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Indianapolis Colts' season in review

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Dan Arkush

darkush@pfwmedia.com
Executive editor

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Posted Jan. 21, 2010 @ 8:02 p.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

The Colts won 12 or more games for the seventh straight season in Jim Caldwell’s first year replacing the retired Tony Dungy as head coach and closed out the decade with a league-best 115-45 record after finishing 14-2. The team flirted with a perfect record deep into the season, but its shot at making NFL history ended on Week 16 with a controversial home loss to the Jets that also snapped an NFL single-season record 23 straight victories. 

Week One
Colts 14, Jaguars 12


A more aggressive defensive scheme courtesy of first-year coordinator Larry Coyer was a key factor, as two fourth-quarter defensive stops were needed to preserve the victory. Indy’s offense suffered a substantial blow when WR Anthony Gonzalez went down late in the first quarter with what turned out to be a season-ending knee injury.

Week Two
Colts 27, Dolphins 23


The Colts won in Miami despite having the ball for only 14:53, as the Dolphins rushed for 239 yards and ran 84 plays, compared to only 35 by Indianapolis. But Colts QB Peyton Manning made the most of his chances, engineering four different comebacks, including the game-winning drive culminating with WR Pierre Garcon’s 48-yard TD catch with 3:18 remaining.

Week Three
Colts 31, Cardinals 10


Manning was on fire in the desert, hurling four TD passes in a game for the 18th time in his career, including three in the second quarter, in a convincing prime-time victory. After allowing Miami to run wild the previous week, the Colts’ defense allowed the Cardinals a mere 24 yards on 12 carries and put heavy pressure on Cardinals QB Kurt Warner all night long.

Week Four
Colts 34, Seahawks 17

The Colts whipped up on an NFC West opponent for the second straight week, as Manning directed TD drives on four of the team’s first five possessions and  set a franchise-record with his fourth consecutive 300-yard passing game. In the first half, only three of Manning’s 20 passes hit the ground. The Colts’ defense limited Seattle to only 49 yards rushing. 

Week Five
Colts 31, Titans 9


Manning’s near-perfect start of the season continued. He joined Warner and Steve Young as the only quarterbacks to open a season by throwing for at least 300 yards in the first five games. Colts WR Reggie Wayne had his third straight game with a TD catch, and the Colts’ defense manhandled the Titans despite missing three-quarters of their starting secondary — SS Bob Sanders and CBs Kelvin Hayden and Marlin Jackson — due to injuries. 

Week Seven
Colts 42, Rams 6


Manning threw for under 300 yards for the first time in the season but still threw for three touchdowns as the Colts set a franchise record with their eighth straight road victory. The win moved the Colts’ record to 5-0 coming off the bye week since 2005. The defense got its first score of the year on rookie CB Jacob Lacey’s 35-yard interception return.

Week Eight
Colts 18, 49ers 14


With Manning out of sync, failing to throw a TD pass for the first time since Nov. 30, 2008, first-year head coach Jim Caldwell resorted to trickery, with RB Joseph Addai’s 22-yard TD pass to Reggie Wayne early in the fourth quarter turning the tide. Caldwell became the first rookie coach since the 1970 merger to win his first seven NFL games. Wayne had a career-high 12 catches for 147 yards.

Week Nine
Colts 20, Texans 17


Addai’s second TD of the game, a two-yard run with 7:11 remaining, produced a second straight game-winning score. After fighting back to take the lead, the Texans had two chances to win the game or force overtime. An interception by LB Clint Session ruined the first chance with 2:13 remaining, and Texans PK Kris Brown’s missed 42-yard field goal as time expired kept alive Indy’s perfect season. 

Week 10
Colts 35, Patriots 34


In a memorable clash between these two archrivals, the Colts stormed back from a 17-point deficit early in the fourth quarter. The winning score — Manning’s one-yard TD pass to Reggie Wayne with 13 seconds remaining — was set up by Patriots head coach Bill Belichick’s ill-fated decision to go for it on 4th-and-2 from his own 28 with 2:08 left.

Week 11
Colts 17, Ravens 15

It was another close call for the Colts, who overcame three turnovers, including two interceptions by Manning, to remain undefeated. Indy’s defense kept the Ravens out of the endzone, with LB Gary Brackett’s interception in the closing minutes sealing the victory.

Week 12
Colts 35, Texans 27


Houston was unstoppable in the first half, scoring on its first four possessions. But the Texans were shut down after halftime until Matt Schaub hit Jacoby Jones for a TD with 18 seconds left. Manning, meanwhile, rallied the troops with a pair of second-half TD passes, including a four-yarder to Dallas Clark with nine minutes left that proved to be the winning score.

Week 13
Colts 27, Titans 17


Using a different script, Manning relied on an effective ground game and a ball-control offense to hold off Tennessee. Addai ran 21 times for a season-high 79 yards and two touchdowns, while Garcon caught six passes for a career-high 136 yards.

Week 14
Colts 28, Broncos 16

The Colts overcame Broncos WR Brandon Marshall’s league-record 21 receptions for 200 yards and two TDs, setting a new franchise mark with their 13th consecutive home win. Clark caught three of Manning’s four TD passes.

Week 15
Colts 35, Jaguars 31


The Colts prevailed in a wild shootout that included 714 total yards, 43 first downs and 10 lead changes, as Manning threw for 308 yards and four TDs. Wayne caught five passes for 132 yards, Clark had seven catches for 95 yards and two scores and Chad Simpson returned a second-quarter kickoff 93 yards for a TD.

Week 16
Jets 29, Colts 15


The Colts’ perfect season went up in smoke not long after the Colts, leading 15-10, replaced Manning with Curtis Painter with 5:36 remaining in the third quarter. The Jets scored the game’s final 19 points, as boos filled the air in a very unhappy Lucas Oil Stadium.

Week 17
Bills 30, Colts 7


Buffalo’s offense generated 403 yards in an otherwise meaningless regular-season finale for both teams. Manning was 14-of-18 for 95 yards and an interception before letting Painter mop up.

Divisional playoffs
Colts 20, Ravens 3


The Colts’ defense allowed the Ravens only 87 yards rushing one week after Baltimore had rumbled for 234 yards in its playoff win over the Patriots. On offense, Manning’s TD passes to Austin Collie and Wayne in a span of 1:57 just before halftime in effect sealed the deal.

 

New York Jets' season in review

 

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