Two weeks in a row now the Colts have taken a lead down to the wire, coming out victorious. This week, a missed field goal by Kris Brown sent the Colts to 8-0, giving them a commanding 3.5 game lead in the AFC South. The game started out great for the Colts, but slowly started to slip away when Peyton Manning threw an INT late in the first half. The defense then struggled to get the Texans off the field until the 4th quarter, when they stepped up when they were needed.
A few notes from the game:
- Manning threw 40 passes in the first half, the highest number of passes in the first half since Rich Gannon threw 41 in 2002 against the Steelers. It was also a career high for Manning in the first half. (Elias)
- The Colts have been great in close game as of late. From Ned Macey of Football Outsiders:
- It didn't take long for Dwight Freeney to extend his streak of consecutive games with a sack to 9, sacking Matt Schaub on the very first play of the game. That means he had sacks on consecutive plays, as he sacked Alex Smith on the 49ers' last offensive play last week.
Dallas Clark set the franchise record for catches in a game by a TE with 14. This was third highest reception total for a TE in NFL history (
can't find the record or who owns it) Thanks to skywalker, the record is held by Jason Witten and Kellen Winslow, Sr with 15. I'm guessing we won't see Brian Cushing trying to cover him at the end of the month.
- Seventeen games and counting...
The Colts ability to win close games is uncanny, except that it seems to disappear in the playoffs. They've won 15 of their last 16 meaningful regular season games decided by one touchdown or less but are 0-2 in the playoffs in games by one touchdown or less in that same streak. Actually, counting the playoffs, three of their last four losses by less than one touchdown are to San Diego.
Overall, it didn't look like one of the Colts' best games this season, but what do the numbers say? Find out after the jump...
Here are the stats for Week 9:
|Statistic||Offense||Rank||Defense||Rank||Off/Def Above||Off/Def Below||Record|
|Avg Start Pos||31.7||9||24.0||5||Y||N||7-1|
|3 and Outs||2||5||5||3||Y||N||2-3|
|Penalty Yds / Play||0.563||13||1.451||3||Y||N||5-2|
|Net Punts Yds/Game||32.67||25||41.50||16||N||Y||4-3|
|Ranking - Week (26)||6||11||8|
|Ranking - Season (258)||79||142||97|
- I was wrong about the Colts shredding the Texans pass defense, as the Colts had their worst ANPY/A showing of the season, finishing 18th this week. I didn't think I'd see a game this year where the Colts' opponent would be better in this category, but it happened this week. This is a good candidate for why the Colts had to fight tooth and nail to win.
- The Texans defense came into the game best in the league in First Downs/Drive and Three & Outs/Game, but that didn't matter this week, as the Colts offense had quite a few long, sustaining drives.
- The Colts defense was worst in the league this week in Third/Fourth Down Conversions, as the Texans converted almost 65% of them. They flashed a stat at one point that the Texans were converting 3rd and 10+ yards at 20% this year...the Texans converted the next 2 of 10+ yards. Unacceptable.
- The Run defense was fantastic once again. Top 5 in both rushing categories. Great job by the D-Line and LBs.
- Overall it was a run of the mill, above average game for the Colts, both for the week and for the season.
Colts Season Totals through Week 9:
|Avg Start Pos||28.7||21||Bears||26.1||3||Cowboys||63-13||0.829|
|3 and Outs||2.38||2||Cowboys||3.75||19||Texans||41-15||0.732|
|Penalty Yds / Play||0.655||4||Jaguars||0.846||14||Seahawks||67-45||0.598|
|Net Punts Yds/Game||40.66||11||Raiders||42.21||27||Browns||31-27||0.534|
A few thoughts here:
- The stats in the Top 6 continue to be there, and I don't think that will change soon.
- Red Zone Efficiency is lower than it should be. The Colts absolutely cannot settle for FGs going forward. I'm guessing they'll be working on that a lot this week.
- The YPC is low, but the Success Rate is high. Getting Brown back healthy should help.
- Defensively it is still getting opposing offenses off the field. The stats relating to that (ToP/Drive, First Downs/Drive, 3rd/4th Down Conversions, Plays/Drive) are all bad. I know it is a bend but don't break defense, but a few more stops will go a long way to helping this team keep winning.
- ANPY/A still has the best record when you're above average on both sides of the ball, only losing 5 times (Giants losing to SD this week the latest). Still a good sign for the Colts.