2011 NFL Week Twelve: Inside The Colts Numbers

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 27: Reggie Wayne #87 of the Indianapolis Colts is congratulated by Pierre Garcon #85 after scoring a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 27, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Panthers defeated the Colts 27-19. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)

For the first time in over a month, the Colts looked competitive in a game, but fell short late 27-19 to the Panthers Sunday afternoon at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Colts were tied at the half, something foreign to them as of late, and had a legitimate chance to tie the game at the end, but a Curtis Painter interception, his second thrown in the end zone, ended the game. I guess it's all part of his development.

In reading some of your comments after your game, I want to reiterate one of them that was brought up several times. The Colts converted a 4th and 5 on a nice crossing route to Austin Collie with 1:21 left, so there was no need to panic and keep throwing passes. I talked on Thursday about how the Panthers were one of the worst teams against the run all season, but the Colts decided to throw the ball not once, but twice from the 3 yard line, the second one ending with a tip-drill interception. It doesn't matter that Jacob Tamme was clearly interfered with on first down.

RUN THE DAMN BALL.

The touchdown catch by Reggie Wayne was fantastic, and it's a shame they haven't been able to get him the ball more in open spaces, as that part of his game is severely underrated. I hope we can see it a few more times this year, starting with this weekend against a not-very-good Patriots Secondary.

Just how did the Colts fare statistically after their bye week? Let's take a look...

Non-Adjusted Stats for Week 12:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 67.9% 15 75.8% 27 N Y 5-0
ANPY/A 4.774 21 5.867 17 N Y 6-2
Turnovers 2 20 1 14 N Y 4-3
Yds/Drive 29.36 15 34.27 24 N N 7-2
ToP/Drive 2:09.4 29 3:17.9 29 N Y 7-2
Yds/Play 5.981 10 5.800 21 N N 4-1
First Downs/Drive 1.55 17 2.00 25 N Y 6-0
3rd/4th Down 20.0% 29 50.0% 28 N Y 8-3
Avg Start Pos 23.3 24 31.2 23 N Y 9-1
3 and Outs 4 14 3 20 N Y 8-1
RZ Eff 47.6% 24 100.0% 28 N Y 6-3
Plays/Drive 4.909 29 5.909 20 N Y 4-4
Penalty Yds / Play 0.278 2 1.415 5 Y N 6-5
RB Success 39.1% 23 54.8% 26 N Y 3-4
Yds/Carry 4.57 10 5.74 26 N N 3-6
Net Punts Yds/Game 41.00 18 46.00 28 N N 4-1
Ranking - Week (32) 22 29 30
Ranking - Season (352) 260 288 319

Adjusted Stats for Week 12:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 62.6% 23 71.3% 22 N Y 5-0
ANPY/A 3.362 27 5.741 16 N Y 6-2
Turnovers 2.1 23 0.9 21 N Y 4-3
Yds/Drive 22.95 28 27.98 14 N N 7-2
ToP/Drive 1:53.1 31 3:06.3 27 N Y 7-2
Yds/Play 5.085 18 5.093 15 N N 4-1
First Downs/Drive 1.24 27 1.70 20 N Y 6-0
3rd/4th Down 16.8% 32 47.0% 28 N Y 8-3
Avg Start Pos 23.1 26 31.7 24 N Y 9-1
3 and Outs 5.2 27 3.4 21 N Y 8-1
RZ Eff 51.9% 22 101.8% 32 N Y 6-3
Plays/Drive 4.613 29 5.540 16 N Y 4-4
Penalty Yds / Play 0.270 1 1.133 8 Y N 6-5
RB Success 34.2% 31 50.9% 23 N Y 3-4
Yds/Carry 3.95 21 4.81 24 N N 3-6
Net Punts Yds/Game 41.93 12 50.39 31 N N 4-1
Ranking - Week (32) 30 23 32
Ranking - Season (352) 324 240 331

Some thoughts:

