2011 NFL Week Eight: Inside The Colts Numbers

BBS is right...These pictures are much better to look at. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Another week of the NFL season has gone by, and another week we sit here shaking our heads at just how low the Colts have fallen. It hasn't been really surprising now for a month or so, but I do find it fascinating just how many new and different ways they find to kill themselves each week.

The blocked punt was the first since 2006 (what didn't happen in that Jaguars blowout that year?), and only the fourth since 2002, all Colt losses. In fact, those other two games I attended (Denver in '03, Giants in '02), and the Colts looked awful throughout both games. At one point before the block I turned to my dad and said it might be better for the Colts to just take a safety to flip the field, as the Offense clearly had no intentions of actually converting first downs in the first half. Might have saved the Colts 5 points if they had just run out of the back of the end zone.

Some notes on the eighth consecutive loss to start the season for the Colts:

  • Elias: Along with the 31 given up to finish the Saints game last week, the 51 straight points given up by the Colts to their opponents was the most against the Colts since 1992, when the Chargers and Dolphins pitched back-to-back shutouts against them. Oh Jeff George...
  • Colts.com: Even though Curtis Painter really struggled throwing the ball (more on that later), he had the most rushing yards for a Colts QB since Bert Jones in 1974 rushed for 92 yards against the Jets. Painter finished with 79 yards rushing on the day, 58 of which coming on one drive where the Titans probably respected his passing ability a little too much.
  • Colts.com: Reggie Wayne passed Steve Largent for 20th all-time in receptions with 822. Something tells me this would have been a note in Week 4 had Peyton Manning been playing...

Looking at the stats each week is like a train wreck: you know you shouldn't look, but you can't take your eyes off of them. Cheer up though, as one unit actually played half-way decent Sunday.

Non-Adjusted Stats for Week 8:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 63.9% 20 65.5% 8 N N 6-0
ANPY/A 2.961 21 6.912 18 N Y 7-2
Turnovers 2 13 0 21 N Y 5-1
Yds/Drive 28.50 13 25.92 9 N N 6-2
ToP/Drive 2:02.3 22 2:37.3 17 N N 7-0
Yds/Play 5.182 12 4.785 11 N N 5-2
First Downs/Drive 1.57 16 1.42 6 N N 5-1
3rd/4th Down 31.6% 22 41.2% 15 N Y 6-2
Avg Start Pos 19.6 26 27.4 12 N N 4-1
3 and Outs 5 18 4 10 N N 4-1
RZ Eff 35.7% 21 100.0% 19 N Y 5-1
Plays/Drive 5.500 14 5.417 9 N N 3-0
Penalty Yds / Play 0.857 18 0.615 21 N Y 4-2
RB Success 35.0% 20 38.7% 8 N N 2-2
Yds/Carry 6.08 4 3.10 7 Y N 4-4
Net Punts Yds/Game 38.33 17 39.13 12 N N 0-3
Ranking - Week (26) 23 13 19
Ranking - Season (232) 196 110 179

Adjusted Stats for Week 8:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 58.6% 25 67.7% 9 N N 6-0
ANPY/A 2.251 24 6.023 16 N Y 7-2
Turnovers 2.4 23 0.1 24 N Y 5-1
Yds/Drive 23.40 21 25.67 8 N N 6-2
ToP/Drive 1:33.9 26 2:48.8 17 N N 7-0
Yds/Play 5.146 10 4.528 7 N N 5-2
First Downs/Drive 1.09 24 1.62 12 N N 5-1
3rd/4th Down 25.6% 24 37.4% 9 N Y 6-2
Avg Start Pos 20.5 26 29.2 14 N N 4-1
3 and Outs 6.2 24 3.7 13 N N 4-1
RZ Eff 25.8% 23 85.5% 19 N Y 5-1
Plays/Drive 4.666 26 5.571 14 N N 3-0
Penalty Yds / Play 0.934 19 0.411 24 N Y 4-2
RB Success 37.9% 19 46.9% 19 N N 2-2
Yds/Carry 6.09 3 4.06 16 Y N 4-4
Net Punts Yds/Game 39.76 14 42.31 18 N N 0-3
Ranking - Week (26) 25 16 23
Ranking - Season (232) 223 125 217

Some thoughts:

