2010 Week Five: Inside the Colts Numbers

All these stats he's talking about, here's where they go. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)

I only saw about 2/3 of the game on Sunday, most of which was in the first half, due to a wedding I was attending Sunday afternoon.  I was growing frustrated throughout the first half with the lack of possessions, and the lack of putting the Chiefs away early with Touchdowns, rather than Field Goals.  It culminated with the boneheaded penalty on Kelvin Hayden for a late hit, leading to a Chiefs FG right before half.

The second half, which I didn't see much of yet, saw a Colts defense come out and dominate, while the Colts moved the ball down the field, and finally broke through with a TD to ice the game away with less than 5 minutes to go in the game.  My initial reaction was "Man, that Crennel guy got him again.  I want nothing to do with the Chiefs later this year." Pat Kirwan agreed:

On Sunday, Chiefs defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel reminded the rest of the league how his old Patriots defenses used to play the Colts with a "rope-a-dope" approach -- rush three and drop eight into coverage. While the Colts won, it was effective and kept the game close. Expect more teams to study this tape in order to give themselves a chance late in games against Indianapolis.

I think the Colts have more absolute statements thrown out about how to stop them then all other teams combined.  Did Crennel really have the secret on Sunday?

Nope, not even close. 

I'll give them one piece of good news, then follow me after the jump to see how well the Colts played Sunday, both offensively and defensively.  The good news for the Chiefs defense is that Sunday was only the 3rd time in the past 8 seasons the Colts haven't scored a TD in the first 3 quarters of a home game.  Bonus points to whoever can find those games.

First, the actual stats:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 75.0% 6 61.5% 7 Y N 5-1
ANPY/A 4.422 20 4.933 12 N N 5-1
Turnovers 1 7 1 16 N N 8-1
Yds/Drive 37.89 3 26.10 10 Y N 6-3
ToP/Drive 3:49.4 1 2:33.5 13 Y N 7-1
Yds/Play 4.487 22 4.579 8 N N 3-4
First Downs/Drive 2.56 1 1.60 15 Y N 5-2
3rd/4th Down 44.4% 9 16.7% 2 Y N 5-4
Avg Start Pos 27.9 19 26.8 7 N N 5-1
3 and Outs 1 2 5 7 Y N 4-3
RZ Eff 61.9% 12 21.4% 1 N N 4-1
Plays/Drive 8.444 1 5.700 19 N N 5-1
Penalty Yds / Play 0.592 6 0.667 20 N N 6-2
RB Success 45.2% 14 57.7% 25 N Y 4-4
Yds/Carry 3.13 23 4.19 15 N Y 5-3
Net Punts Yds/Game 52.50 1 52.00 27 N N 2-4
Ranking - Week (28) 4 8 3
Ranking - Season (152) 35 43 16

And the Adjusted Stats:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 86.8% 1 67.4% 15 Y N 5-1
ANPY/A 5.569 13 5.576 15 N N 5-1
Turnovers 2.2 18 2 18 N N 8-1
Yds/Drive 43.89 2 29.47 19 Y N 6-3
ToP/Drive 3:57.5 1 2:43.5 17 Y N 7-1
Yds/Play 5.340 10 4.875 10 N N 3-4
First Downs/Drive 3.11 1 1.80 21 Y N 5-2
3rd/4th Down 56.9% 2 28.8% 4 Y N 5-4
Avg Start Pos 30.8 15 26.1 3 N N 5-1
3 and Outs 0 1 4 9 Y N 4-3
RZ Eff 56.3% 17 21.7% 1 N N 4-1
Plays/Drive 8.553 1 6.006 22 N N 5-1
Penalty Yds / Play 0.430 3 0.914 14 N N 6-2
RB Success 50.3% 9 54.0% 24 N Y 4-4
Yds/Carry 3.60 19 3.56 10 N Y 5-3
Net Punts Yds/Game 47.10 2 48.37 26 N N 2-4
Ranking - Week (28) 1 13 2
Ranking - Season (152) 16 64 12

Some thoughts:

  • Here's what I said in my preview article:

