2010 Week Fifteen: Inside the Colts Numbers

Sunday was a much better experience inside Lucas Oil Stadium than my last trip (Chargers), and it catapulted the Colts into the lead in the AFC South, now just two wins away from their 8th AFC South Division title.  It was one of those games that looks mighty impressive while watching live, but you just had a feeling the stats weren't going to paint a pleasant picture (they aren't great).  It's games like these that give credence to the "football isn't won by stat geeks" crowd, which happens.

It was great to see the Colts finally control the line of scrimmage against a team who, on paper, was superior to them in the trenches.  It's not going to show up in the Winning Stats, however, because we know, on the whole, passing leads to more wins than running, when looked at independently.  That doesn't make this Colts win any less impressive.  I said on Sunday night I'd only put the Giants game ahead of this one, but I think I'd put the Chiefs game ahead of this one too.  Still a great win.

Some notes from the game:

  • Elias: Donald Brown's 9.2 Yards per Carry was the highest for a Colts RB (minimum 10 carries) since Peyton Manning was a rookie.  The great Marshall Faulk had 11.3 YPC against the Ravens back in '98.  Great job by Brown, and the Offensive Line.
  • Colts.com: More on Brown's big day - It was the first 100 yard rusher for the Colts since Joseph Addai ran for 105 against the Texans in November of 2008 128 against the Redskins in Week 6.  His 49 yard run in the first quarter was the longest run by a Colt since 2004 (Dominic Rhodes, 55 yards vs. Titans), and his 43 yard TD run was the longest TD run since 2001 (Rhodes, 46 yards vs. Jets).
  • CBS RapidReports:  The Colts have now won 30 consecutive games in which they didn't turn the ball over.  I can't stress enough how important holding onto the ball is for the Colts.  It clearly is.  Adding to this, the Colts have now won 37 consecutive games when they have a +2 turnover margin.
  • Colts.com: Reggie Wayne has now caught a pass in 78 straight games, which moves him into 2nd place in team history, passing Marshall Faulk.  Let's keep this streak going for years to come.
  • Colts.com: Tyjuan Hagler's onside kick return was a first in team history, and the shortest kickoff returned for a TD in team history.  I'm giving half credit for this to Special Teams coach Ray Rychleski, who was responsible for calling the timeout, clearly frustrating the Jaguars.

Let's get to the numbers in this big Colts victory...

Non-Adjusted Stats:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 73.3% 14 71.0% 15 N N 3-2
ANPY/A 6.525 15 7.282 22 N N 7-0
Turnovers 0 1 2 6 Y N 8-1
Yds/Drive 34.18 9 32.36 21 N N 5-2
ToP/Drive 2:41.6 16 2:45.6 19 N N 4-2
Yds/Play 5.875 8 5.836 23 N N 7-1
First Downs/Drive 1.73 16 1.82 19 N N 2-3
3rd/4th Down 38.5% 14 43.8% 24 N Y 4-3
Avg Start Pos 32.2 12 27.1 7 Y N 9-1
3 and Outs 3 10 4 9 Y N 6-0
RZ Eff 61.9% 20 81.0% 19 N Y 4-3
Plays/Drive 5.818 13 5.545 16 N N 5-4
Penalty Yds / Play 1.063 23 0.902 13 N N 3-3
RB Success 41.7% 20 50.0% 18 N Y 3-4
Yds/Carry 6.46 4 3.05 7 Y N 8-3
Net Punts Yds/Game 22.67 31 47.25 32 N Y 3-3
Ranking - Week (32) 11 18 13
Ranking - Season (448) 157 261 193

Adjusted Stats:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 69.4% 22 65.7% 8 N N 3-2
ANPY/A 4.537 22 6.822 19 N N 7-0
Turnovers 0.6 11 2 11 Y N 8-1
Yds/Drive 28.59 13 28.30 16 N N 5-2
ToP/Drive 2:33.8 18 2:24.4 8 N N 4-2
Yds/Play 5.053 18 5.507 21 N N 7-1
First Downs/Drive 1.48 21 1.47 11 N N 2-3
3rd/4th Down 34.9% 21 39.4% 18 N Y 4-3
Avg Start Pos 33.9 11 27.4 6 Y N 9-1
3 and Outs 3 15 6 4 Y N 6-0
RZ Eff 62.2% 22 77.3% 19 N Y 4-3
Plays/Drive 5.600 15 5.023 9 N N 5-4
Penalty Yds / Play 1.110 24 1.090 7 N N 3-3
RB Success 44.8% 18 45.0% 15 N Y 3-4
Yds/Carry 6.30 3 2.57 6 Y N 8-3
Net Punts Yds/Game 23.83 32 45.35 30 N Y 3-3
Ranking - Week (32) 21 10 18
Ranking - Season (448) 239 173 197

Some thoughts:

  • From my preview:
    Their one weakness is turnovers, where they are 28th in the league.  The Colts absolutely must force a turnover or two to win.  Turnovers have been the key to almost every game in the 2nd half of the season.  It will be again on Sunday.

