2011 NFL Week Six: Inside The Colts Numbers

I made my yearly trip to Las Vegas this weekend, so I only got to see bits and pieces of the Colts-Bengals game live, so it wasn't until this morning that I'm catching up and watching the game. I'm finding the Bengals gameplan a bit curious, as their first several possessions they tried to "establish the run", even when it wasn't there, instead of attacking the Colts secondary. As we've seen each week this season, the Colts defense has been up to the task early in games, but slowly faded as they got tired.

The end of the first half saw more of the same timeout calling genius of Jim Caldwell, deciding to go into halftime with all three of his timeouts instead of calling them once the Bengals had a first and goal. They ran their first down play at about 1:20 left in the half, meaning the Colts could have easily had a full minute to try and get a field goal at least. Even if it was to just get Curtis Painter some practice running a no-huddle, as an 0-5 record affords you to try some different things to see if they work. It also might be necessary to a hurry-up two minute drill at the end of a game to tie/win, so any practice Painter can get would be good. But apparently these things just don't come to mind for the Head Coach.

The drive that ended with the blocked Adam Vinatieri field goal was equally frustrating. The Colts had the Bengals on their heels running the no-huddle (see, they can do it effectively), but once they hit the 30 it was almost like they were content to take the tying field goal rather than keep attacking. It goes back to continuing to play risk-averse, which makes absolutely no sense when you are now 0-6. The "same old, same old" clearly isn't working.

After the jump we'll dive into the numbers from the Colts sixth straight loss to open the season. The 1997 Colts were 0-10 before they got their first win (over 8-2 Green Bay). How long will the 2011 Colts go without a win?

Non-Adjusted Stats for Week 6:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 69.0% 12 67.9% 11 N N 7-0
ANPY/A 4.400 21 8.875 23 N Y 9-1
Turnovers 3 21 0 18 N Y 5-2
Yds/Drive 24.82 19 32.55 11 N Y 6-0
ToP/Drive 2:24.0 19 3:03.3 20 N Y 7-0
Yds/Play 4.707 21 5.683 15 N Y 5-0
First Downs/Drive 1.64 15 1.55 10 Y N 4-1
3rd/4th Down 50.0% 5 42.9% 17 N N 3-0
Avg Start Pos 22.5 24 33.7 24 N Y 5-0
3 and Outs 5 19 4 9 N N 4-0
RZ Eff 100.0% 1 60.7% 12 Y N 7-2
Plays/Drive 5.273 21 5.727 16 N Y 3-0
Penalty Yds / Play 0.190 2 1.762 2 Y N 1-5
RB Success 59.1% 3 46.9% 16 N N 5-2
Yds/Carry 4.09 12 3.03 3 N N 4-3
Net Punts Yds/Game 43.25 8 43.20 17 N N 3-0
Ranking - Week (26) 18 16 18
Ranking - Season (180) 126 120 138

Adjusted Stats for Week 6:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 73.4% 11 73.5% 19 N N 7-0
ANPY/A 3.753 23 9.111 23 N Y 9-1
Turnovers 3.1 23 0.7 20 N Y 5-2
Yds/Drive 28.10 17 36.37 20 N Y 6-0
ToP/Drive 2:22.8 20 3:17.7 23 N Y 7-0
Yds/Play 5.234 16 5.956 19 N Y 5-0
First Downs/Drive 1.86 9 1.87 17 Y N 4-1
3rd/4th Down 49.0% 6 52.2% 22 N N 3-0
Avg Start Pos 26.4 19 31.5 22 N Y 5-0
3 and Outs 3.4 14 3.2 15 N N 4-0
RZ Eff 82.7% 6 63.0% 16 Y N 7-2
Plays/Drive 5.425 13 6.199 21 N Y 3-0
Penalty Yds / Play 0.368 5 1.888 1 Y N 1-5
RB Success 58.8% 2 41.8% 12 N N 5-2
Yds/Carry 5.23 6 3.49 3 N N 4-3
Net Punts Yds/Game 44.14 7 41.56 14 N N 3-0
Ranking - Week (26) 15 23 22
Ranking - Season (180) 99 155 149

Some thoughts:

