2010 Week Thirteen: Inside the Colts Numbers

I never thought I'd see a 5 game stretch like we've seen from the Colts over the last month or so, but it's happened.  There's plenty of blame to go around, whether it be injuries, coaching, execution, etc.  The one thing I can say about this team is they never give up, regardless of the score.  When Taj Smith knocked loose the ball on the kickoff with 20 seconds to go, I thought for a split second the Colts will finally get some good luck, after a month of not playing well at all.  They could really use some fumble luck at some point.

A few depressing notes, and a few good ones:

  • Colts.com: I'm starting with the good.  Taj Smith's blocked punt for a Touchdown was the first one for the Colts since Sept. 10, 1989, when Albert Bentley did it against San Francisco.  I actually let out an audible scream when it happened, as I usually only half pay attention to special teams. 
  • Colts.com: The Colts Red Zone Offense has been unbelievably good this season, and especially so lately.  The Colts have scored points on 28 consecutive trips to the red zone, and have scored TDs on 9 straight trips.  Unfortunately, they haven't gotten there enough in the past 3 games.
  • Elias: Peyton Manning has thrown 11 interceptions in the past 3 games, which hasn't been done since 2001, when Aaron Brooks accomplished the feat.  That makes Manning the only active player to have done this too.  Ugh.  He's also the first QB in franchise history to do so.  If there was one record I wish Jeff George had...
  • Elias: Manning's four Pick-6s in the past two weeks are as many as he had in the previous 117 games, dating back to 2003.
  • Phil Richards: In the Colts six losses this season, they have 17 turnovers, and have only forced 1 of their own.  The Point Difference?  67-7, including 20-0 each of the past 2 weeks.  I guess turnovers are pretty important, huh?

Time to look at the numbers, which had very few bright spots...

Non-Adjusted Stats:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 80.0% 6 76.5% 22 N N 6-0
ANPY/A 4.688 19 6.107 21 N Y 6-1
Turnovers 4 29 0 26 N Y 8-2
Yds/Drive 36.82 8 36.80 23 N N 7-0
ToP/Drive 2:27.7 22 4:00.0 31 N Y 9-1
Yds/Play 6.231 5 4.973 14 Y N 5-1
First Downs/Drive 2.18 9 2.40 28 N N 8-0
3rd/4th Down 54.5% 4 53.3% 26 N N 7-2
Avg Start Pos 23.1 29 30.0 14 N N 5-3
3 and Outs 4 17 4 9 N N 6-0
RZ Eff 100.0% 1 71.4% 15 N N 6-1
Plays/Drive 5.909 12 7.400 31 N N 4-2
Penalty Yds / Play 0.431 8 0.473 23 N N 3-4
RB Success 35.3% 29 63.6% 31 N Y 5-3
Yds/Carry 2.35 30 4.72 20 N Y 5-6
Net Punts Yds/Game 41.00 8 31.00 3 Y N 5-5
Ranking - Week (32) 14 26 22
Ranking - Season (384) 162 321 277

Adjusted Stats:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 76.9% 9 71.7% 18 N N 6-0
ANPY/A 3.165 24 4.857 15 N Y 6-1
Turnovers 4.2 29 0 31 N Y 8-2
Yds/Drive 34.68 10 31.14 21 N N 7-0
ToP/Drive 2:26.1 21 3:47.2 30 N Y 9-1
Yds/Play 5.881 8 4.370 4 Y N 5-1
First Downs/Drive 2.05 10 2.13 28 N N 8-0
3rd/4th Down 51.3% 7 47.8% 25 N N 7-2
Avg Start Pos 23.6 30 32.3 17 N N 5-3
3 and Outs 5 24 5 6 N N 6-0
RZ Eff 89.2% 7 58.3% 13 N N 6-1
Plays/Drive 5.844 14 6.938 30 N N 4-2
Penalty Yds / Play 0.612 14 0.462 25 N N 3-4
RB Success 38.2% 27 59.6% 28 N Y 5-3
Yds/Carry 2.55 29 5.01 25 N Y 5-6
Net Punts Yds/Game 40.83 9 25.37 2 Y N 5-5
Ranking - Week (32) 15 22 23
Ranking - Season (384) 204 280 276

Some thoughts:

