INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts have said they have the makings of a great football team, even after they lost four of their first seven games.
Their current four-game winning streak has given the Colts’ claim credibility.
“It’s building a lot of confidence,” safety Melvin Bullitt said. “We’re paying more attention to details. The guys are doing their jobs. (Defensively), it’s not just one person; it’s 11 guys getting to the ball, making plays on the ball. And the offense is coming up big, too, putting up points.”
The Colts (7-4) are tied for the wild card lead heading into today’s game against the Cleveland Browns (4-7), but the Colts can’t relax.
“I certainly hope we (don’t),” Colts quarterback Peyton Manning said. “We’re really not talking much about what we’ve done and what’s happened in the past few weeks as much as this game ahead of us. The most important game is the next one, and that’s against the Cleveland Browns. That’s all we’re thinking about.”
The Browns have struggled, winning back-to-back games only once. Starting quarterback Brady Quinn is out with a broken finger, and Derek Anderson, who was benched three games ago, will start today.
“Really, the big thing has been the inconsistency,” Browns coach Romeo Crennel said. “Generally, if you don’t play the way you need to play, you’re not able to win some games. And that’s what we’ve done. We haven’t played well enough. We’ve had some leads in the second half in a couple of those games and you would think you would be able to win them, but we haven’t won them because we haven’t made the plays.”
The Colts are coming off a grueling stretch of games, in which they defeated New England, Pittsburgh, Houston and San Diego. And they don’t want to slow down, as they hit an easier portion of the schedule with games against Cleveland, Cincinnati, Detroit and Jacksonville, which are a combined 9-35-1. The only team with a winning record remaining is 11-1 Tennessee, which ends the season at Indianapolis.
“(Offensive coordinator) Tom Moore always tells us this: ‘Every time you win, everything’s great. When you lose, everything stinks. The bed’s lousy, the food’s bad, everything,’ ” wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez said.
“But we’ve put together this win streak and things seem to be clicking better, and I think we’re executing better. Everybody’s playing a little bit better and that’s resulted in the wins.”