Week 11: Inside the Numbers

BBS showed us a dumb article by Paul Kuharsky, in which he claimed the Colts were outplayed by the Ravens.  I decided not to comment on this article until I looked at the "facts", or stats.  Well guess what I found...Paul was dead wrong.  In fact, the Colts played pretty well on both sides of the ball.  A couple notes first, then the stats you can wave in Paul's face:

  • Elias via ESPN: With the Colts and Saints both going to 10-0, it is only the third time in NFL history two different teams have started the same season 10-0.  First was in 1934 (Packers and Lions), and the 2nd was in 1990 (Giants and 49ers).  For all you Tecmo Super Bowl fans, this was the season the game was made from, and it is impossible for both teams to start the year 1-0 in the game, as they play each other in Week 1.  LT would always eat Joe Montana for lunch.
  • Also from Elias this week, on the Colts wins the last 4 weeks (emphasis mine):

    The Colts defeated the Ravens, 17-15, to continue their recent trend of extending their winning streak in closely-contested games. The Colts' three other victories this month had come by scores of 18-14 over the 49ers, 20-17 over the Texans and 35-34 over the Patriots, and as in their win over the Ravens, the Colts had trailed in the fourth quarter in each game. Indianapolis became the first team in NFL history to win four consecutive games after trailing during the fourth quarter in each of those games.

    The Colts became the first team in NFL history to win four consecutive games in the same season by a total margin of 10-or-fewer points. And they did it by filling an inside straight, having won those games by margins of one, two, three and four points. The previous record was set by the 1986 Giants: en route to winning the Super Bowl, Bill Parcells's team defeated the Cowboys, Eagles, Vikings and Broncos by a combined margin of 11 points.

  • 19 and counting.  Only 2 left to tie the record, against divisional opponents.  

Join me after the jump for ammunition on the ESPN AFC South blogger...


Here are the stats for Week 11:
Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 75.9% 10 69.0% 16 Y N 10-2
ANPY/A 7.387 12 6.029 14 N N 7-1
Turnovers 3 24 2 10 N N 5-4
Yds/Drive 41.67 1 39.33 26 N N 6-2
ToP/Drive 3:02.7 12 3:37.3 31 N N 10-3
Yds/Play 6.696 4 5.364 16 N N 7-3
First Downs/Drive 2.22 5 2.22 27 N N 9-3
3rd/4th Down 55.6% 5 38.5% 13 Y N 10-1
Avg Start Pos 26.7 24 29.7 17 N N 5-4
3 and Outs 2 1 3 14 N N 4-1
RZ Eff 60.7% 22 21.4% 3 N N 6-1
Plays/Drive 6.222 8 7.333 31 N N 8-4
Penalty Yds / Play 0.714 19 0.303 29 N N 8-2
RB Success 44.0% 20 32.3% 4 N N 7-1
Yds/Carry 3.04 28 3.16 6 N N 3-0
Net Punts Yds/Game 36.00 26 42.00 17 N Y 2-3
Ranking - Week (32) 11 16 12
Ranking - Season (320) 81 199 124

Some thoughts:

  • I'll just start with the Overall Ranking numbers:  12th Overall, with 11th offensively, and 16th defensively.  That doesn't look like "outplayed" to me.
  • The Colts led the league in Yards / Drive, with over 41.6 yards on each drive.  The Colts consistently drove the ball into Baltimore territory.
  • Turnovers (obviously) played a big role in this game, for both teams.  Same can be said for 3rd/4th down Conversion Pct and Red Zone Efficiency, both of which the Colts dominated.
  • The rush defense, once again, was spectacular.  4th in RB Success and 6th in YPC.  This defense can truly be counted on to stop the run now.
  • One non-Colts note:  The leader this week in ANY/A?  Brady Quinn and the Browns.  He torched the Lions for 11.1 ANY/A.  About friggin' time they let him air it out down the field.

Here are the Colts season numbers to date:

Statistic Offense Rank Best Defense Rank Best Record Win %
DSR 78.0% 1 Colts 68.2% 13 Bengals 69-7 0.908
ANPY/A 7.852 3 Saints 4.602 4 Saints 81-6 0.931
Turnovers 1.30 7 Packers 1.90 6 Saints 70-19 0.787
Yds/Drive 38.69 1 Colts 30.17 21 Eagles 69-10 0.873
ToP/Drive 2:46.1 14 Steelers 2:55.0 28 Saints 72-21 0.774
Yds/Play 6.386 2 Saints 4.959 7 Steelers 68-14 0.829
First Downs/Drive 2.14 2 Patriots 1.74 24 Saints 62-15 0.805
3rd/4th Down 50.0% 1 Colts 44.2% 30 Cardinals 62-13 0.827
Avg Start Pos 27.8 25 Bears 27.2 10 Ravens 73-19 0.793
3 and Outs 2.60 2 Cowboys 3.80 18 Eagles 48-17 0.738
RZ Eff 70.2% 8 Cardinals 55.6% 5 Steelers 48-25 0.658
Plays/Drive 6.058 5 Patriots 6.083 29 Giants 56-28 0.667
Penalty Yds / Play 0.627 2 Jaguars 0.808 18 Seahawks 83-54 0.606
RB Success 48.2% 11 Dolphins 45.4% 15 Steelers 57-27 0.679
Yds/Carry 3.76 27 Titans 4.14 12 Steelers 34-36 0.486
Net Punts Yds/Game 38.69 21 Raiders 42.36 29 Patriots 34-35 0.493
Overall 2 Patriots 15 Saints

A couple things here:

  • The Colts lead the league in Drive Success Rate, Yards/Drive, and 3rd/4th Down Conversion Pct.  They are also 2nd in the league in 4 other categories.  Not too bad.
  • The Time of Possession / Drive stat is a little worrisome, until you realize the Colts are one of the quickest scoring teams in the league.  This stat, more so than any other, is ok for the Colts to be middle of the road in.
  • The defense is forcing almost 2 Turnovers / Game, good for 6th in the league.  Excellent job getting the ball back for the offense.
  • The defense is also 5th in Red Zone Efficiency, which is fantastic.  Historically (the last 8 years) they rank 16th, so a great improvement this season.
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