2011 NFL Week Nine: Inside The Colts Numbers

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 6: Jerraud Powers #25 of the Indianapolis Colts celebrates a touchdown after an interception during the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 6, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)

As it's the time of year where all the trees in our yard become the bane of my existence, I was listening to the Q95 Pregame show Sunday morning while raking leaves and mowing the grass, and one part of the discussion really stuck out to me. The show features former QBs Jack Trudeau and Mark Herrmann, and they were asked to grade Colts QB Curtis Painter's play so far this season. As I listened to their answers, all I could think was They've actually watched the 2011 Colts, right?

They started by saying he hasn't gotten much help from the 'make-shift Offensive Line', doesn't have a consistent running game to help him out, and if only his receivers would 'make a few plays for him'. Then they finally talked about Painter's play, which they admitted wasn't great, but it seemed they went out of their way to not be critical of him, especially considering their excuses. As I've been saying for a few weeks now, the running game / Offensive Line are the only things the Colts have been good at consistently all year. (OK, there is one more, which we'll get into later).

Sunday's 31-7 slaughtering at the hands of the Falcons was just more of the same for the Colts offense, another putrid performance by everyone involved, and it starts with the Quarterback. We saw Painter get benched for Dan Orlovsky in the fourth quarter, and at some point, if they are playing to win every game, we may need to see a change earlier on in the game. Do I expect anything? Of course not. But the bye week could be a good time to let Orlovsky take more snaps and get a chance if Painter puts up another stinker next week.

You think the Colts can't play any worse than we've seen earlier this year? Let's dive into the numbers, and I'll show you just how bad the Offense was Sunday...

Non-Adjusted Stats for Week 9:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 45.5% 28 73.5% 17 N Y 6-0
ANPY/A 1.657 28 11.360 27 N Y 7-0
Turnovers 2 16 1 14 N Y 7-0
Yds/Drive 15.50 28 33.23 15 N Y 4-1
ToP/Drive 1:51.2 28 2:54.3 16 N N 5-2
Yds/Play 3.321 28 6.545 20 N Y 4-3
First Downs/Drive 0.83 28 1.62 9 N N 3-1
3rd/4th Down 28.6% 20 42.9% 16 N Y 4-0
Avg Start Pos 19.3 26 26.2 14 N N 2-1
3 and Outs 7 28 3 9 N Y 5-1
RZ Eff 0.0% 26 81.0% 20 N Y 7-4
Plays/Drive 4.667 28 5.077 6 N N 3-2
Penalty Yds / Play 0.571 5 0.152 28 N N 3-1
RB Success 35.0% 23 60.0% 25 N Y 4-5
Yds/Carry 3.95 18 3.98 12 N N 5-3
Net Punts Yds/Game 48.00 3 46.00 24 N N 5-1
Ranking - Week (28) 28 18 28
Ranking - Season (260) 257 199 255

Adjusted Stats for Week 9:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 48.1% 28 70.0% 12 N Y 6-0
ANPY/A 2.281 28 11.730 27 N Y 7-0
Turnovers 1.5 17 1.2 16 N Y 7-0
Yds/Drive 15.87 28 34.37 15 N Y 4-1
ToP/Drive 1:50.7 28 2:39.2 13 N N 5-2
Yds/Play 3.455 28 7.093 26 N Y 4-3
First Downs/Drive 0.86 28 1.39 6 N N 3-1
3rd/4th Down 23.3% 24 35.8% 13 N Y 4-0
Avg Start Pos 19.4 27 26.0 13 N N 2-1
3 and Outs 6.9 28 3.8 8 N Y 5-1
RZ Eff 17.4% 26 66.2% 13 N Y 7-4
Plays/Drive 4.591 27 4.691 1 N N 3-2
Penalty Yds / Play 0.624 7 0.261 28 N N 3-1
RB Success 37.2% 22 64.7% 27 N Y 4-5
Yds/Carry 4.42 14 4.17 13 N N 5-3
Net Punts Yds/Game 47.01 3 49.90 27 N N 5-1
Ranking - Week (28) 28 15 28
Ranking - Season (260) 255 170 254

