Inside 3rd Down Run vs. Pass Success - Colts 2009 Defense

Sunday, we looked at the Colts 2009 Offense on 3rd Down plays, breaking them down by distance and Run vs. Pass, and the Colts were just fantastic. leading the league in all the passing categories, and overall.  I think we all knew this would be the case.

However, there are 2 sides to a football team, so let's take a look at the Colts 2009 Defense.  Overall, the Colts defense was 104/231, or 45.0%, which was not very good at all.  The eye test would agree with these numbers, as it sure looked like the Colts struggled mightily at times.  Let's again take a game-by-game look at the defense, and see where exactly the struggles came from...

Here's a game-by-game breakdown for the Colts Defense in 2009:

Opponent Week Short (1 - 3) Medium (4 - 7) Long (8+)
Run Pass Run Pass Run Pass
Conv Att Pct Conv Att Pct Conv Att Pct Conv Att Pct Conv Att Pct Conv Att Pct
Jaguars 1 5 6 0.833 1 1 1.000 0 0 0.000 0 3 0.000 0 0 0.000 0 5 0.000
Dolphins 2 6 6 1.000 2 2 1.000 0 2 0.000 7 9 0.778 0 0 0.000 0 2 0.000
Cardinals 3 0 1 0.000 1 3 0.333 0 0 0.000 0 1 0.000 0 0 0.000 3 9 0.333
Seahawks 4 0 0 0.000 2 3 0.667 0 0 0.000 3 6 0.500 0 0 0.000 1 6 0.167
Titans 5 0 0 0.000 2 5 0.400 0 0 0.000 2 6 0.333 0 0 0.000 1 3 0.333
Rams 7 0 0 0.000 2 3 0.667 1 1 1.000 1 3 0.333 0 2 0.000 0 4 0.000
49ers 8 2 2 1.000 0 1 0.000 0 0 0.000 0 2 0.000 0 0 0.000 0 5 0.000
Texans 9 2 3 0.667 2 2 1.000 0 0 0.000 5 7 0.714 0 0 0.000 1 4 0.250
Patriots 10 2 2 1.000 2 4 0.500 0 0 0.000 2 3 0.667 0 0 0.000 1 5 0.200
Ravens 11 1 3 0.333 0 1 0.000 0 0 0.000 3 7 0.429 0 0 0.000 1 2 0.500
Texans 12 1 1 1.000 1 2 0.500 0 0 0.000 2 3 0.667 0 0 0.000 0 2 0.000
Titans 13 2 2 1.000 3 4 0.750 0 0 0.000 1 3 0.333 0 0 0.000 2 6 0.333
Broncos 14 1 3 0.333 1 2 0.500 0 1 0.000 4 7 0.571 0 0 0.000 0 4 0.000
Jaguars 15 2 2 1.000 2 3 0.667 1 2 0.500 3 5 0.600 0 0 0.000 2 4 0.500
Jets 16 3 4 0.750 1 2 0.500 1 3 0.333 2 4 0.500 0 0 0.000 0 3 0.000
Bills 17 2 4 0.500 0 0 0.000 1 3 0.333 2 3 0.667 0 0 0.000 0 4 0.000
Total 29 39 0.744 22 38 0.579 4 12 0.333 37 72 0.514 0 2 0.000 12 68 0.176

 

Opponent Week Run Pass Total
Conv Att Pct Conv Att Pct Conv Att Pct
Jaguars 1 5 6 0.833 1 9 0.111 6 15 0.400
Dolphins 2 6 8 0.750 9 13 0.692 15 21 0.714
Cardinals 3 0 1 0.000 4 13 0.308 4 14 0.286
Seahawks 4 0 0 0.000 6 15 0.400 6 15 0.400
Titans 5 0 0 0.000 5 14 0.357 5 14 0.357
Rams 7 1 3 0.333 3 10 0.300 4 13 0.308
49ers 8 2 2 1.000 0 8 0.000 2 10 0.200
Texans 9 2 3 0.667 8 13 0.615 10 16 0.625
Patriots 10 2 2 1.000 5 12 0.417 7 14 0.500
Ravens 11 1 3 0.333 4 10 0.400 5 13 0.385
Texans 12 1 1 1.000 3 7 0.429 4 8 0.500
Titans 13 2 2 1.000 6 13 0.462 8 15 0.533
Broncos 14 1 4 0.250 5 13 0.385 6 17 0.353
Jaguars 15 3 4 0.750 7 12 0.583 10 16 0.625
Jets 16 4 7 0.571 3 9 0.333 7 16 0.438
Bills 17 3 7 0.429 2 7 0.286 5 14 0.357
Total 33 53 0.623 71 178 0.399 104 231 0.450

Some thoughts:

  • Third and Short runs have lots of room for improvement.  Almost 75% conversions is not the best way to get teams off the field.  It's hard to pinpoint exactly what needs to improve, but it should be a point of improvement this year.
  • Keeping with Third and Short runs, take away the first two games (11/12), the Colts were 18/27, or 66.7%.  This would rank just behind the Jets, at 19th in the NFL.  Hopefully Coyer and the defense figured out what they were doing wrong, and corrected it.  I'd take stopping 1 of every 3 short yardage run all day and twice on Sunday.
  • Want to know how important First and Second downs are to the Colts defense?  Just look at the Pass percentages for each distance:  not very good for anything 7 yards and under, but excellent in 3rd and Long.  You think a pair of Defensive Ends have something to do with this?
  • After starting out the season allowing 11/14 rushes on 3rd down, the next 3 Colts Opponents only ran once on 3rd down.  Some of it was due to the fact that all 3 teams were playing from behind, but they weren't at the beginning of the game.  Seems like some bad scouting, or just bad coaching.
  • The 49ers didn't convert a 3rd Down when passing the ball.  Nice work by the defense, and certainly helped the struggling offense that day.
  • Overall, there are plenty of places for improvement, especially in short/medium yardage.  The medium yardage Passing stats really don't look good, but I'm hoping the release of Tim Jennings and Kelvin Hayden being 100% will significantly help those numbers. 

Up next we'll look at the Offensive Numbers for the whole NFL, and see the how the Colts stacked up against everyone else in all these categories.

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