    The Chiefs defense has been fantastic in pretty much every drive-related statistic, ranking in the top 2 in all of them.  The Colts offense has been equally fantastic in drive-related stats, which creates a great match-up.  Whoever gets the upper-hand here will surely win the game. 
    The Colts utterly dominated the Chiefs in every drive-related statistic.  The Colts held the ball for almost 4 minutes / drive!  Over 8 Plays / Drive, only 1 Three and Out, Drive Success Rate of 75% (which turns into almost 87% when you consider the defense it was done against).  I just hate to pat myself on the back, but I told you so :)
  • In bizarro type fashion, the two stats I said the Chiefs have struggled in this year, ANPY/A and Red Zone Efficiency, were the two reasons this game wasn't a blow out.  They held Peyton Manning without a TD, and lots of short passes, and stiffened up in the Red Zone, something they hadn't done much of this season.
  • When taking into account the respective defenses, and how they've done against the run this season so far, each team's rushing attack was pretty similar on Sunday.  You won't find that analysis many places, but that's the way it played out.
  • The defense was great, especially on 3rd/4th Downs.  It's been a long time since the Colts were that good getting the other offense off the field quickly.  In the parts I saw, part of that was the "genius" play calling of Charlie Weis, and part of that was great plays by the Colts.  More games like this, please.
  • This defense is absolutely fantastic in the Red Zone.  They simply don't allow points, and keep getting help by opposing Head Coaches leaving points on the field.
  • Second best game of the week overall, best game offensively.  Exactly how did Romeo Crennel "stop" this offense, other than in the Red Zone?  I just don't see it at all.
  • This is non-stats related, but Todd Haley, twice in the first quarter, told the world he knew his team couldn't line up with the Colts and beat them.  So much talk this week was about his two Coordinators, that I feel he wanted his name in the news too, leading to a botched Onside Kick to start the game, and going for the Touchdown on their first possession inside the 10 yard line.  Clearly he didn't think his team was as good as some people made them out to be.

Season Stats through Week 5 (Non-Adjusted):

Statistic Offense Rank Best Defense Rank Best Record Win %
DSR 79.6% 2 Patriots 72.1% 24 Chargers 22-6 0.786
ANPY/A 7.765 2 Chargers 6.389 24 Chargers 32-9 0.780
Turnovers 1.00 4 Jets 1.40 21 Buccaneers 38-7 0.844
Yds/Drive 40.51 2 Cowboys 33.25 26 Giants 22-12 0.647
ToP/Drive 3:14.7 2 Cowboys 2:42.7 19 Giants 26-8 0.765
Yds/Play 5.737 8 Chargers 5.688 26 Giants 19-20 0.487
First Downs/Drive 2.41 1 Colts 1.83 25 Giants 24-8 0.750
3rd/4th Down 46.3% 4 Patriots 39.7% 19 Ravens 28-8 0.778
Avg Start Pos 27.6 27 Bears 27.6 6 Jets 35-7 0.833
3 and Outs 2.20 4 Cowboys 3.40 18 Bears 16-12 0.571
RZ Eff 78.6% 3 Eagles 51.6% 6 Titans 29-8 0.784
Plays/Drive 7.061 1 Colts 5.846 24 Giants 22-13 0.629
Penalty Yds / Play 0.679 5 Dolphins 0.717 25 Ravens 25-12 0.676
RB Success 46.8% 16 Patriots 56.6% 31 Bears 18-16 0.529
Yds/Carry 3.19 31 Eagles 4.84 30 Steelers 21-18 0.538
Net Punts Yds/Game 39.30 16 Raiders 43.58 31 Cowboys 14-14 0.500
Overall 2 Patriots 26 Giants

A couple things here:

  • Overall, the defensive numbers don't look that great.  I can say that once you adjust for the opponents played, the Defense shoots up to 17th in the NFL.  You should get used to the constant harping on "how bad the defense is", even when in reality, it's pretty middle-of-the-road.  The Colts defense will face the 2nd toughest schedule going forward, only easier than the Titans.  This is why adjusted stats in football is so important.
  • The Offense is great.  Could Yards/Carry be better?  Of course. But certainly not at the expense of all those other stats the Colts are so great at.
  • Take a look at who the #1 Defense is.  And that's with what the Colts did to them.

Week by Week Rankings:

Colts Opponent Non-Adjusted Adjusted
Week Offense Defense Total Offense Defense Total
1 Texans 18 141 79 35 129 87
2 Giants 21 13 3 3 7 1
3 Broncos 47 95 69 51 58 38
4 Jaguars 7 150 86 20 148 90
5 Chiefs 35 43 16 16 64 12

The Colts have looked great at home this season, meaning home-field in the Playoffs may mean more this season than in seasons past.  Something to watch going forward, as 6 of their last 10 will be at Lucas Oil Stadium.

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