Week 4 Review: Inside the Numbers

Week 4 brought about another clinic put on by Peyton Manning, guiding the Colts to a 34-3 lead midway through the 4th quarter.  Want to know how good Manning's been this year?  From Elias, via ESPN:

Peyton Manning passed for 353 yards in the Colts' 34-17 win over the Seahawks. It was Manning's fourth consecutive 300-yard game, an accomplishment that should not be overlooked. Consider the following:

  • None of the top three in career passing yardage, Brett Favre, Dan Marino, or John Elway, ever recorded four straight 300-yard games.
  • Fran Tarkenton, who ranks fifth in career yardage (one position higher than Manning), never even posted two straight 300-yard games.
  • Manning's father, Archie, had back-to-back 300-yard games only once in his career and his brother, Eli, has never recorded two in a row.

With the Colts playing the Titans and Rams in their next 2 games, who are ranked 29th and 28th respectively in Defensive ANY/A, Manning could easily extend his streak to 6 games.  This would tie the NFL record, which is currently held by Steve Young, Kurt Warner, and Rich Gannon. 

More Colts Team Records, as well as all the stats after the jump...

  • The Colts have now won their 13th consecutive regular season game, which ties a franchise record, set in 2005, when the Colts started 13-0. Hopefully the Colts can extend this a few more games.
  • Last night, ESPN put up a graphic saying that teams that start 4-0 make the playoffs 84% of the time, which is a very good sign.  I didn't have to go very far back to find the last team to start 4-0 and miss the playoffs:  the 2008 Bills.  I'd forgotten they started 4-0 last year, before completely tanking.  Good sign of things to come.
  • From Elias via ESPN again:  This is only the 3rd time in NFL history that  5 teams have started 4-0.  The other years were 1968 and 2003.  Guess which franchise is the only one to be involved in all 3?  You guessed it, the Colts.  Interesting tidbit about 2003 (which we talked about in the MNF Open Thread):  The Vikings started 6-0 that year and missed the playoffs, on a last second TD catch by the Cardinals.

Here are the stats from a fantastic Week 4:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 84.8% 2 73.3% 19 N N 3-0
ANPY/A 8.488 4 5.000 14 Y N 8-0
Turnovers 1 4 2 7 Y N 9-2
Yds/Drive 47.89 2 27.90 15 Y N 6-1
ToP/Drive 3:12.7 5 3:06.6 21 N N 5-2
Yds/Play 6.841 1 4.043 5 Y N 5-1
First Downs/Drive 2.67 3 2.00 21 N N 3-1
3rd/4th Down 61.5% 2 43.8% 19 N N 3-0
Avg Start Pos 32.6 11 30.6 16 Y N 7-1
3 and Outs 2 4 2 20 N N 6-2
RZ Eff 81.0% 9 81.0% 17 N N 6-2
Plays/Drive 7.000 3 6.900 25 N N 3-2
Penalty Yds / Play 0.762 18 0.652 17 N N 6-1
RB Success 52.2% 8 37.5% 9 Y N 6-1
Yds/Carry 3.55 17 2.58 4 N N 4-3
Net Punts Yds/Game 40.50 15 44.00 25 N N 2-4


Some thoughts:

  • The Colts finished in the Top 5 in the NFL last week in each of the top 8 categories, including first in Yards / Play.  Simply amazing, and shows why it was a complete blowout.
  • The Colts "struggled" in ANY/A, only having 8.5 / Attempt, still 4th best in the league.
  • Yards / Carry defense was again top 5, only allowing 2.6 YPC.  The true test will be this week against Chris Johnson.
  • I mentioned last week that I was concerned about the 3rd/4th Down Conversion %.  I'm no longer that concerned.  Another couple weeks like this, I'll have no concerns whatsoever.
  • I think the Defensive ToP / Drive was significantly aided by the last 2 drives of the game, where the Seahawks scored twice against the 2nd team.  I wouldn't worry about that too much.

Here's how the Season looks after 4 weeks:

Statistic Offense Rank Best Defense Rank Best Record Win %
DSR 79.0% 2 Ravens 71.7% 20 Broncos 24-2 0.923
ANPY/A 9.827 1 Colts 4.140 6 Giants 33-1 0.971
Turnovers 4 7 49ers 6 14 Saints 31-5 0.861
Yds/Drive 43.61 1 Colts 30.83 19 Eagles 25-3 0.893
ToP/Drive 2:52.8 9 Steelers 3:15.9 31 Saints 25-8 0.758
Yds/Play 7.081 1 Colts 4.435 4 Broncos 26-6 0.813
First Downs/Drive 2.13 5 Ravens 2.00 27 49ers 21-4 0.840
3rd/4th Down 46.9% 5 Dolphins 49.3% 30 Jets 17-5 0.773
Avg Start Pos 28.6 19 Bears 27.8 9 Falcons 27-3 0.900
3 and Outs 10 4 Cowboys 10 29 49ers 16-7 0.696
RZ Eff 66.3% 13 49ers 62.3% 15 Broncos 17-9 0.654
Plays/Drive 6.158 7 Patriots 6.950 32 Giants 16-11 0.593
Penalty Yds / Play 0.658 6 Dolphins 0.446 30 Patriots 31-18 0.633
RB Success 47.9% 11 Ravens 54.5% 27 Titans 24-12 0.667
Yds/Carry 3.54 26 Cowboys 4.02 15 Ravens 17-17 0.500
Net Punts Yds/Game 41.91 10 Seahawks 42.29 24 Browns 13-13 0.500


A couple thoughts here:

  • The Colts are leading the league in 3 of the Top 6 stats, and are 2nd in another.  Again, 4-0 is pretty easy to explain when looking at these numbers.
  • The Colts defense has been doing a great job at Average Starting Position, causing opposing teams to go a longer distance than the offense does.  That is very un-Colt-like, and is a good sign.  It's still a much better stat than in year's past.
  • The Defense is still struggling in certain areas (ToP/Drive, 3rd/4th Down %, and 3 & Outs) that need to be addressed.  Yards / Play is great, and consistent with Colts' Defenses of the past.  Opposing offenses are usually only successful when they dink and dunk down the field.
  • The Colts ANY/A number of 9.83 / Attempt is still on track to break the 2004 record, and should go up over the next 2 games (like I mentioned above).  The top 4 teams in ANY/A offense?  Colts, Giants, Saints, and Broncos.  Still not convinced about how awesome ANY/A is?  I'm not sure a better argument can be made.
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