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The Colts Influence




Game 17

 January 1, 2006
(2005 Season)
17 VS 13

In memory of James Dungy
January 6, 1987 - December 22, 2005

Story Line with Photos     Game Notes    Preview



















at RCA Dome
Paid Attendance: 57,211

Start Time: 1:02 PM EST

Played Dome on Turf:  Field Turf

Referee: Ron Winter (14)
Line Judge: Tom Stephan (68)
Field Judge: Doug Rosenbaum (67)
Umpire: Ed Coukart (71)
Side Judge: John Parry (132)
Replay Official: Ken Baker 
Head Linesman: Tom Stabile (24)
Back Judge: Bob Lawing (17)


On Sunday, many of the fans showed up for an otherwise meaningless game. Indy had already clinched the AFC's top seed and Arizona was already eliminated from the playoffs.
Fans came to show their support for Dungy.


* By now, everyone is familiar with the tragic story of Tony Dungy’s 18 year old son, James, who died of an apparent suicide on December 22, 2005. Due to the tragic event, football, understandably, took a back seat in Dungy’s life as he took care of his family and took care of everything else that came with his son’s death. No one would ever fault Dungy for this. In fact, football fans everywhere would have understood if Dungy decided to take a leave of absence for the rest of the year. But, Dungy is a strong man, who understands that it is not wise to wallow in one’s grief. So, this weekend he returned to the sideline to coach the Colts to a 17-13 victory over the Arizona Cardinals to end a 2 game losing streak. Not many men could have done that, and, for that, I honor Tony Dungy as this week’s True Man Award winner (the name change is a sign of respect to Dungy and to mark the seriousness of all that he has gone through). I salute you, Mr. Dungy, and I wish you all the luck come playoff time. I know that I for one will be rooting for nothing but your success. *

* Whooley’s Wise Weekly Words

Before the game, the Colts had a moment of silence in honor of James Dungy.

When Dungy walked onto the field, he received a standing ovation and waved to the crowd. For much of the game, he was his usual self; hands folded, pacing stoically along the sideline.

With home-field advantage assured weeks ago, Dungy treated this game much like a preseason contest. Star running back Edgerrin James was a healthy scratch and quarterback Peyton Manning played only the first series, while defensive stars Bob Sanders, Cato June, Corey Simon and Robert Mathis were also rested with nagging injuries.

Wide receivers Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne played two series. Other front-line players quickly followed them to the bench.

Tripplett, defensive lineman Raheem Brock, who was in Arizona quarterback Josh McCown's face all afternoon and had 1 1/2 sacks applying consistent pass-rush pressure, and numerous backups as Jim Sorgi, Aaron Moorehead, Kurt Vollers, Rob Morris, Kelvin Hayden, Keith O'Neil and Jonathan Goddard all played the guts of the game and beat an Arizona team that went with all of their starters all the way.

Mind you, The Cardinals and the Colts are the only NFL teams in the top 10 in both offensive yards gained and defensive yards allowed per game.

Yet, Sorgi and the backup crew played a damn good game in the face of a blitzing Arizona defense: 21-of-31, 207 yards, one interception, and touchdowns to Troy Walters and Ben Utecht and defeated Cardinals quarterback McCown along with two of the top four receivers in the league - Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin.

"Just to win the way we did against their starters with a lot of our backups, it shows how deep we are," Walters said.

Like so many others, he knew this wouldn't be a day off.

"Everybody in the room who suited up had the mind-set that they might play one play, they might play 50, it just depends on the game," he said. "Everybody was ready."


On With The Show . . .

Colts win the toss, elects to receive, and Cardinals elects to defend the West goal.


Quarterback Peyton Manning started the game with 3 and out which included a rare incomplete pass to Reggie Wayne and a Peyton sack.

With that, Peyton concludes with starting 16 games for eighth consecutive season.

Cardinals went the same route on their possession as Quarterback McCown went three and out which included a sack by Gary Brackett.