  • We'll start on the defensive side, where they didn't play too bad. For the most part, they had success getting the Titans off the field, only allowing them to continue drives about 2/3 of the time (DSR), which is a big improvement for this Colts defense. Whatever new wrinkles they added seemed to work.
  • The Colts defense was also good on 3rd/4th down, only allowing them to convert at 37% (adjusted), another nice improvement. I'd like to see it continue, but I won't hold my breath.
  • They shut down Chris Johnson, but who hasn't this season? That's why the adjusted numbers don't look nearly as good, because the Titans have looked like the Colts pre-2011 running the ball this season.
  • As has been the story for much of the season, the running game was fantastic, and the passing game was atrocious. Keep in mind that Yards per Carry number includes all the Painter yards, but the RB Success rate does not (since he's not a RB).
  • When I said before the game that the Colts would need longer Time of Possession per Drive to stay in it, throwing 49 passes is not the way to do it, and this stat shows in plain as day. After adjusting for how bad the Titans have been at this stats, the Colts only held the ball for 1:33 per drive. Way to give your defense a rest, guys, especially with how well the Colts ran the ball. Awful gameplan.
  • After a couple really good weeks in the red zone (even though there weren't many opportunities), this week they regressed considerably, again thanks to play-calling. They seemed hell-bent on having Painter throw for touchdowns, rather than run the ball, which ironically got them their only score of the day by Donald Brown.

Season Stats through Week 8 (Adjusted):

Statistic Offense Rank Best Defense Rank Best Record Win %
DSR 61.8% 29 Patriots 74.6% 32 Ravens 42-5 0.894
ANPY/A 4.632 22 Packers 7.590 32 Ravens 53-11 0.828
Turnovers 2.06 23 Lions 1.03 30 Packers 48-14 0.774
Yds/Drive 23.51 26 Eagles 33.97 28 Ravens 39-8 0.830
ToP/Drive 2:08.0 31 Steelers 3:08.0 32 Bears 53-8 0.869
Yds/Play 4.933 18 Eagles 5.573 27 Ravens 38-8 0.826
First Downs/Drive 1.22 29 Eagles 2.01 29 Bears 38-13 0.745
3rd/4th Down 34.4% 20 Saints 47.6% 32 Jets 48-12 0.800
Avg Start Pos 26.3 32 49ers 33.7 30 49ers 42-12 0.778
3 and Outs 4.84 24 Eagles 3.12 26 Lions 36-12 0.750
RZ Eff 55.5% 27 Falcons 76.8% 27 49ers 43-15 0.741
Plays/Drive 4.855 31 Chargers 5.988 28 Bears 31-14 0.689
Penalty Yds / Play 0.721 11 Saints 0.765 20 Chargers 31-27 0.534
RB Success 47.9% 9 Patriots 49.1% 26 Seahawks 28-24 0.538
Yds/Carry 4.49 9 Eagles 4.25 22 Bengals 30-26 0.536
Net Punts Yds/Game 37.54 19 Saints 38.54 16 Bears 29-25 0.537
Overall 29 Patriots 32 Ravens

A couple thoughts:

  • The Colts remain steady in the overall offensive and defensive standings, and they are in dead last by a huge margin. The difference between the Colts and Seahawks (31st) is bigger difference than between Seahawks and Buccaneers (21st). Yes, it's that bad.
  • Remember how we've been saying over and over that it's a passing league now? Makes the Colts massive improvement in the running game insignificant. Oh well. We'll keep trumpeting it here, as that's the only positive we can pull from the season.

Week-by-Week Comparisons:

Colts Opponent Non-Adjusted Adjusted
Week Offense Defense Total Offense Defense Total
1 Texans 195 177 217 158 144 171
2 Browns 182 158 200 206 201 225
3 Steelers 190 127 191 207 53 144
4 Buccaneers 164 197 214 195 213 224
5 Chiefs 68 222 171 70 231 208
6 Bengals 155 157 174 135 191 197
7 Saints 209 232 232 220 232 232
8 Titans 196 110 179 223 125 217

I'll look at a positive...the Defense played its second best game of the season. If you look at it, both sides of the ball have played one really good game, two mediocre games, and five awful ones, and the one day where both sides were merely mediocre they were down by 34 at halftime. Maybe in the second half of the season both sides will put it together for a week and get a surprise win. One can only hope, right?

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