Head coach Tony Dungy
(on how the Colts' defense has improved) "We've got some young guys that have helped us. They're still learning and maybe still a little bit inconsistent, but they bring a lot of energy. We've got a little bit more team speed. The guys that have been here a year are grasping things a little bit better. We're playing better most of the time."
(on playing the Texans) "We're expecting a tough game. We've looked at their home games. They took New England into overtime in a game they probably should have won. They had Tennessee on the ropes in a game they should have won. They beat the Falcons. We know what they're capable of doing and they do seem to play a little bit better at home. We know that we're going to have to come down there and play well. We have a lot riding on it and a lot of incentive. It should be an outstanding game."
(on the AFC South division) "I think it's going to be the best division in football next year without question if you just judge where the teams are now. There are outstanding quarterbacks on all four teams. You've got the defenses that are coming on everywhere. Just look at what Jacksonville has been able to do. They beat us and really had a chance to beat Tennessee coming down the stretch. The Texans have done the same thing. They've played well. I just think that nobody is going to want to play any of the teams in this division next year."
(on the Colts' success on the road) "We're a little disappointed in how we've played at home. We've seemed to accept the challenge on the road. Our offense has done a great job of functioning and moving the ball when we've been on the road. That has probably been the biggest thing. If you can handle the elements and the noise--that slows most teams down when they go on the road. We seem to do a pretty good job at that. We've got a veteran unit that has been there on offense. That has probably been the key to our success."
(on the mindset of the Colts this week) "We have to approach this game for what it is. It's a big game for us, really a must-win situation in terms of getting a home game (in the playoffs) and winning the division title. You have to be up-front about that and know what's at stake. The way you win big games is the way you win any other game--by being well-prepared, by playing hard, by limiting your mistakes and making the other team really function well to beat you. That's what we've tried to do every game and we try not to change that outlook no matter whether the game is home or away, whether it's a playoff game or a preseason game."
(on the Colts' offense) "We have a pretty good offense. The guys that have joined us now really have a good feel for it and they are functioning well. We've always had some good players, but we have good players now that really know the offense. That is probably the biggest difference."
(on the Colts' missed opportunities) "We do feel like we blew a great opportunity at home. We knew after the Tennessee game that we just had to win our two home games and we'd be the division champs. Not taking care of business on Sunday night was really disappointing, but we can't look back at that. That's where we are. We still have a chance to have a 12-4 season, which is outstanding no matter how you look at it. And we still have a chance to win our division, which is a tough division to play in. We can accomplish a lot of things with a win and that's the way we're going to approach it coming down there."
(on the Colts' recent inconsistent play) "Two weeks ago we played an outstanding game. We probably played our best game of the year against Atlanta. We moved the ball offensively, played well on special teams, shut Michael Vick down. We thought we'd do the same thing against Denver, and we didn't. It has just been consistency probably on defense more than anything else. When we've played well on defense, we've generally won."
(on having so much to play for this week) "It will get us prepared for next week for sure. It's going to be a playoff-type atmosphere for us because we want to win the game. The difference is if we lose it's not the end of the year as it is in the playoffs. It's the same thing--we have got that much riding on it. It will be nice to put ourselves in that position one week before the playoffs start."
(on the Patriots being the team to beat in the AFC playoffs) "The Patriots have played the most consistent football of anyone. They've won a lot of close games. They beat us really on the last play of the game from the one-yard line. They beat the Texans in overtime. They won the other night against the Jets in a really tough, hard-fought game. What they're doing is they're winning those (close) games. Anytime you've won 10 or 11 straight (games) like they have, you have to be considered the favorite. But I don't think anyone in the AFC is going to go to New England and say, 'Oh, we can't win because they've just been so dominant.' So, I think it is a good year to be in the playoffs, and I know that everybody that's in is going to be very confident."
(on the Colts' injuries) "We're actually are about as healthy as we've been all year, even healthier than we were in week one of the season. We probably have Rob Morris and Mike Doss, who are going to go into the game doubtful. Other than that, we're sitting in pretty good shape. Jim Nelson is not going to play. Other than that, we're in pretty good shape."
(on if the Colts have a sense of urgency) "We want to win the division for sure. That was our goal from the beginning of training camp. We know what we have to do to get that done and that's going to be our motivation--to go down there, get ourselves a win and see if we can lock this division up."
DE Dwight Freeney
(on the Colts' success on the road) "I really don't know. Maybe we play better when everything is against us like hearing the crowd noise. It probably makes us focus a little bit better."
(on the Texans being dangerous at home) "Oh yeah, definitely. They have played great at home. They almost beat Tennessee last week. They're a different team at home. It's the last game of the year and I'm sure these guys want to leave the year making a good impression."
(on the improvement of the Texans' quarterback protection) "It's a big improvement. They're doing a bunch of different things. They're three-step dropping a little bit more and getting the ball away quicker. They're doing a little dash and things to protect their quarterback. They're doing a lot better job."
(on the importance of this game) "That's definitely one of our goals for the year. We have to play well and get some momentum built up for the playoffs."
(on the AFC South next year) "Top to bottom our division is getting better and better. Houston is definitely getting a lot better. And Jacksonville is getting better every game. We'll have a real tough division. It's not going to be just Tennessee and Indianapolis anymore."
(on New England being the favorite in the AFC) "I guess you would have to say a favorite in everybody else's eyes. The fact of their record and they beat basically everybody out here in the AFC. Going to New England is a tough place to play. No one really likes going out there and playing in the snow, but you have to deal with it. We're football players and I'm sure all of our careers we have not been in a dome. Everybody has played outside in snow before or cold weather and played well. We just can't let that type of thing bother us. We just have to win games and hope we get there."
(on treating a playoff game like just another game) "You have to do what you have to do. You just have to focus. It's not easy to say it's just another game because it is a playoff game. At the same time, we have to do what we have to do and do what we know and what we have done all year. We have to get our mindset and our mindframe somewhere in that area."
(on David Carr's improvement) "He's a much better quarterback. He's making much better decisions. He's not holding the ball as much and he's scrambling a lot more. If something is not open, he's not forcing it and not holding onto the ball. He's definitely doing a better job."
(on what is being done about last week's loss) "We just have to forget about it and move on. You learn what you learn. We have to deal with it that Monday coming in the next day after the game. It's over with and we just have to move on."
(on the focus of the Colts this week) "The focus is beating the Houston Texans. Trying to win this next game and build some momentum."
(on Domanick Davis) "He's a hard runner. He's one of the better backs out there. He's running the ball really hard and he likes to get a lot yards after somebody hits him. Last time, he had a good game against us so we have to really prepare tough against him."