2010 Week Fourteen: Inside the Colts Numbers

Yes, that is Alex Flanagan in the background. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Division wins are rarely pretty, and that's exactly how the game Thursday night against the Titans went.  The Colts jumped out to a 21-0 lead, but slowly but surely, and with the help of some poor clock management by the Colts, got back in the game on just 2 drives, and hung around just long enough to cost me $20 on the Colts covering.

On the poor clock management, I'm still trying to figure out what the Colts were doing.  The Titans had a First and Goal from the 5 with 1:35 to go in the first half with the Colts leading 21-0, a lead, especially in the first half, that is not by any means safe.  Chris Johnson ran it to the 1 on the next play, yet the Colts did not take a timeout, letting the clock run down 40 seconds before Johnson scored on the next play.  So instead of having 1:30 and 2 timeouts left, the Colts now have only 54 seconds and 3 timeouts.  Then, for the first time in forever, the Colts run 2 plays into the half, knowing Tennessee gets the ball back to start the half, which they used to cut the lead to 7.  I can't imagine Peyton Manning was happy with that decision, especially since they always move the ball well in the no-huddle.  Had the Colts lost, I would really be railing on this.

Some notes from the game:

  • Elias: For the first time in 11 games against the Titans, Reggie Wayne had over 100 yards receiving, the longest streak against one team without a 100 yard game.
  • Colts.com: Peyton Manning has now thrown for 300 yards in a game 63 times, tied for the NFL record with Dan Marino.  I'm guessing this gets broken before the end of the season.
  • Planet Earth: Manning now has the longest active consecutive starts streak at 205 games.  It may have been brought up somewhere.

Let's see how the numbers look, where the offense came back to life:

Non-Adjusted Stats:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 77.4% 6 81.3% 31 N N 6-1
ANPY/A 9.778 3 7.795 26 N N 6-0
Turnovers 0 1 2 10 Y N 9-3
Yds/Drive 39.90 5 36.50 24 N N 6-2
ToP/Drive 3:15.1 6 2:44.9 23 Y N 5-1
Yds/Play 5.868 10 5.703 21 N N 4-2
First Downs/Drive 2.10 8 2.20 26 N N 6-5
3rd/4th Down 56.3% 4 46.2% 24 N N 7-0
Avg Start Pos 31.2 13 26.7 10 Y N 6-3
3 and Outs 3 7 3 21 N N 8-2
RZ Eff 77.1% 10 100.0% 28 N N 7-0
Plays/Drive 6.800 6 6.400 24 N N 6-2
Penalty Yds / Play 0.882 26 0.453 23 N Y 2-4
RB Success 43.8% 17 50.0% 20 N Y 7-2
Yds/Carry 2.72 30 4.84 23 N Y 4-4
Net Punts Yds/Game 42.00 11 41.25 18 N N 2-3
Ranking - Week (32) 3 29 14
Ranking - Season (416) 34 330 156

Adjusted Stats:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 78.9% 5 84.4% 32 N N 6-1
ANPY/A 10.619 1 7.854 28 N N 6-0
Turnovers 0.3 4 2 18 Y N 9-3
Yds/Drive 38.71 5 37.87 28 N N 6-2
ToP/Drive 2:54.1 9 2:58.4 26 Y N 5-1
Yds/Play 6.342 6 5.663 23 N N 4-2
First Downs/Drive 1.94 8 2.41 31 N N 6-5
3rd/4th Down 53.4% 6 48.4% 26 N N 7-0
Avg Start Pos 31.5 13 27.6 9 Y N 6-3
3 and Outs 3 10 3 26 N N 8-2
RZ Eff 89.5% 5 100.5% 32 N N 7-0
Plays/Drive 6.144 8 6.679 26 N N 6-2
Penalty Yds / Play 0.724 20 0.105 31 N Y 2-4
RB Success 44.3% 17 55.6% 25 N Y 7-2
Yds/Carry 3.09 31 4.53 19 N Y 4-4
Net Punts Yds/Game 43.75 7 38.97 13 N N 2-3
Ranking - Week (32) 3 30 15
Ranking - Season (416) 31 383 194

Some thoughts:

  • From my game preview:
    Adjusted Net Passing Yards / Game will be the most important factor for the Colts offense, as the Titans defense is the best in the NFL at it.  This is one of those areas Peyton Manning has really struggled in lately, and needs to snap himself out of it.  Unfortunately, this isn't exactly the defense to do it against.

