Talk of Rust Goes by the Wayside

Rust? What rust? OK, maybe the Indianapolis Colts offense looked to be a little sluggish at times in the team's 20-3 AFC Divisional Playoff win over the Baltimore Ravens. But then, the Colts have been able to make just enough plays this season to register a 15-2 overall record and remain as the top seed in the AFC playoffs.

"We had a little rust. I guess you can say that. We didn't score every time we touched the ball, so I guess you could say there was a little rust. But we were able to get the (win). All three phases of the game were flying around and making plays," wide receiver Reggie Wayne said.

The Colts' players had heard for the past two weeks about the team's postseason problems, not winning a game after earning a first-round bye.

"It was important to us. People were talking about the bye week and everything. To us, it was preparation week. We went back to training camp mode, prepare like that. We came out and we were fast, we were physical, and we were the better team," safety Melvin Bullitt said.

"That's what we wanted to do. We wanted to show everyone that, that week wasn't a bye week to us. It was preparation week, that's what coach Caldwell called it, and that's the way we took it. We came out full speed, and we said we wanted to start fast and that's what we did. The defense had to set a tone and make a point. Special teams did excellent, and of course, the offense is going to score points. So, (when) we put those three elements together, we're going to win the game."

NOTES, QUOTES

— "He's one of those guys doesn't get riled very often. He really has great, extraordinary focus. But obviously the circumstances that he's dealing with are very, very difficult. For him to be able to come out and focus in on the ball game and perform extremely well says a lot about him." — Coach Jim Caldwell on WR Pierre Garcon playing against the Ravens despite thoughts being on family members in Haiti.

— "Obviously, being healthy was important. We had a lot of guys back. Jerraud Powers played. Pierre (Garcon) was back 100 percent. Made some plays. There is no question every football player is going to be sore and nicked up late in the season. I think guys used the off week. We kind of called it preparation week and got some guys healthy. I thought we really had good preparation coming into this game and I thought we came out sharp on both sides of the ball. Really from the get-go, kind of set the tempo for the game." — QB Peyton Manning on what was accomplished during the team's bye week.

— "We really felt like we were pretty fired up. We felt like we had some energy. That's kind of how we wanted to play today. One thing about this team, we never worry about what's going on outside this locker room. Everybody always has their doubts about rest and this and that. We know how we feel. That's the most important thing. We were able to come out here today and fly around. Our defense did a great job holding them to three points and we got a 'W.'" — WR Reggie Wayne on the mood of the team heading in to the AFC Championship Game.

— Indianapolis' 20-3 AFC divisional playoff win over Baltimore was the team's first-ever postseason win at Lucas Oil Stadium. "The Luke" opened prior to the start of the 2008 season. The Colts' only postseason game last year was played in San Diego.

— The 65,565 fans who watched the Colts-Ravens AFC divisional playoff game Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium was the biggest home crowd in franchise history.

PLAYER NOTES

— QB Peyton Manning has now compiled an 8-8 postseason record. He has won more playoff games then either Dan Marino (8-10) or Warren Moon (3-7) and has won one less than Bart Starr (9-1).

— WR Reggie Wayne has become the 11th player in NFL history to surpass 1,000 receiving yards in the postseason. Wayne has now played in 14 postseason games and has 1,026 total receiving yards.

— Unofficially, DT Daniel Muir had a team-leading seven tackles against the Ravens. It's the first time this season that Muir has led the Colts in tackles for a game.

— RB Joseph Addai suffered a shoulder injury in the first half of Saturday night's game. He later returned to play in the game. His status for the AFC Championship Game won't be determined until sometime early this week, although the injury was not considered to be serious.

— S Antoine Bethea had the wind knocked out of him after he intercepted a Joe Flacco pass in the fourth quarter of the playoff game with Baltimore. Bethea hit the turf hard after picking off the pass and appeared to fall awkwardly onto his back. He fully expects to play this week in the AFC Championship Game.


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