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Fire Me Boy!
01-01-2007, 02:15 PM
Colts hoping these playoffs will be different

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Indianapolis has endured the postseason indignity of losing at New England twice, the shock of losing at home to Pittsburgh and even getting shut out by the New York Jets.

It's not a postseason trend they like, but the only way the Colts can change their image as Team October is to start winning in January.

"Yes, you are judged by that," coach Tony Dungy said Monday. "That's how our league is set up and that's how you win championships, by winning in the playoffs."

Indy (12-4) understands the lesson better than most teams.

A year ago, the public virtually crowned Indianapolis the AFC champions after going 13-0, capturing the No. 1 seed and earning the right to play indoors through the playoffs. A stumble against Pittsburgh in the divisional round ruined what many considered its best Super Bowl shot.

In 2004 and 2005, Indianapolis also won its division title and wild-card games over Denver before eventually losing to the Patriots.

Three straight times they've been eliminated by the Super Bowl champs.

This year, after winning a fourth straight AFC South title with the league's worst run defense, the Colts are expected to follow their old trend.

Opponents rushed for more than 2,700 yards this season and Indianapolis broke a dubious franchise record that stood since 1953 its first year back in the NFL after a two-year hiatus by allowing 5.3 yards per carry. The previous mark was 5.2.

With Kansas City and Larry Johnson coming to the RCA Dome on Saturday, Indy is likely to get another steady diet of power football.

Four losses in seven weeks, including four straight on the road, hasn't helped turn doubters into believers.

"I think we're definitely under the radar," Dungy said. "But that's not really a good thing. Usually when everyone thinks you're playing well, it's because you are."

Sunday's 27-22 victory over Miami has at least given the Colts some momentum.

Ronnie Brown rushed for 115 yards, a pedestrian number against this defense, and although the Dolphins moved inside the Indy 25 six times, they managed only one touchdown and five field goals.

Manning, the two-time MVP, also has played well. Over the last three games, he completed 72 percent of his passes, threw for 769 yards and nine TDs with no interceptions.

But to stick around for a few more weeks, Dungy realizes the offense must continue to play well while the defense needs to demonstrate it can improve.

"You have do what you do and do it in high stakes situations," he said. "You can make 100 straight free throws, but can you make the one to win the game? It's about whether you can function and do what you're called on to do when everything is on the line."

A game like Sunday's would normally create optimism.

But Manning is likely to hear more this week about his 3-6 playoff record, which includes those two wins over Denver and one over Kansas City, with no Super Bowl appearances on an otherwise impeccable resume.

"A lot of that is how games play out," Dungy said. "If you get behind and you're throwing because you have too, they can run pass-rush stunts and blitzes without regard for the run."

The Colts can use history as a roadmap, too.

The Steelers, the AFC's No. 1 seed in 2004, lost at home in the AFC Championship Game, then sneaked into the playoffs last year and wound up winning it all.

Denver followed a similar path after cruising to the AFC's No. 1 seed in 1996, getting eliminated in the divisional round and then winning the Super Bowl in 1997 as a wild-card team.

The Colts know it can be done. They just have to prove they can advance in the playoffs.

"If you have one good game, you're the hero. If you have one bad game, you're out," Dungy said. "It's kind of like the Indy 500. You get that starting position and then you run the race. Everyone remembers who won, not who got the pole."

Rain Man
01-01-2007, 02:17 PM
Indy had better put ten in the box on Saturday. As someone else mentioned on another thread, I think Eddie or Tony G or maybe even Kris Wilson will have a great game on Saturday. If they don't, it'll be because LJ is having a monster day.

Parker will be there to trash talk either way.

Ari Chi3fs
01-01-2007, 02:20 PM
They are hoping to lose to KC this time? Cuz that would be different.

the Talking Can
01-01-2007, 02:22 PM
"Manning, the two-time MVP, also has played well. Over the last three games, he completed 72 percent of his passes, threw for 769 yards and nine TDs with no interceptions."




yikes

tk13
01-01-2007, 02:27 PM
Yeah, I'm guessing Manning is going to bring it on Saturday. He knows he might need 40 points. I hope Gun is ready. I've been hard on him but I do feel confident he'll be way more prepared for this than Robinson was. Knowing Gun he probably hasn't slept yet.

Fire Me Boy!
01-01-2007, 02:32 PM
We'll have to blitz to get any pressure on Manning. Too bad we're not playing the OTHER Manning.

Guru
01-01-2007, 02:36 PM
Make no mistake, this is a winnable game. Gun had better be prepared for it though.

dj56dt58
01-01-2007, 02:51 PM
You know all that stack defense we ran in pre season but for some reason saw very little of it in the reg season? I think we were savin most of that stuff for the playoffs incase we made it. NE used some variations of it to confuse the hell out of Manning and it worked. I excpect to see a lot of 3-4 variation and see a lot of shit we didn't see much or at all during the reg season. We have to get pressure on Peyton and Let Ty Law continue to dominate Peyton during postseason play

Halfcan
01-01-2007, 03:48 PM
How many of those TD were 2 yard shovel passes to a wide open receiver. Manning will choke again.

Deberg_1990
01-01-2007, 03:51 PM
Yeah, I'm guessing Manning is going to bring it on Saturday. He knows he might need 40 points. I hope Gun is ready. I've been hard on him but I do feel confident he'll be way more prepared for this than Robinson was. Knowing Gun he probably hasn't slept yet.

They better blitz and hit him right in the mouth. Hes going to beat you either way. At least if you blitz and hit him in the chin, its been proven to have an effect on him. Id even be willing to take a few flags for late hits early in the game so it will hopefully pay dividends later in the game.