Some thoughts:

  • I'm going to start with the Defense, as for the second week in a row they held their own despite the Offensive struggles they have to cover up week after week. They once again played right around the average in the NFL, which is saying something for being on the field so much.
  • The defense actually got that Falcons off the field, doing well in First Downs per Drive, Third/Fourth Down Conversion Rate (where the Falcons had been excellent all year), and Three and Outs, forcing 3 of them Sunday.
  • Obviously the biggest problem for the defense was giving up big plays in the passing game, which is why you see the bad numbers in ANPY/A and Yards per Play. Thankfully the Colts won't see Julio Jones for another four years.
  • The lone bright spot for the Colts Offense was Punter Pat McAfee, who was outstanding. He's playing at a Pro Bowl level this season, and I hope he gets the recognition he deserves. The punt he pinned in the corner at the 1 was as perfect as you can get, and directly led to seven points, thanks to Jerraud Powers.
  • Worst in the league this week in six of the top seven stats. This team should not be this bad. It really shouldn't. 16 Yards per Drive? Less than a First Down per Drive? Seven Three and Outs? Incredibly frustrating.
  • The Running game also took a step back, although the Yards per Carry was decent. Hopefully we see it back to the level of previous game next week.

Season Stats through Week 9 (Adjusted):

Statistic Offense Rank Best Defense Rank Best Record Win %
DSR 59.6% 31 Packers 73.6% 30 Ravens 48-5 0.906
ANPY/A 4.211 27 Packers 8.079 32 Jets 60-11 0.845
Turnovers 2.09 23 Lions 1.13 29 Packers 55-14 0.797
Yds/Drive 21.98 31 Eagles 33.30 28 Jaguars 43-9 0.827
ToP/Drive 2:04.0 31 Steelers 3:02.0 29 Bears 58-10 0.853
Yds/Play 4.695 25 Packers 5.710 29 Ravens 42-11 0.792
First Downs/Drive 1.15 31 Eagles 1.89 27 Bears 41-14 0.745
3rd/4th Down 32.2% 24 Saints 45.9% 32 Jets 52-12 0.813
Avg Start Pos 25.8 32 49ers 33.1 27 49ers 44-13 0.772
3 and Outs 5.26 29 Eagles 3.38 22 Lions 41-13 0.759
RZ Eff 49.1% 31 Titans 75.4% 25 Falcons 50-19 0.725
Plays/Drive 4.769 32 Saints 5.751 22 Bears 34-16 0.680
Penalty Yds / Play 0.685 7 Saints 0.671 29 Ravens 34-28 0.548
RB Success 46.9% 10 Steelers 50.7% 30 Seahawks 32-29 0.525
Yds/Carry 4.41 9 Eagles 4.17 21 Bengals 35-29 0.547
Net Punts Yds/Game 38.57 15 Saints 39.74 26 Bears 34-26 0.567
Overall 31 Packers 32 Ravens

A couple thoughts:

  • Only Seattle's Offense is worse than the Colts, and they're getting dangerously close to passing them as well.
  • Even though the Defense keeps improving, they still haven't surpassed the Titans yet, who are ranked 31st on Defense.
  • Time of Possession per Drive is looking to be more important this season than in years past, while Turnovers aren't quite as important. Interesting to see.

Week by Week Comparisons:

Colts Opponent Non-Adjusted Adjusted
Week Offense Defense Total Offense Defense Total
1 Texans 221 193 242 177 148 189
2 Browns 207 173 225 238 227 252
3 Steelers 215 141 214 239 50 163
4 Buccaneers 187 221 239 221 229 248
5 Chiefs 80 249 193 92 260 238
6 Bengals 178 172 196 151 215 221
7 Saints 236 260 260 247 259 260
8 Titans 222 121 202 249 137 244
9 Falcons 257 199 255 255 170 254

Six games in the bottom 40 played so far this season by the Colts. The Offense has looked horrific for three straight weeks now, while the Defense hasn't played bad in two straight. The next two games will probably be the best chances for the Colts to win a game until Week 15 against the Titans. We'll find out what they have left in them.

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