  • The Colts moved the ball pretty well, they best they've done all year in fact, against a Bengals defense that is very good. Painter still had some under-pressure throws, but for the most part moved the chains when he needed to. Converting half of the 3rd/4th Downs is fantastic as well.
  • The Colts also ran the ball really, really well, and credit should go to both the RBs (Delone Carter & Donald Brown), but to the Offensive Line as well. Sure they have massive screw-ups on occasion, but this injury-depleted unit is playing about as well as you could have asked for.
  • Colts scored touchdowns when they got into the red zone, even though one trip it took three tries and an unbelievable catch by Dallas Clark. Bob Lamey on the radio made it seem as though Clark almost dropped an easy play, when that clearly wasn't the case. Painter got excited and air-mailed it, but Dallas made a great play.
  • If you look at the top 6 stats, the Colts were below average in five of those categories on both sides of the ball. Those six make up about 55% of my prediction each week, so it makes it very clear why the Colts did not win Sunday. The turnover number looks bad on the surface, and you should never be satisfied turning the ball over three times, but Clark's fumble led to no points, and Turnovers led to 14 of the Bengals 27 points, so they were critical to the outcome. A team that needs all the breaks it can get can't have turnovers like that. Painter's interception was him trying to make a play down by 10, and he had to take a chance. No big deal. If only he had had some practice with it earlier in the game...
  • The Colts had consecutive three and outs to start the second half, which gave the defense no break, and killed the Time of Possession per Drive stat, something the Colts still can't do well. We'll continue to see late-game struggles as long as the Colts can't hang onto the ball for at least 2:40 per drive, which is league average.
  • Penalties were apparently the way to win this week, as five teams had a high amount of penalties, while their opponent were below average in committing penalties, but still won the game. Strange indeed.

Season Stats through Week 6 (Adjusted):

Statistic Offense Rank Best Defense Rank Best Record Win %
DSR 63.9% 27 Patriots 75.1% 32 Ravens 32-5 0.865
ANPY/A 5.047 19 Packers 7.407 29 Jets 42-9 0.824
Turnovers 1.90 17 Lions 1.46 23 Ravens 36-12 0.750
Yds/Drive 23.94 26 Patriots 33.76 29 Ravens 30-6 0.833
ToP/Drive 2:08.0 31 Chargers 3:11.0 32 Ravens 38-8 0.826
Yds/Play 4.869 21 Patriots 5.517 24 Ravens 30-6 0.833
First Downs/Drive 1.32 27 Patriots 1.99 30 Bears 27-12 0.692
3rd/4th Down 34.7% 20 Saints 51.4% 32 Jets 36-9 0.800
Avg Start Pos 27.2 31 49ers 34.1 30 Patriots 33-10 0.767
3 and Outs 4.49 24 Eagles 3.30 22 Lions 29-10 0.744
RZ Eff 54.2% 28 49ers 72.5% 24 Buccaneers 34-13 0.723
Plays/Drive 4.962 29 Chargers 6.087 30 Jets 24-13 0.649
Penalty Yds / Play 0.687 10 Chargers 0.937 11 Chargers 23-24 0.489
RB Success 49.9% 8 Cardinals 44.2% 13 Ravens 20-20 0.500
Yds/Carry 4.09 18 Eagles 3.79 12 Seahawks 20-21 0.488
Net Punts Yds/Game 37.84 19 Saints 39.45 23 Bears 26-18 0.591
Overall 29 Patriots 32 Ravens

A couple thoughts:

  • On Offense, the drive stats aren't great, but they are improving, which is a good sign. This is especially true on 3rd/4th down, where the Colts were atrocious with Kerry Collins under center, but look pretty good right now. I think we'll continue to see these numbers improve as the season moves along, and it won't look nearly as bad.
  • The Defense is still dreadful, ranking dead last in the league. The run defense continues to be the bright spot, but they can't stop the pass and they can't get teams off the field with any regularity. This is quite a bit worse than 2006 too, based on the numbers. If the 2006 team was playing in 2011, they'd be ranked 20th in overall defense.

Week by Week Comparisons:

Colts Opponent Non-Adjusted Adjusted
Week Offense Defense Total Offense Defense Total
1 Texans 156 139 170 139 133 157
2 Browns 146 121 156 165 160 175
3 Steelers 152 92 148 164 55 120
4 Buccaneers 131 153 168 162 161 176
5 Chiefs 53 174 134 92 180 173
6 Bengals 126 120 138 99 155 149

The Colts played their second best game of the season Sunday, but it didn't matter. The Colts are still ranked as the worst team in the league, barely behind the Chiefs. The other winless teams, the Dolphins and Rams, are 24th and 29th respectively, as they've played a much tougher schedule than the Colts have (Rams #2, Dolphins #5, Colts #27).

I will definitely have full rankings this week up on the site, along with Strength of Schedule and Consistency rankings. It isn't pretty at all for the Colts, other than at being consistent. Oh have they been consistent...

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