2010 Week Ten: Inside the Colts Numbers

INDIANAPOLIS - NOVEMBER 14: Carson Palmer #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals tries to avoid Jerry Hughes #92 of the Indianapolis Colts during the NFL game at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 14 2010 in Indianapolis Indiana. The Colts won 23-17. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

When Javarris James scored on a 3 yard TD early in the second quarter, it seemed, once again, that the Colts would impose their will on yet another opponent at home, cruising to an easy win over the final 3 quarters.  What actually happened the rest of the way stressed me out way more than it should have.  The Bengals made some very good adjustments, and looked like the better team at the end of the game.  Fortunately for the Colts, the first quarter counts just as much as the 4th, and the Colts held on to win.

A quick sidebar before we get to the stats:  I had Terrell Owens on my fantasy team for 9 straight years from '01 - '09, so I've always had a soft spot for him.  He's always had drops, but he always seemed to get himself open, even in his prime.  With the fantastic year he's been having, much had been said about a career resurgence for him.  After watching on Sunday, I think the only reason he's had such a big year is because of Chad Ochocinco.  This was the first game all year that a defense keyed on Owens, and it completely took him out of the game.  So much so, in fact, he gave up midway through the 4th quarter, and was showcased on the final drive when he had no urgency getting back to the line of scrimmage.  In the meantime, Ochocinco was laying himself out all over the field with an injured shoulder (which I'm guessing he separated by the way they were messing with it), hauling in some great catches.  In the previous 8 games, you never saw Chad give up during a game, even when teams would double him consistently.  He's also in the final year of his contract.  He can play on my team anytime.

Some notes from the game and the NFL:

  • Elias: The Colts have now won 24 of their last 25 games against teams with losing records at home.  The only loss was in 2008 in Week 3, a 23-21 loss to the Jaguars.  Beating teams you are supposed to isn't always easy to do at home (see Giants, N.Y. last week), but the Colts almost never fail to show up and beat teams they should.
  • CBS Sports: This was only the 4th time Peyton Manning has not thrown a TD or Interception in a game where he played in the second half.  It happened last season as well against San Francisco.
  • Colts.com: Reggie Wayne now has 10,000 yards receiving from Peyton Manning, becoming only the second QB-WR combo to get to 10,000 yards.  The other?  Manning to Marvin Harrison, who had 12,766 yards.
  • Colts.com: Since 2004, the Colts have not lost a game when they've been +3 in turnover differential.  As it should be.
  • Boston Herald: Steelers WR Hines Ward was held without a catch on Sunday night, ending a streak of 186 consecutive game with at least 1 catch.  That leaves the aforementioned Marvin Harrison at #2 on the list at 190 straight games with a catch.  Still not remotely close to Jerry Rice's 274, but good that Harrison will stay at #2.  Tony Gonzalez is at 155 straight games, and is the active leader.

Let's get to the stats.  I warn you, though, it isn't that pretty...

First, the Non-Adjusted Stats:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 63.0% 24 65.6% 9 N N 4-1
ANPY/A 4.737 25 3.867 3 N N 4-0
Turnovers 0 1 5 1 Y N 7-1
Yds/Drive 23.27 26 26.23 8 N N 6-1
ToP/Drive 2:20.8 20 2:37.8 15 N N 8-1
Yds/Play 4.267 27 5.246 13 N Y 4-2
First Downs/Drive 1.45 21 1.46 9 N N 4-1
3rd/4th Down 35.7% 18 42.9% 20 N Y 5-2
Avg Start Pos 31.0 10 27.5 12 N N 8-1
3 and Outs 5 20 4 10 N N 5-0
RZ Eff 61.9% 17 81.0% 20 N Y 5-3
Plays/Drive 5.455 14 5.000 8 N N 6-2
Penalty Yds / Play 0.750 10 0.585 22 N N 2-2
RB Success 45.5% 10 30.0% 6 N N 3-2
Yds/Carry 3.45 21 3.60 10 N N 4-4
Net Punts Yds/Game 40.71 10 39.00 18 N N 2-4
Ranking - Week (28) 21 5 14
Ranking - Season (288) 204 75 132

The Adjusted Stats:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 65.1% 20 66.7% 7 N N 4-1
ANPY/A 5.199 19 3.831 3 N N 4-0
Turnovers -0.5 3 5 1 Y N 7-1
Yds/Drive 23.56 24 27.86 6 N N 6-1
ToP/Drive 2:36.2 16 2:49.1 18 N N 8-1
Yds/Play 4.016 27 5.399 10 N Y 4-2
First Downs/Drive 1.58 17 1.47 7 N N 4-1
3rd/4th Down 37.1% 14 44.5% 19 N Y 5-2
Avg Start Pos 30.6 12 27.6 11 N N 8-1
3 and Outs 5 20 4 13 N N 5-0
RZ Eff 67.7% 14 69.5% 17 N Y 5-3
Plays/Drive 5.836 10 5.183 12 N N 6-2
Penalty Yds / Play 0.764 12 0.773 15 N N 2-2
RB Success 42.8% 15 29.8% 3 N N 3-2
Yds/Carry 3.02 24 4.03 13 N N 4-4
Net Punts Yds/Game 39.32 10 37.27 15 N N 2-4
Ranking - Week (28) 17 4 12
Ranking - Season (288) 177 90 122