Backup Colts Quarterback Jim Sorgi took over at the helm with some promising plays which included a 15 yard pass to Dominick Rhodes and a 14 yarder to Marvin Harrison. However, Colts ended up punting again.

Again, McCown went three and out on their next drive which included a sack of minus 7 yards by Raheem Brock and Dwight Freeney.

AP Photo/Darron Cummings

I have witnessed some really bad calls in my days, but how the hell does a quarterback CLEARLY get sacked in their own endzone for a safety, yet was ruled down at the 1 yard line!?

Look above . . .

where is the 1 yard line?

Cardinals punt it away . . .

On Colts next possession Jim Sorgi didn't waste anytime while driving 49 yards in 4 plays in a little over two minutes by connecting with backup Wide Receiver, Arron Moorehead three times for completions of 8 yards, 24 yards and then 3 yards. Sorgi topped his drive off with a 14 yard pass to backup Tight End, Ben Utecht in front of Arizona Cardinals defender Robert Griffith into the end zone for the games first score, 7-0 Colts!

AP Photo/Michael Conroy

On the Cardinals next drive, quarterback McCown used 10 plays to get to the Colts 15 yard line before going into the second quarter.



McCown was able to get his team down to The Colts 1 yard line where The Indianapolis Colts Defense gave one hell of a standoff. McCown was unable to get into the end zone when they turned it over to Kicker, Neil Rackers for a 28 yard fieldgoal making it Colts 7 -  Cardinals 3.

On Colts next possession, although Sorgi was able to move the chains once, Colts ended up having to punt.

Cardinals next possession, McCown again went three and out.

On Colts next series, Sorgi threw to Troy Walters as it was picked off by Cardinals Linebaker James Darling at Colts 7 yard line. Not good!

Cardinals Obafemi Ayanbadejo ran for 4 yards to The Colts 3 yard line. Another Colts end zone standoff was successful as McCown passed to Marcel Shipp and was picked off by Colts Linebacker, Gilbert Gardner.

Matt Kryger / The Star

Take that: Colts outside linebacker Gilbert Gardner (51) celebrates with his teammates after his interception of a second-quarter pass at the Colts 1-yard line short-circuited a Cardinals drive with Indianapolis ahead 7-3.

The interception was the first of Gardner's NFL career.

Sorgi again took control moving the Colts down to the 26 yard line and capping it off with a Mike Vanderjagt  44 yard fieldgoal making the score, Colts 10 - Cardinals 3.

On Cardinals next series they were able to move the chains only once as McCown was sacked for a minus 6 yards by Raheem Brock.

AP Photo/AJ Mast

McCown was called for intentional grounding on the play.

Cardinals punted away with 56 seconds left in the First Half.

Sorgi takes a knee twice and ends the First Half with Colts 10 and Cardinal 3.




Cardinals quarterback, McCown started the Second Half by going three and out.

Sorgi again took control, moving the The Colts downfield for 52 yards in less than 2 minutes, which 15 yards came with the help of Cardinals,  Adrian Wilson for roughing the passer. Sorgi complimented the drive with an 18 yard touchdown pass to Troy Walters to bring the score up to Colts 17 and Cardinals 3.

On Cardinals next series, McCown finally got it into the end zone bringing the score to Colts 17 - Cardinals 10.

On Colts next series, Sorgi again was only able to move the chains once and then ended up having to punt the ball away.

McCown  drove his Cardinals downfield with 8 plays for  50 yards to go into the fourth quarter of the game.




McCown made 6 plays for 34 yards to leave the scoring to Rackers for a 42 yard fielgoal bringing the score to Colts 17 and Cardinals 13.

Sorgi was unable to take The Colts anywhere on their next series with a holding call on Ulrich and ended up punting.

On their own 11 yard line, McCown ran 15 plays in a little less than 7 minutes down to the Colts 10 yard line which included a fourth-down pass from McCown to Obafemi Ayanbadejo to set up a first down for the Cardinals at the Indianapolis 10-yard line.

