Two weeks into the 2010 NFL season, the Indianapolis Colts are still trying to find themselves.
After a sluggish performance in the Colts' season-opening loss at Houston, the team rebounded with a convincing win over the New York Giants last week.
Now it's on to Denver to face a team that -- like the Colts -- came up with a big win in Week Two (knocking off Seattle) after a surprising loss in its season opener (to Jacksonville).
"Denver has so much experience. Their nose tackle (Jamal Williams) has been playing for 13 years. (Brian) Dawkins, their strong safety, has been playing for 15 years. Both corners (Champ Bailey and Andre' Goodman) have been playing for 12 and nine years," said coach Jim Caldwell.
"Their other safety (Renaldo Hill) has been playing for 10 years. Across the board, there have been some pretty experienced guys that have played within their system."
While the Colts played Denver in a home game a year ago (winning 28-16 at Lucas Oil Stadium), there have been enough changes on the coaching staff and on the roster that looking at last year's game tape may not be as much help as it usually would be.
"It's a little different wrinkle (defensively)," Caldwell said. "I think what happens is that even though (defensive coordinator Don Martindale) was there last year (serving as the Broncos' linebackers coach), I do believe he's added his own personality to what they're doing (defensively).
"So we're seeing some little different things than we saw last year from them. Like most teams that felt pretty good about where they were, he has a blend of both. He has a little bit of what you saw last year and then you see his own flavor as well."
Team president Bill Polian sees a tough game ahead for the Colts.
"We have to get better and play in a tough place to play. We're in Denver and they're coming off a big win against Seattle, so we have our work cut out for us there," Polian said.
For the first time in several seasons, Indianapolis is in the middle of the division race instead of leading it. The Colts, at 1-1, are tied for second in the AFC South with Tennessee and Jacksonville. They're all following 2-0 Houston heading into this weekend's slate of games.
"It is not like it has never happened to us before obviously," Caldwell said. "I'm not an overview guy. I'm a one-week, one-game-at-a-time guy. That's how I function. That's how my life is built. I know whom we are playing this week and that's whom we focus in on.
"Yes, it is a little different for us, but what's not different is that we have a big challenge in front of us. So that's what we try and stay focused upon."
19th meeting. Broncos lead regular-season series, 11-7. Indianapolis leads the post-season series, 2-0. The Colts have won the last three meetings (34-31, 10/29/06; 38-20, 9/30/07; and 28-16, 12/13/09). Indianapolis has posted wins in five of the last seven regular-season meetings (29-10, 1/6/02; 23-20 in overtime, 11/24/02). The Colts have a franchise mark of 2-6 for games played in Denver, including losing five straight from 1977 to 1993. Indianapolis is 2-1 at Invesco Field since 2002. The Colts won postseason games against Denver in 2004 (41-10) and 2005 (49-24).
Copyright (C) 2010 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.