2011 NFL Week Fifteen: Inside The Colts Numbers

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 18: Pat Angerer #51 of the Indianapolis Colts celebrates after intercepting a pass during the Colts 27-13 victory over the Tennessee Titans in the NFL game at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 18, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Finally a post-game stats recap that I'm looking forward to writing. After Sunday's 27-13 Colts victory, which I was in attendance for, it became clear to me that Mr. Irsay needs to give me some complimentary season tickets for next year so I can witness more victories. The atmosphere was very good, got pretty loud, even early on, and saw very few empty seats. I was pleasantly surprised.

Since you can't get the full-field view while watching television, and I wanted to see how the Colts secondary was playing, I tried to focus on them throughout the game. One of the biggest plays of the game was the Pat Angerer interception in the end zone in the 4th quarter. On every previous play, the Titans ran a receiver underneath, and Matt Hasselbeck dumped it off each time, as the receiver was wide open. What happened on the interception play? They ran all four receivers deep, and Chris Johnson had to stay in and block, Hasselbeck got drilled so he had to just get rid of ball, and his only receivers were well down the field, and had Colts all around them. Dumb play call for the Titans, and the Colts took advantage of it, something they haven't done many times this year.

It was also nice to see Dan Orlovsky literally skipping around the field after the game, obviously thrilled that he finally got his first victory as a starter in the NFL. He was shaking the hand of anyone close to him. The TD pass to Reggie Wayne was perfectly placed, and he did enough to "not lose" the game, which was perfect for yesterday, with the defense playing so well. In fact, his last pass of the game was that beautifully thrown ball to Wayne, with almost 10 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter. Didn't notice at the time, but that's pretty amazing.

A few other notes on the Colts first win of the year:

  • Elias: It was just the fourth time in NFL history that a team broke a 13+ game losing streak with a win of at least 13 points. The 1962 Raiders (19 games), 1970 Steelers (16 games), and the 1977 Buccaneers (26 games) are the others. I guess if it's going to happen, finish it off in style.
  • Elias: It was also just the fourth time in NFL history that a team with a 10+ game winning streak lost on the same day as a team with a 10+ game losing streak, most recently than 1984. Obviously the other part of this was the 19-14 Packers loss to the Chiefs.
  • Colts.com: Donald Brown's 80 yard TD run in the 4th quarter tied for the longest run in team history with a run in 1964 by Tom Matte. It was the longest TD run in team history, thanks in large part to a cut-back block by Orlovsky.

Let's get to the stats, where we saw one side of the ball play better than it has played all season...

Non-Adjusted Stats for Week 15:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 54.5% 30 62.9% 8 N N 8-0
ANPY/A 6.000 15 4.421 11 Y N 11-2
Turnovers 1 9 3 6 Y N 7-1
Yds/Drive 23.92 24 27.71 11 N N 5-0
ToP/Drive 2:20.3 24 2:16.9 8 N N 5-1
Yds/Play 5.627 14 5.105 12 Y N 6-3
First Downs/Drive 0.83 32 1.50 10 N N 5-0
3rd/4th Down 25.0% 25 35.3% 17 N N 7-2
Avg Start Pos 23.4 24 26.9 14 N N 8-1
3 and Outs 7 28 5 7 N N 6-3
RZ Eff 100.0% 1 47.6% 9 Y N 6-2
Plays/Drive 4.250 29 5.429 15 N N 5-0
Penalty Yds / Play 0.490 6 0.921 15 Y N 7-0
RB Success 41.2% 21 22.2% 1 N N 2-5
Yds/Carry 6.03 5 3.47 8 Y N 2-8
Net Punts Yds/Game 40.14 15 45.00 22 N N 3-1
Ranking - Week (32) 26 6 14
Ranking - Season (448) 347 82 207

Adjusted Stats for Week 15:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 54.1% 30 65.7% 10 N N 8-0
ANPY/A 5.478 16 4.538 10 Y N 11-2
Turnovers 1.1 14 3.1 6 Y N 7-1
Yds/Drive 21.38 28 28.48 13 N N 5-0
ToP/Drive 2:01.3 27 2:27.5 11 N N 5-1
Yds/Play 5.734 12 5.147 14 Y N 6-3
First Downs/Drive 0.66 32 1.67 14 N N 5-0
3rd/4th Down 23.8% 26 36.3% 18 N N 7-2
Avg Start Pos 24.6 23 28.5 15 N N 8-1
3 and Outs 7.4 31 5.0 7 N N 6-3
RZ Eff 96.4% 9 36.6% 6 Y N 6-2
Plays/Drive 3.727 32 5.505 16 N N 5-0
Penalty Yds / Play 0.517 6 0.691 24 Y N 7-0
RB Success 44.3% 18 32.6% 7 N N 2-5
Yds/Carry 6.02 5 3.96 12 Y N 2-8
Net Punts Yds/Game 42.37 14 45.92 27 N N 3-1
Ranking - Week (32) 26 8 18
Ranking - Season (448) 378 102 254

Some thoughts:

