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Colts swing momentum their way

– Robert Mathis insists momentum matters.

He remembers Indianapolis pulling things together to make a Super Bowl run after the 2006 season and realizes six of the past eight Super Bowl champs played on wild-card weekend. The teams that survive and advance this time of year are the ones capable of cranking up the intensity while minimizing mistakes.

Yes, the new NFL sacks champion has done his homework and figures that model bodes well for his Colts.

“I think if you check the last six Super Bowl winners, they got hot at the right time,” Mathis said Monday. “That’s what it’s all about, getting hot at the right time.”

No team has done that better this season than the AFC South champions.

Only one of the NFL’s 12 playoff teams heads into the postseason with a longer winning streak than Indy (11-5). San Diego has won four straight. The Colts, Carolina and San Francisco each have won three in a row. But Indy’s résumé may be the most impressive of the group.

In a league where one-possession games are the norm, Indy has won its past three all by 16 or more points, including a 23-7 victory at Kansas City (11-5) on Dec. 22.

The Colts are playing their best football of the season and at just the right time – heading into Saturday’s rematch with the Chiefs (11-5), who have lost five of seven.

“That’s our goal,” running back Donald Brown said, “getting better each week, learning from our mistakes and just moving forward.”

After six up-and-down weeks of alternating narrow wins and blowout losses, contending with agonizingly slow starts and the constant injury battle, the Colts’ called a players-only meeting to discuss fixes.

“It was guys meeting, men talking and holding each other accountable,” Mathis said, declining to reveal details of the private discussion.

Whatever was said worked.

“I think the key to it is now we’ve had the same guys in the lineup a little bit more so we’re kind of feeling comfortable with each other knowing who is out there,” said kicker Adam Vinatieri, a four-time Super Bowl champ.

“I think guys are really, really trying to do the extra little stuff to get us to the next level. If that’s on the iPads, if that’s more meeting time, if that’s a little more field time, if it’s more time in the training room to make sure you can get as healthy as you can so you can play the best that you can. I think that focus is really amped up.”

Notes: Cornerback Vontae Davis (groin), defensive tackle Aubrayo Franklin (knee) and linebacker Bjoern Werner (ankle) all left Sunday’s game with injuries and are listed day to day after their MRIs were negative. ... Offensive lineman Mike McGlynn (elbow) and defensive end Cory Redding (shoulder) are expected to play this week after being inactive Sunday. ...

The Colts said 7,000 tickets remain for Indy’s first home playoff game in nearly three years.