    Done and done.  I like it when I'm right :)
  • The defense did a great job getting the Jaguars off the field, especially in the first half.  Those numbers are a little skewed as well, as the garbage time yardage gained on dump-off passes to Rashad Jennings count the same.  It's clearly what the Colts wanted them to do, so I won't hold that against the Colts one bit.
  • For the second week in a row, the defense did struggle in the Red Zone.  They've been so good all year, I hope they can get back to their first 12 game form for the home stretch of the schedule.
  • The Offense really struggled sustaining drives, which is a little baffling to me.  I think the numbers went down significantly when Austin Collie was knocked out of the game.  They also had several 4th and 1 plays that they punted on, which is very frustrating (the coming up short part, not the punting part).
  • I also said in the preview they just needed a 40% RB Success rate, and they got over 40%, and won the game.  Here's where I get back on my soapbox saying you can explain parts of football with numbers...
  • Teams that were above average in Yards per Carry on both sides of the ball were a fantastic 8-3 this weekend, which is quite rare.

Adjusted Season Stats through Week 15:

Statistic Offense Rank Best Defense Rank Best Record Win %
DSR 75.2% 4 Patriots 69.5% 16 Giants 71-15 0.826
ANPY/A 6.041 13 Patriots 5.164 11 Packers 96-15 0.865
Turnovers 1.77 16 Patriots 1.43 25 Giants 110-25 0.815
Yds/Drive 35.28 2 Patriots 29.75 17 Giants 79-21 0.790
ToP/Drive 2:53.0 10 Packers 2:51.0 26 Giants 92-20 0.821
Yds/Play 5.395 13 Eagles 5.000 10 Chargers 68-33 0.673
First Downs/Drive 2.11 3 Patriots 1.73 18 Giants 74-22 0.771
3rd/4th Down 45.4% 5 Falcons 38.4% 14 Giants 82-27 0.752
Avg Start Pos 27.7 31 Bears 30.1 13 Falcons 105-23 0.820
3 and Outs 3.13 7 Jaguars 4.17 11 Jets 64-24 0.727
RZ Eff 78.4% 4 Patriots 59.5% 8 Steelers 76-28 0.731
Plays/Drive 6.518 1 Colts 5.838 25 Raiders 74-30 0.712
Penalty Yds / Play 0.662 6 Dolphins 0.764 23 Raiders 56-43 0.566
RB Success 45.4% 16 Patriots 50.9% 29 Steelers 66-41 0.617
Yds/Carry 3.60 31 Eagles 4.33 20 Steelers 71-51 0.582
Net Punts Yds/Game 39.26 15 Cowboys 40.62 29 Bears 46-41 0.529
Overall 7 Patriots 17 Giants

A couple thoughts here:

  • Many of these numbers don't change much, now that we're mostly through the entire season.  The Colts moved up 2 spots on the defensive side, and hold steady on Offense.  The Offense no longer has the worst starting field position, and aren't the worst rushing team in terms of Yards / Carry. 
  • Passing the ball well, along with stopping the pass, are still the most telling factor in the NFL.  You shouldn't be surprised.

Week by Week Numbers:

Colts Opponent Non-Adjusted Adjusted
Week Offense Defense Total Offense Defense Total
1 Texans 62 403 234 131 328 245
2 Giants 71 35 10 10 20 2
3 Broncos 149 271 195 254 326 335
4 Jaguars 31 438 260 67 415 258
5 Chiefs 123 117 63 119 107 55
6 Redskins 203 140 134 200 206 193
7 BYE
8 Texans 60 127 42 124 45 25
9 Eagles 216 361 327 169 272 221
10 Bengals 318 120 205 308 113 217
11 Patriots 67 445 311 74 357 200
12 Chargers 380 266 394 317 167 276
13 Cowboys 189 376 325 233 321 322
14 Titans 39 356 166 33 408 215
15 Jaguars 157 261 193 239 173 197

Still haven't had a stand-out game, in terms of stats, since the Monday nighter against Houston.  Hopefully we'll see two of them over the next two weeks.

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