INDIANAPOLIS IN - JANUARY 08: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts talks with head coach Jim Caldwell against the New York Jets during their 2011 AFC wild card playoff game at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 8 2011 in Indianapolis Indiana. The Jets won 17-16. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
As this season finally comes to a close, I found myself thinking back over the season. What were the trends that still stick out in my mind? Was there something different about this year? The obvious comes to mind right away. Injuries were in vogue this season. I cannot remember a season with more games missed by players I saw as critical before the season. Aside from that, there was another thing that popped into my head.
I feel like our third quarters were REALLY bad this year. What game was there where we came out of the locker room and dominated? Did we win any third quarters this year? Did we put the game away after having a lead at halftime? Did we close a gap that seemed too big to close? What great adjustments did we make during a halftime?
For my money, halftime adjustments are where coaches earn their stripes. During the Dungy years, the Colts were the best in the league at coming out from the halftime break and putting a score on the board to widen the gap or to close the deficit. I went back through the scoring summaries from 2002-2010 to check it out. See what I found after the jump.I looked at the scoring differential in the third quarter of games. This should be the time when halftime adjustments were most useful. The points is our differential in that quarter.
Dungy led the Colts from 2002-2008.
- 2002 -5 points
- 2003 53 points
- 2004 38 points
- 2005 72 points
2006 67 points
2007 77 points
- 2008 28 points
Caldwell took over in 2009 and 2010
- 2009 7 points
- 2010 -47 points
We played 17 games this season and we "won" the third quarter in 3 of them. In no game did we win the third by more than 3 points. We averaged less than 4 points per game in the third quarter. Games turn in the third. We should be able to come out from the half and have more success than that.
Before you all pile on saying this is another "Fire Caldwell" post, hold on. The point of this is NOT to say that Caldwell is terrible and should be fired. I think we need more time to see what kind of coach Caldwell really is.
My point is that we should be able to expect more from our coaches. The adjustments were not there this year. We came out after half and did the same thing we did in the first half. Other teams caught on and took advantage. This needs to be fixed. Adjustments are key to winning in the NFL and we need to get better at making them.