    Look where the Colts ended up for the week...#1.  Manning snapped out of his funk in a huge way, and was the key to the game.
  • I also mentioned the Red Zone playing a big part, and it did.  The Colts finally had to settle for a FG, twice, which almost cost them the game.  Still a good night in the Red Zone.
  • Last week in my Cowboys recap, I talked about how terrible the RBs had been during the 3 game losing streak, which was certainly not helping in those games.  Thursday night, they got back to at least mediocre, which is all they need to be.  I'm happy with anything over 40% or so.
  • I've only got one positive for the defense, and that is they forced a turnover, the first time in 4 weeks.  The second turnover was a Titans mistake (snap over punter's head), so I can't credit the defense for that.  The Colts scored TDs off of both, which is how it's supposed to work.
  • The Colts defense was really bad in the drive related stats, and for the first time this year were awful in the red zone, allowing TDs on each trip in.  Hopefully it is a one game anomaly.
  • I do have to acknowledge the great field position numbers for both sides, which is definitely a rarity for the Colts.  I'm not very optimistic it'll continue, but maybe some changes were made for the better after that awful Chargers game.

Adjusted Season Stats through Week 14:

Statistic Offense Rank Best Defense Rank Best Record Win %
DSR 75.7% 3 Patriots 69.8% 17 Giants 68-13 0.840
ANPY/A 6.113 12 Patriots 5.108 10 Packers 89-15 0.856
Turnovers 1.88 19 Patriots 1.40 26 Steelers 102-24 0.810
Yds/Drive 35.67 3 Patriots 29.85 16 Jets 74-19 0.796
ToP/Drive 2:53.0 10 Patriots 2:54.0 27 Jets 88-18 0.830
Yds/Play 5.415 12 Eagles 4.955 8 Chargers 61-32 0.656
First Downs/Drive 2.15 2 Patriots 1.76 20 Giants 72-19 0.791
3rd/4th Down 45.9% 4 Falcons 38.3% 15 Giants 78-24 0.765
Avg Start Pos 27.3 31 Steelers 30.4 15 Falcons 96-22 0.814
3 and Outs 3.08 6 Jaguars 4.04 12 Jets 58-24 0.707
RZ Eff 79.5% 2 Lions 58.9% 8 Steelers 72-25 0.742
Plays/Drive 6.578 1 Colts 5.909 27 Jets 69-26 0.726
Penalty Yds / Play 0.624 4 Dolphins 0.737 23 Raiders 53-40 0.570
RB Success 45.6% 15 Patriots 51.3% 30 Steelers 63-37 0.630
Yds/Carry 3.41 32 Eagles 4.45 24 Steelers 63-48 0.568
Net Punts Yds/Game 40.20 9 Cowboys 40.19 24 Patriots 43-38 0.531
Overall 7 Patriots 19 Giants

A couple things here:

  • The Colts drive stats are so good, the Colts will not lose a game the rest of the year where they don't turn the ball over.  They aren't quite to the level of the Patriots (who are unreal so far), but the Colts are close, other than turning the ball over.
  • Defensively, it's still looking like the typical Colts defense, maybe slightly better.  The Red Zone numbers still look good, despite the performance against the Titans.  The Time of Possession / Drive is a little concerning, especially against the Jaguars, who kill the Colts in this each and every time they play.

Week by Week Numbers:

Colts Opponent Non-Adjusted Adjusted
Week Offense Defense Total Offense Defense Total
1 Texans 56 376 218 121 313 217
2 Giants 65 33 9 13 24 2
3 Broncos 139 252 182 242 296 310
4 Jaguars 28 406 240 62 382 235
5 Chiefs 116 111 58 120 92 57
6 Redskins 186 134 126 183 196 169
7 BYE
8 Texans 54 121 40 115 43 24
9 Eagles 199 335 303 158 249 193
10 Bengals 292 114 190 282 122 209
11 Patriots 61 413 287 73 318 176
12 Chargers 354 248 366 292 173 265
13 Cowboys 174 350 301 212 309 299
14 Titans 34 330 156 31 383 194

Want to know what supplanted the Giants game as the #1 game overall? The Chargers win over the Chiefs.  Thursday night's game was a drastic improvement for the offense, but the worst performance by the defense so far this season.  The defense really needs to step up these last 3 games if the Colts want any shot at the playoffs, and it begins on Sunday, which is a playoff game: Jacksonville wins the division with a win.

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