Surviving the Storms

That's what the Indianapolis Colts have been doing for the last four games, winning them all by a combined 10 points. The Colts' wins have been anything but pretty. But they're still wins. NFL teams don't get extra credit for style points.

That being said, coach Jim Caldwell's team has to clean up mistakes that have come very close to giving the Colts (10-0) their first loss, especially since Indianapolis has a couple of big AFC South games over the next two weeks.

First up is a road trip to Reliant Stadium to face the Houston Texans this week. Then it's back home to Lucas Oil Stadium to face the Tennessee Titans. Both games are rematches.

Quarterback Peyton Manning certainly knows that Indianapolis needs to get down to work and concentrate on the Houston game.

"One game at a time since the beginning of the season. And that's the way it will continue to be," Manning said after the Colts' 17-15 win over the Ravens. "We're certainly getting everybody's best shot. I think sometimes that you have to understand that (the wins aren't going to be) picture perfect. From start to finish. We call it fighting through the storms.

"But the thing about these close games is that it's testing us. We're finding a way to win these close games. Coach Caldwell is preaching to us about trying to find a complete game. We're always searching for that."

The Colts coach agreed.

"We certainly might not be pleased that we didn't play well all the way around as we're capable. We turned the ball over a few times (three against Baltimore)," Caldwell said.

"But, all in all, our guys just keep finding ways to win. And when the games are tight at the end, they find a way to squeak it out and come up with some big turnovers and get us in position to get another (win)."

UNDER THE RADAR: Most people figure the Colts have only one receiving threat at tight end. While Dallas Clark has 65 catches for 771 yards and four touchdowns in 2009, there are more options for QB Peyton Manning to consider. TE Gijon Robinson is the first backup behind Clark, but he was sidelined against the Ravens due to a concussion. Then there are TEs Tom Santi and Jacob Tamme. They were both drafted in 2008 but their progress has been slowed by an array of injuries the last two seasons.

Santi, who was sidelined with an ankle injury early this season and was on the Colts' practice squad for the last several weeks, had a career-high six catches for 80 yards in the win over Baltimore and gave the Indianapolis offense a big shot in the arm against the Ravens.

BY THE NUMBERS: 0 — For the second time this season, and the second straight game, DE Dwight Freeney did not register a sack. Freeney has a team-high 9.5 sacks in 2009.

DE Robert Mathis also did not have a sack against the Ravens. It's the third time this year that Mathis did not record a sack. Mathis has 9 sacks for the season, second on the team behind Freeney.


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