2011 NFL Week Five: Inside The Colts Numbers

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 09: Steve Breaston #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs catches the game winning touchdown while defended by Chris Rucker #36 of the Indianapolis Colts during the NFL game at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 9, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Chiefs won 28-24. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

At the start of the 4th quarter yesterday during the 28-24 Colts loss to the Chiefs, I glanced up at the score, and did a double take. Wait, the Colts are still winning? How is that possible? I don't know if it was the previous couple of weeks deceiving me, the fact that the Chiefs were absolutely dominating the Colts in the 3rd quarter, or because I was only half paying attention to the Colts game and half to the Red Zone channel tracking bets and fantasy scores, but I was really surprised that the Colts were still winning. It was just a matter of time before a tired defense, with several players playing out of position, and several players that shouldn't be out on the field, gave up the lead.

The big difference this week was I had reasonable confidence the Offense could drive down the field and score to take the lead back, even though they struggled in the second half. They were able to move the ball to the KC 46, but faced a 4th and 11 with 2:37 left and all 3 timeouts. I hadn't been very animated watching the game, as an 0-4 team doesn't get the juices flowing quite the same way as a contending team, but I started dropping f-bombs left and right when they sent the punt team out there. Even if the Colts only had a 30% chance of getting the first down there, you absolutely, 100% MUST go for it there. Jim Caldwell has had quite a few bone-headed decisions, but this takes the cake. He should have lost his job on the spot for even thinking about punting.

Just one note from the game that I can find:

  • Elias: This was the largest blown lead, 17 points, surrendered by the Colts since September of 2000, when they lost to the Raiders 38-31. They actually had a 21-0 lead in that game before the Raiders came storming back. I unfortunately don't have stats going back that far, but I'm guessing it was a big-time defensive collapse.

After the jump we'll go over the stats, which finally looked good on at least one side of the ball...

Non-Adjusted Stats for Week 5:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 72.0% 15 81.1% 22 N N 4-0
ANPY/A 11.741 2 10.387 24 N N 6-2
Turnovers 0 1 0 23 N N 6-1
Yds/Drive 35.50 11 39.64 19 N N 5-1
ToP/Drive 2:41.3 12 3:00.6 18 N Y 5-1
Yds/Play 6.574 8 6.319 18 N N 5-1
First Downs/Drive 1.50 16 2.36 22 N Y 4-1
3rd/4th Down 38.5% 16 57.1% 22 N Y 6-3
Avg Start Pos 20.0 23 26.5 12 N N 6-0
3 and Outs 4 13 3 15 N Y 8-0
RZ Eff 100.0% 2 100.0% 20 N N 3-3
Plays/Drive 5.400 15 6.273 19 N Y 4-2
Penalty Yds / Play 0.741 10 0.565 22 N N 5-3
RB Success 44.4% 13 50.0% 17 N Y 3-3
Yds/Carry 2.89 22 5.11 20 N Y 7-3
Net Punts Yds/Game 47.60 1 44.50 20 N N 6-3
Ranking - Week (26) 10 24 20
Ranking - Season (154) 45 149 117

Adjusted Stats for Week 5:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 66.3% 18 89.8% 26 N N 4-0
ANPY/A 9.488 2 10.869 24 N N 6-2
Turnovers 0.3 3 -0.1 26 N N 6-1
Yds/Drive 31.65 12 43.78 25 N N 5-1
ToP/Drive 2:18.1 18 3:13.1 23 N Y 5-1
Yds/Play 6.319 7 6.801 22 N N 5-1
First Downs/Drive 1.43 16 2.75 25 N Y 4-1
3rd/4th Down 32.0% 21 61.9% 26 N Y 6-3
Avg Start Pos 16.7 26 27.0 15 N N 6-0
3 and Outs 4.1 17 2.5 20 N Y 8-0
RZ Eff 83.8% 9 109.7% 24 N N 3-3
Plays/Drive 4.922 18 6.680 24 N Y 4-2
Penalty Yds / Play 1.028 20 0.616 21 N N 5-3
RB Success 39.9% 15 56.0% 24 N Y 3-3
Yds/Carry 3.76 20 4.60 15 N Y 7-3
Net Punts Yds/Game 47.46 2 42.69 17 N N 6-3
Ranking - Week (26) 14 26 25
Ranking - Season (154) 83 154 148

Some thoughts:

