Tony Dungy isn't one to ruffle any feathers, so when he was asked about the Eagles, he gave them their proper respect. The truth is, that Dungy truly believes that the Eagles are a good team with a strong coach and tough players.
Colts coach Tony Dungy knows Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid very well.
The two have faced off against each other as NFL assistants (Dungy with Minnesota and Reid with San Francisco and Green Bay) several times and as
prominent head coaches in the league.
So it comes as no surprise that Dungy expects Sunday night's nationally televised game with Philadelphia to be every bit as tough as their previous get-togethers.
"He's a good coach. Very solid. They've got a great system," the Colts coach said. "We've competed against them for a long time. Their guys are always going to be prepared. They're going to be ready to go. They really don't deviate from
what they do. They just out execute you. And I have a lot of respect for that."
The Eagles (5-5) will be without starting quarterback Donovan McNabb, who is lost for the remainder of the season due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Veteran Jeff Garcia got the nod from Reid this week and will be
behind center against the 9-1 Colts.
Dungy, though, doesn't expect very many changes from what Reid and Philadelphia offense likes to do.
"They're going to throw it. That's their offense and they're going to continue to do what they do. They're very explosive. They've been explosive in
the passing game. They've been explosive in the running game," Dungy said.
"Their screen game is as good as anybody in the league and they get a lot of big plays to Brian Westbrook on screens. So, we think they're going to continue to do what they do and we have to be ready to defend that."
Garcia is very familiar with the Eagles' West Coast offensive attack - having had success in the same type of system when he played at San Francisco - which means that Philadelphia should be able to perform without missing too much
of a beat.
"They have talented guys all through their lineup, and it's not like they're going to an unknown guy. They're going to a guy who's been in Pro Bowls, who knows the system as well as Donovan knows it, and who's proven what he can do," Dungy said.
"I don't expect them to really change too much, and I think they're going to come out knowing that they have six weeks to either make or break their season. So, we're going to see their best."
A victory would account for the fifth 10-win Colts team under head coach Tony Dungy, surpassing Hall of Fame coach Don Shula's total of four as a coach with the franchise.
The Colts will be making their third appearance on NBC's Sunday Night Football. The Colts knocked off the New York Giants 26-21 on September 10 and registered a 27-20 win over the New England Patriots on November 5.
The Colts own the NFL's best regular-season record since the 1999 season at 86-36.
Indianapolis is the only league team to earn six playoff appearances in the last seven seasons.
The Colts have won 31 of their last 35 league games.
Indianapolis has a 2-0 record against Philadelphia coach Andy Reid.
Dungy is 2-1 overall against Andy Reid. Reid's lone win came in an NFC wild card matchup during the 2000 season when Dungy was coaching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Reid has a 16-15 overall record against AFC teams. And is 2-7 overall against AFC South teams.
QB Peyton Manning has completed 34-of-49 passes for 554 yards, six touchdowns and zero interceptions in two previous meetings with the Eagles. Manning has a career 144.6 passer rating against Philadelphia. He recorded a perfect rating of 158.3 (18-of-23 for 319 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions) in a 35-13 win at Veterans Stadium on November 11, 2002.
Manning needs 219 passing yards to tie Hall of Fame QB Dan Marino for second most 3,000-yard seasons in a row at nine.
WR Marvin Harrison is a Philadelphia native (Roman Catholic HS), where he was a three-time Maxwell Award winner as the city's top player.
Harrison has 17 career catches for 303 yards and four touchdowns in three games against his hometown NFL team. He notched career highs of six catches (tied for career high against the Eagles), 137 yards and two touchdowns in a 35-13 win at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia on November 10, 2002.
Harrison (13,144) needs 55 receiving yards to surpass former Buffalo WR Andre Reed (13,198) for the sixth-most in league history.
Harrison (987) needs 13 catches in order to become the fourth player in league history with 1,000.
Harrison and Eagles QB Donovan McNabb were collegiate teammates at Syracuse during the 1995 season.
DE Raheem Brock was born in Newark, New Jersey, attended Dobbins HS and Temple University in Philadelphia. His father, Zachary Dixon, was a running back on the Eagles' 1980 Super Bowl team. Dixon played from 1979-84 with Philadelphia.
Brock was the Eagles' seventh-round draft pick in 2002 but the team relinquished his rights when the team ran out of money to sign rookies. He signed with the Colts a few days later.
RB Joseph Addai leads all NFL rookies with 618 yards rushing.
TE Dallas Clark has a touchdown catch in three straight games against NFC opponents.
CB Nick Harper's two interceptions this year came against NFC East foes (New York Giants, Dallas).
WR Reggie Wayne has scored seven touchdowns in his last six games.
BY THE NUMBERS: 400 - A win by Indianapolis over the Eagles Sunday would give the Colts' franchise 400 regular-season victories.
HE SAID WHAT? "We've been outscored in the fourth quarter this year, which isn't a good sign. We've made more mistakes than I like to see us make. We've had situations where it's hard to understand some of the things that we do, not
lining up right and not just doing really routine things, not playing defense the way it's designed. And when that happens, you begin to wonder a little bit. But it's certainly nothing major that we have to do. It's not a matter of people catching up with us or figuring out how to play us. I think we just have to get back, in spite of the fact of being 9-1, and we can't lose sight of that. We have to get back to doing little things the way we need to do them." - Colts coach Tony Dungy on the mental and physical errors his team has made in recent weeks.