  • Sunday's game was one of those games where it looks like one side (Offense, Defense) looked better than the other, but when you take into account the opponent's strengths and weaknesses, it tells a much different story. You can see this by looking at the Non-Adjusted and Adjusted ranks in the game, which are opposite of each other.
  • The Colts defense continually gets put behind the 8-Ball, especially in how much their on the field, and how long they get to rest in between drives. It's something I've harped on all season, and it hasn't improved at all. The continued insistence on throwing the ball more and more leads to this exact problem.
  • For the most part, the defense got the Panthers off the field more than normal, including two 3 and outs on the final two Carolina drives. It wasn't the defense's fault the Panthers were already in Field Goal range after the kickoff, so despite being on the field twelve and a half more minutes than the Offense, the 4th quarter Defense was as good as it could be.
  • The Panthers had the worst defense the Colts will see the rest of the season, and they still couldn't get anything going. Donald Brown's TD was set up by a Pass Interference penalty, and we already talked about Wayne's unbelievable play for the other TD. What do they have in common? Curtis Painter had very little to do with them.
  • What did Painter have to do with? Painter was 1-6 on Third Down, the one completion being the Wayne TD. He also fumbled after getting sacked on a Third Down. Against one of the worst defenses in the league no less. But he's still 'developing'. Just wonderful.
  • The running game, even though I'm practically screaming to use it more, wasn't that effective either, although the raw Yards per Carry was fine. The Colts ran quite a few "Run-Run-Pass-Punt" drives where the Panthers stacked the front on 1st and 2nd Downs, making it very difficult to run. It was also clear Joseph Addai wasn't completely healthy, but it was good to see Brown have another nice day. He's clearly the starter going forward, and should get the majority of the carries. Never thought I'd see myself write that, but he's made some nice improvements this year.
  • Colts didn't kill themselves with penalties. Good to see.

Season Stats through Week 12 (Adjusted):

Statistic Offense Rank Best Defense Rank Best Record Win %
DSR 60.9% 29 Packers 73.8% 31 Jaguars 65-8 0.890
ANPY/A 4.005 30 Packers 7.507 32 Lions 82-15 0.845
Turnovers 2.17 26 49ers 1.14 30 Packers 77-18 0.811
Yds/Drive 22.71 30 Saints 31.94 25 Texans 61-14 0.813
ToP/Drive 2:08.0 32 Steelers 3:04.0 31 Bears 82-14 0.854
Yds/Play 4.710 24 Packers 5.501 25 Jaguars 54-13 0.806
First Downs/Drive 1.23 32 Patriots 1.87 26 Bears 58-18 0.763
3rd/4th Down 31.9% 30 Saints 47.6% 32 Lions 71-18 0.798
Avg Start Pos 26.1 32 49ers 33.3 29 49ers 65-16 0.802
3 and Outs 5.13 30 Cowboys 3.25 26 Bengals 61-16 0.792
RZ Eff 46.9% 30 Titans 79.5% 30 49ers 67-26 0.720
Plays/Drive 4.893 32 Steelers 5.753 26 Bears 48-23 0.676
Penalty Yds / Play 0.617 2 Packers 0.738 25 Ravens 44-44 0.500
RB Success 45.0% 18 Saints 50.1% 29 Jaguars 37-45 0.451
Yds/Carry 4.31 12 Eagles 4.09 15 Falcons 39-45 0.464
Net Punts Yds/Game 38.54 14 Saints 40.78 30 Bears 48-34 0.585
Overall 32 Packers 32 Lions

A couple thoughts:

  • Still very much in the basement on both sides of the ball, with the defense inching closer to the Panthers. A good offensive performance by the Colts probably would have jumped them.
  • Time of Possession per Drive still playing a much bigger role in winning this season than in years past, up almost 6% over the historical average.
  • The only team less-penalized than the Colts is the Packers. Positives!

Week by Week Comparisons:

Colts Opponent Non-Adjusted Adjusted
Week Offense Defense Total Offense Defense Total
1 Texans 296 268 326 207 216 234
2 Browns 278 243 304 327 243 333
3 Steelers 288 199 292 309 73 208
4 Buccaneers 253 306 323 294 330 338
5 Chiefs 102 337 260 105 352 320
6 Bengals 235 241 268 182 278 266
7 Saints 318 352 352 335 351 352
8 Titans 299 170 276 321 184 310
9 Falcons 346 278 346 346 235 340
10 Jaguars 341 157 320 320 270 336
11 BYE
12 Panthers 260 288 319 324 240 331

Even though the Colts were a mere 3 yards from potentially tying the game, they played an awful game overall. Sunday makes 7 of their 11 games being in the bottom 10% of the league. The more weeks that go by with no personnel or coaching changes, the more I feel they are losing on purpose. Again, this puts nothing on the players, who I know are not trying to lose, and busting their ass week after week. I just want their efforts rewarded with wins, and 'doing what we do' isn't working.

Coming up this week I'll write on what the Colts chances are of going 0-16, based on the numbers, and how it compares to two of the other winless teams of recent memory, the 2008 Lions and the 2007 Dolphins.

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