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Panic? The Colts say they're not panicking about their slow start

INDIANAPOLIS – Indianapolis Colts veteran backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, the most media-friendly player in the locker room, couldn’t do anything but laugh.

“What’s there to panic about? That’s for everybody on the outside to do,” Hasselbeck said. “We know where we stand.”

The Colts aren’t panicking because they know they’re still on top of the AFC South by a game over Houston and Jacksonville. And they know the easiest way to get the playoffs is by winning the division.

“There’s no need to panic,” receiver Andre Johnson said. “A lot of people are panicking outside of this locker room, but we have a lot of games left. We have nine games left. We just need to get on the right track as a team and play football the way that we know how to play. We’re still in control of our own destiny, so it’s up to us to get it done.”

It will be interesting to see if the Colts have that same mind frame after their three-game stretch when they play Carolina (6-0), Denver (6-0) and Atlanta (6-1). The Colts have yet to lose three straight games in the Andrew Luck era.

The Colts don’t play another game against an AFC South opponent until Dec. 13, when they travel to Jacksonville. Indianapolis has won 16 straight games against division opponents. They haven’t won a game outside of the division – five straight losses – since beating Cleveland in Week 14 last season.

“We need to win,” coach Chuck Pagano said. “We need to play good. We play good, take care of the football, eliminate friendly fire, you give yourselves a chance to win a game.”