  • Did you know the Colts had four turnovers on Sunday?  Did you know it played an important part of the game?  You don't need me to tell you that.
  • The Colts continue to drive the ball well, but just keep making mistakes, including 5 of them in Colts territory over the past 2 weeks.  It sounds simple, but cut out the turnovers, and the Colts will be back to normal. Most everything else is fine.
  • The running game is non-existent without Joseph Addai.  The Yards/Carry is almost always low, so that doesn't concern me.  The RB Success Rate, however, is usually competent, but the past 3 weeks have seen it drop considerably.  The first 9 games, the Colts had a 48.9% Success Rate, 8th best in the league.  The last 3? 34%, which is dead last in the league over the past 3 weeks. It doesn't have to be great, but that should help explain some of the pressing by Manning.
  • The Colts defense forced the Cowboys to dink-and-dunk down the field, ranking 4th in the NFL this week in Yards/Play.  This undoubtedly was helped by the 6 plays inside the 5 yard line towards the end of the 4th quarter, but still a good number for the defense.
  • The Colts also did well getting the Cowboys off the field early, forcing 4 Three and Outs.  Forcing one on that last drive would have been much nicer, however.
  • Time of Possession / Drive was also hurt by that last 10+ minute drive.  Think about this:  The Colts scored 21 points in the 4th quarter, despite only having the ball for 2 minutes and 13 seconds.  Wow.

Adjusted Season Stats through Week 13:

Statistic Offense Rank Best Defense Rank Best Record Win %
DSR 74.9% 5 Patriots 68.8% 16 Giants 62-12 0.838
ANPY/A 5.651 16 Patriots 4.760 8 Titans 83-15 0.847
Turnovers 1.99 22 Patriots 1.40 25 Browns 93-21 0.816
Yds/Drive 35.08 4 Patriots 29.36 16 Jets 68-17 0.800
ToP/Drive 2:53.0 8 Falcons 2:54.0 27 Giants 83-17 0.830
Yds/Play 5.300 13 Texans 4.886 8 Chargers 57-30 0.655
First Downs/Drive 2.15 2 Patriots 1.72 17 Giants 66-14 0.825
3rd/4th Down 45.5% 4 Falcons 37.5% 14 Giants 71-24 0.747
Avg Start Pos 27.1 32 Steelers 30.4 14 Falcons 90-19 0.826
3 and Outs 3.11 6 Jaguars 4.14 11 Jets 50-22 0.694
RZ Eff 77.9% 3 Cowboys 55.1% 5 Steelers 65-25 0.722
Plays/Drive 6.585 1 Colts 5.882 26 Giants 63-24 0.724
Penalty Yds / Play 0.604 2 Dolphins 0.791 19 Raiders 51-36 0.586
RB Success 45.6% 16 Patriots 51.1% 31 Steelers 56-35 0.615
Yds/Carry 3.42 32 Eagles 4.51 26 Steelers 59-44 0.573
Net Punts Yds/Game 39.86 11 Cowboys 40.23 25 Patriots 41-35 0.539
Overall 9 Patriots 17 Giants

A couple things:

  • There are a lot of single-digit rankings on the offensive side, but unfortunately two of them that aren't are two of the most important stats: ANPY/A and Turnovers.  These have fallen off dramatically the past 5 weeks, which isn't coincidental at all.
  • The defense looks more and more like every other year's defense, which is disappointing to see after the first few home games.  They are still excellent in the red zone, which would have come in handy the past 2 weeks if the offense hadn't given up 14 points each week.
  • The percentages are also starting to right themselves, which I expected to happen. Only big change is Yards/Play being so low, which I can't explain right now.  As a sweeping generalization, big plays just aren't as important to winning as they have been in the past.

Week by Week Analysis:

Colts Opponent Non-Adjusted Adjusted
Week Offense Defense Total Offense Defense Total
1 Texans 53 347 202 122 284 214
2 Giants 62 28 7 12 19 1
3 Broncos 131 232 167 219 243 270
4 Jaguars 26 375 223 58 353 216
5 Chiefs 110 98 52 98 69 38
6 Redskins 172 120 118 165 189 168
7 BYE
8 Texans 51 108 35 110 39 24
9 Eagles 184 306 279 145 223 183
10 Bengals 273 101 175 250 109 182
11 Patriots 58 381 263 82 309 193
12 Chargers 332 228 340 295 167 281
13 Cowboys 162 321 277 204 280 276

The last 2 weeks have been the worst two of the year.  The fact the Colts were even in the game on Sunday was a minor miracle (Cowboys played the 45th best game of the year).  It's also the 3rd straight top-100 game played against the Colts, so I think the Colts (read: Manning, Peyton) needs to cut out the turnovers, and everything else will fall into place.

The three teams remaining on the schedule are ranked 20th (JAX), 23rd (OAK), and 25th (TEN).  Winning out, thus winning the division, is clearly possible.  I'm holding out hope for one more week.  The schedule will be much kinder to the Colts over the next month.

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