Here we are at another Colts end zone standoff as McCown ran the ball up the middle for 8 yards and was hit by Josh Williams which created a McCown fumble, however it was recovered by Cardinals. Next play was denied an end zone gain as Marcel Shipp was stopped at the 1 yard line by Kieth O'Neil.  On Cardinals next play, they again attempted to run Shipp up the middle as he was met by Larry Tripplett and Josh Thomas for no gain on the play on third down . . .

With twenty-two seconds left on the clock, the Cardinals were faced with a 4th and goal situation on the one yard line.

Cardinals snap the ball as McCown appears to sneak into the end zone on their last play as his helmet reached the goal line while defensive tackle Larry Tripplett made the hit and linebacker Gilbert Gardner drove in to ensure McCown didn't slither through. As the two Colts defenders spun McCown completely around and forced McCown to fumble and recovered by Colts linebacker Rob Morris in the end zone.

SAM RICHE / The Star

Officials ruled the play a touchdown as they claimed McCown broke the plane of the goal line.



The Colts vehemently disagreed.



Being challenged and after reviewing of the play, referee Ron Winter walked back to the field and announced, "The ball did not . . . ''

The specifics of his explanation were engulfed and muffled by the sellout crowd. No matter. It was clear to Winter, just as it was to the Colts' stubborn defense and everyone who saw Arizona quarterback Josh McCown's fourth-and-1 sneak on the Dome's giant video boards, that McCown and the Cardinals had come up short.

The play was reversed and ruled a fumble and recovered by Indianapolis Colts. Colts quarterback Jim Sorgi took a knee to end the game.

The play preserved the Colts' 17-13 victory.

The Colts 14th win finished as the NFL's best record and set a team standard for regular-season victories.

"I knew he wasn't in,'' Tripplett said. "I was surprised they called him in because we hit him on the 1-yard line.''

The replay verified for the Colts and the sellout crowd what they already knew.

Once Tripplett saw the replay, before Winter's abbreviated announcement, "I went and sat down because I knew we had won the game.''

"I told the umpire, 'I'm taking this ball to my coach.
 If they change this call, I'm taking this ball to my coach."

Mike Doss raced to the sideline and presented the football that McCown failed to take into the end zone - the game ball - to coach Tony Dungy.

SAM RICHE / The Star

The Colts' Mike Doss hugs head coach Tony Dungy after presenting him with the game ball on the sidelines at the end of the game.

Dungy, back on the sideline after missing the Dec. 24 loss at Seattle because of the death of James, his 18-year old son, even the Indianapolis Colts coach couldn't resist the temptation to respond. In a rare emotional outburst, he grabbed the ball, raised it in his right hand and pumped it toward the crowd, which roared in approval.


Who could blame him? 

Dungy, five days after burying his oldest son, 18-year-old James, watched Jim Sorgi throw two touchdown passes and got the goal-line stand he needed - thanks to a replay reversal - in the final seconds to give the Colts a 17-13 victory over Arizona.

"I know those guys wanted to win the game for me and wanted to do it for a lot of reasons," Dungy said. "But I think they wanted to win it for me, and they came up with the effort to do it. It was special."


Indy (14-2) set a franchise record for victories and avoided its first three-game losing streak since 2002.

Vanderjagt's five points gave him 995 in his career

Despite playing one series, Manning gets credit for the victory and has now beaten every NFL team except Carolina

A first-round playoff bye. As the AFC's No. 1 seed, the Colts won't play again until the divisional round Jan. 14 or 15 at the RCA Dome.


Game 12 against STEELERS

Game 5 against 49er's

Game 11 against the Bengal's

Game 4 against Titans

Game 17 against Cardinals

Game 10 against the TEXANS again

Game 3 against Browns

Game 16 against Seahawks

Game 9 against PATRIOTS

Game 2 against Jaguars

Game 15 against Chargers

Game 8 - BYE WEEK

Game 1 against Ravens

Game 14 against Jaguars again

Game 7 against the TEXANS


Game 13 against TITANS again

Game 6 against Rams


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