  • The Offense finally looked competent! While it was still about average for the week when compared to everyone else, it's great to see them, including Curtis Painter, play really well, even if it was just for a half. Hopefully it gives them some confidence going forward.
  • The best stat of the season so far is the Adjusted Net Passing Yards per Attempt at almost 9.5 per throw, which, dare I say, is Manning-esque. Now, can Painter do it for 10 years straight? Either way, Painter clearly played well enough to win Sunday. Sometimes the QB's teammates don't pick him up, whether it be a TE or a defense.
  • The Drive related stats are still not that good, putting added pressure on the sieve of a defense the Colts are running with. The Time of Possession per Drive was a little better this week, but still not long enough to give a depleted Defense enough time to rest.
  • Pat McAfee had the longest punt of his career, 65 yards, pinning the Chiefs at the 7 yard line, and he had a great day around that punt as well.
  • I can't say anything positive about the defense. It was the worst defensive game played by anyone so far this season, and I'm betting it'll stay that way for a while. There isn't one area to blame it on either. Total collapse by a defense that looked good the first 3 drives of the game.

Season Stats through Week 5 (Adjusted):

Statistic Offense Rank Best Defense Rank Best Record Win %
DSR 62.2% 28 Patriots 75.1% 31 Ravens 25-5 0.833
ANPY/A 5.410 15 Patriots 7.423 30 Jets 33-8 0.805
Turnovers 1.59 15 Bengals 1.36 21 Ravens 31-10 0.756
Yds/Drive 23.65 27 Patriots 33.29 27 Jets 24-6 0.800
ToP/Drive 2:08.0 31 Chargers 3:07.0 29 Texans 31-8 0.795
Yds/Play 4.843 21 Patriots 5.499 23 Ravens 25-6 0.806
First Downs/Drive 1.23 29 Saints 1.98 26 Bears 23-11 0.676
3rd/4th Down 30.6% 29 Saints 50.7% 31 Jets 33-9 0.786
Avg Start Pos 26.7 31 49ers 33.5 27 Patriots 28-10 0.737
3 and Outs 4.45 22 Saints 3.21 24 Bengals 25-10 0.714
RZ Eff 47.9% 29 Giants 74.9% 25 Redskins 27-11 0.711
Plays/Drive 4.952 27 Saints 6.018 27 Bears 21-13 0.618
Penalty Yds / Play 0.718 12 Bengals 0.672 24 Dolphins 22-19 0.537
RB Success 46.6% 14 Saints 43.4% 11 Jaguars 15-18 0.455
Yds/Carry 3.74 25 Eagles 3.75 14 Vikings 16-18 0.471
Net Punts Yds/Game 37.18 20 Saints 39.52 22 Bears 23-18 0.561
Overall 30 Patriots 32 Ravens

A couple things here:

  • We are seeing 2006 level Defensive play, meaning they are really, really bad, and not that Bob Sanders will be riding in for a playoff run to the Super Bowl. Teams are getting 7.5 yards each time they drop back to pass, converting over half of their 3rd/4th down conversions, and moving the ball down the field at will.
  • The Offense is still in improvement mode, but I'd much prefer that than what we're seeing with the defense. They need to continue to get better each week, especially in the drive-related stats, for there to be some semblance of hope for a win this season.
  • Overall, this team is dead last in the league, which makes sense as they are the only 0-5 team.

Week by Week Comparisons:

Colts Opponent Non-Adjusted Adjusted
Week Offense Defense Total Offense Defense Total
1 Texans 134 118 145 95 118 125
2 Browns 125 105 133 129 137 146
3 Steelers 130 80 128 138 49 113
4 Buccaneers 112 129 143 146 141 153
5 Chiefs 45 149 117 83 154 148

As you can see, the defense followed up their awful performance last week with an even worst performance on Sunday. Ugh. All I asked from the coaching staff was to see improvement from week to week to prove they can do their job, and you can see the team has regressed, having already played three of the worst ten games played in the NFL this season. Also hopefully by later today I'll update the Winning Stats page with 2011 numbers, now that we are enough weeks into the season for them to make a little sense. I think they match-up pretty well with what we've seen on the field.

Injuries are no excuse for what we're seeing. Somebody decided that playing Jerry Hughes and Tyler Brayton at DT rather than IR-ing one of the two inactive QBs and getting another actual DT was a good idea. Somebody decided that Justin Tryon was so bad he couldn't see the field over two guys who haven't come close to stopping anyone this season. Somebody is responsible for losing to a team that lost their first two games 89-10, the worst two games to start a season in NFL history, even when spotted a 17-0 lead.

This team is clearly playing beneath their talent level. Something's gotta give.

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