  • The Defense played lights out all game, giving up the lone touchdown in the 4th quarter with under four minutes to go in the game. You can't pick out any stat by the Defense that was poor, which is great to see. Easily their best effort of the season.
  • The Turnovers were huge, especially considering the Titans were the 5th best team in not turning it over on the season. The Jacob Lacey Pick Six was a huge turning point of the game, and a clear sign to the team that "Hey, we can actually win this thing!". I thought it would take a Defensive or Special Teams TD for the Colts to win, and they got it.
  • The Penalty Yards stat doesn't actually tell the story here, as the Colts benefited from a couple 15 yard penalties, one of which gave the ball to the Colts at the Tennessee 43, and ended with the Wayne TD catch. There's a gigantic difference in getting two first downs starting there, and getting two first downs starting at your own 20.
  • The Defense was also fantastic in the Red Zone against the best Red Zone team in the league. They held the Titans to just a field goal just before the half, taking a little bit of momentum into the break, then stopped them on fourth down at the end of the game, putting the finishing touches on the win.
  • The Offense FINALLY decided to run the ball, running the ball twice as much as they passed it, 34-17, including the final 15 plays from scrimmage. It wasn't all just running the clock out either, as they scored 10 points in that time.
  • When you have an 80 yard run, the Yards per Carry is obviously going to be great. Brown finished with 161 yards on the ground on 16 carries, which means even before that carry he was averaging over 5 yards per carry. I'd really like to know why he hasn't been starting. He's clearly been the best RB all year. It's things like this that should make people realize the coaching staff needs to go, even more so than the record.
  • Colts didn't put together many drives, and were quite bad at all of those stats. But think about it: TD drive of only 43 yards, INT touchdown, and long TD run on first play of drive. The longest drive of the game was the first FG drive, which was 11 plays, but only took up 4:47 of the clock, thanks to a couple incomplete passes to stall the drive.
  • Orlovsky throwing the ball was pretty average, getting 6 yards in ANPY/A. I'll take that each and every week from these guys, especially when the adjusted average for the Colts this year is just above four yards per attempt.

Season Stats through Week 15 (Adjusted):

Statistic Offense Rank Best Defense Rank Best Record Win %
DSR 61.4% 29 Patriots 73.6% 30 49ers 87-10 0.897
ANPY/A 4.176 27 Packers 6.955 30 Texans 109-19 0.852
Turnovers 2.04 25 49ers 1.30 29 49ers 98-22 0.817
Yds/Drive 23.21 29 Saints 31.46 24 Jets 75-17 0.815
ToP/Drive 2:15.0 32 Chargers 3:02.0 31 Bears 101-17 0.856
Yds/Play 4.705 25 Patriots 5.355 23 Ravens 71-17 0.807
First Downs/Drive 1.26 32 Patriots 1.89 27 Jets 70-22 0.761
3rd/4th Down 34.1% 26 Saints 47.4% 32 Jets 89-24 0.788
Avg Start Pos 26.5 32 49ers 33.5 30 49ers 87-22 0.798
3 and Outs 5.25 30 Saints 3.33 24 Bengals 79-21 0.790
RZ Eff 54.2% 30 Titans 77.4% 30 49ers 82-33 0.713
Plays/Drive 4.986 31 Saints 5.835 26 Jets 60-28 0.682
Penalty Yds / Play 0.541 1 Colts 0.687 29 Jets 60-52 0.536
RB Success 43.8% 20 Bills 48.6% 25 49ers 48-58 0.453
Yds/Carry 4.27 11 Eagles 3.96 13 Ravens 51-64 0.443
Net Punts Yds/Game 38.52 14 49ers 40.59 29 Bears 62-38 0.620
Overall 32 Saints 32 49ers

A couple thoughts:

  • Both units are back in the basement, but it was more so the Chiefs playing decent with Kyle Orton at QB than the Colts dropping back on Offense.
  • Yards per Carry continues to be the bright spot for both units. Never would have thought that coming into the season.

Week by Week Comparisons:

Colts Opponent Non-Adjusted Adjusted
Week Offense Defense Total Offense Defense Total
1 Texans 373 338 411 299 276 332
2 Browns 352 308 384 408 318 422
3 Steelers 365 250 368 369 119 271
4 Buccaneers 316 383 408 387 431 437
5 Chiefs 133 425 331 121 448 388
6 Bengals 298 307 341 248 365 348
7 Saints 402 448 448 423 447 448
8 Titans 376 214 350 403 262 399
9 Falcons 439 352 441 439 299 432
10 Jaguars 431 195 404 414 346 428
11 BYE
12 Panthers 329 361 402 398 290 406
13 Patriots 43 426 252 80 310 158
14 Ravens 405 378 428 379 368 417
15 Titans 347 82 207 378 102 254

As you can see, the Defensive effort by far the best on that side, and is just behind the Offensive performance against the Patriots. The gameplan should be pretty similar for Thursday night against the Texans: Run a lot, and force the Texans to make a bunch of dump-off passes, hoping T.J. Yates makes mistake. I'll have a full preview up Wednesday morning for Thursday night's game.

I've waited almost 12 months to write a recap after a win. I'm thinking I won't have to wait that long for another one.

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