Some thoughts:

  • Turnovers were clearly the key to the game.  Sometimes games aren't quite that easy to figure out, but this one was pretty obvious.
  • The Colts defense, once again, played quite well inside Lucas Oil Stadium. Drive Success Rate was top 10, they didn't let Carson Palmer throw the ball well, and held the Bengals to under 30 yards / drive.  Can we please get one of these performance outside the state of Indiana?
  • The defense was excellent also in RB Success Rate, ranking 3rd this week in the league.  As BBS mentioned in his recap, Antonio Johnson returned this week from injury, so I agree with him that it wasn't a coincidence this stat got better.
  • The offense, on the other hand, really struggled, especially after the first quarter.  They couldn't get drives going, and even when they did, they didn't go much farther than that initial first down.  The Colts only had 2 drives all day longer than 30 yards, both ending in Adam Vinatieri Field Goals.  That's not going to cut it next week.
  • Overall, it was a middle-of-the-pack type of game that looks slightly better when adjusted for opponent.  Despite their 2-7 record, the Bengals are a decent team, who do some things well.  Slow starts the past 2 weeks put them in big holes, and they nearly fought their way out of both of them.

Adjusted Season Stats through Week 10:

Statistic Offense Rank Best Defense Rank Best Record Win %
DSR 74.4% 4 Patriots 68.6% 16 Giants 39-12 0.765
ANPY/A 6.083 14 Chargers 4.540 6 Titans 62-14 0.816
Turnovers 1.20 5 Eagles 1.93 14 Eagles 69-16 0.812
Yds/Drive 34.77 3 Patriots 28.79 16 Giants 46-17 0.730
ToP/Drive 3:02.0 4 Falcons 2:41.0 15 Giants 58-13 0.817
Yds/Play 5.135 21 Chargers 4.971 12 Titans 44-28 0.611
First Downs/Drive 2.16 2 Patriots 1.65 14 Giants 42-13 0.764
3rd/4th Down 43.7% 7 Falcons 39.8% 20 Giants 50-18 0.735
Avg Start Pos 28.9 26 Steelers 29.3 12 Falcons 69-13 0.841
3 and Outs 2.85 4 Jaguars 4.24 10 Bears 35-18 0.660
RZ Eff 68.9% 15 Dolphins 54.3% 5 Titans 46-20 0.697
Plays/Drive 6.764 1 Colts 5.670 17 Giants 42-18 0.700
Penalty Yds / Play 0.643 5 Dolphins 0.834 18 Ravens 35-29 0.547
RB Success 49.0% 10 Texans 50.3% 30 Steelers 39-30 0.565
Yds/Carry 3.62 28 Eagles 4.56 30 Steelers 44-31 0.587
Net Punts Yds/Game 39.99 10 Cowboys 41.06 30 Bears 27-27 0.500
Overall 4 Patriots 12 Giants

A couple things here:

  • The offense took a hit this week, dropping from 1st place to 4th place overall.  Several categories are still quite good, including the drive related stats, this week notwithstanding.  I'm concerned about being 14th in ANPY/A, as I don't think the Colts have rarely been out of the top 5, let alone 14th.  This week would be a great time to start righting the ship.  The Patriots rank 25th in ANPY/A defense this season.
  • The defense keeps improving each and every week, up to 12th overall.  They'll continue to be tested, with the future schedule for the defense ranked 5th toughest.  So far, the offenses faced is also 5th toughest.  It's been a pleasant surprise to have them playing as well as they have.

Week to Week Rankings:

Colts Opponent Non-Adjusted Adjusted
Week Offense Defense Total Offense Defense Total
1 Texans 38 262 149 123 217 189
2 Giants 45 22 6 6 7 1
3 Broncos 92 179 124 159 152 162
4 Jaguars 18 281 169 41 273 181
5 Chiefs 77 72 34 65 56 24
6 Redskins 124 92 85 115 162 138
7 BYE
8 Texans 36 81 22 112 25 25
9 Eagles 133 231 214 94 174 129
10 Bengals 204 75 132 177 90 122

Offensively, it was the worst game played by the Colts this season, which caught me a little off guard. They had been the most consistent offense in the league, but the injuries might have reared their ugly head on Sunday.  At the start of the season, you had 3 RBs, 5 WRs, and 3 TEs.  Only 4 of those 11 were active on Sunday.  That's a lot of injuries.  Hopefully a couple of them get back for the trip to Foxboro.

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