has taken it upon himself to make sure his team is ready for Sunday’s AFC South matchup with Houston (1 p.m., CBS Sports).
Mathis and injured wide receiver Reggie Wayne have been with the Colts the longest. They, along with defensive end Cory Redding and safety Antoine Bethea, have become important voices in the Indianapolis locker room.
Colts not apologizing for way they won division title
Backing into the AFC South title? The Indianapolis Colts are not apologizing to anyone for claiming the franchise’s eighth division crown since the start of the 2002 season.
- More Colts Headlines
- Update: Colts owner Irsay arrested for DWI