Friday I took a look at how the Colts Defense fared last year when at home and on the road, and it was an incredible difference. They played really well in Indianapolis, but couldn't stop anyone on the road. It was incredibly frustrating to watch, and what I saw with my eyes was certainly backed up with numbers.
Now, let's look at the Colts Offense from 2010, which overall wasn't what it has been for the last decade. They were ranked 6th overall in terms of the Winning Stats, their lowest rank since 2001, which means these numbers won't look as rosy as we've all come to expect. However, for the eight games played on the road this year, the Colts actually looked like the Colts offense we all know and love. It was the eight home games where we saw Peyton Manning throw 8 interceptions in two weeks, including four of them for Touchdowns. There are some truly ugly stats at home, but thankfully there were a few bright spots that make me think things will turn-around in 2011.
Once again, I'll comment on the Adjusted numbers, as they are a better representation of how the Colts actually played. Let's jump into the numbers.
|Avg Start Pos||27.7||30||Bengals||27.5||27||Patriots|
|3 and Outs||3.00||9||Texans||2.88||3||Jaguars|
|Penalty Yds / Play||0.651||6||Packers||0.652||9||Dolphins|
|Net Punts Yds/Game||37.50||26||Cowboys||38.18||20||Cowboys|
|Avg Start Pos||28.7||30||Bengals||27.5||31||Patriots|
|3 and Outs||3.11||9||Texans||3.03||5||Jaguars|
|Penalty Yds / Play||0.587||2||Chargers||0.654||9||Dolphins|
|Net Punts Yds/Game||38.16||14||Cowboys||38.95||16||Steelers|
- As I said before the jump, the Offense at Home really wasn't themselves last year, ranking 12th overall. Now, some teams would obviously move heaven and earth to be ranked that high, but they don't have Peyton Manning playing QB. Of the best six statistical indicators, only one of them was in the top 10 at home, which spells a #12 ranking.
- Our end-all-be-all stat around here is Adjusted Net Passing Yards / Attempt, and you can see just how different the stat was from home to away, almost 2 full yards / attempt, which is a huge difference. You'll also notice it isn't entirely on the Interception side, as the Colts actually had slightly more turnovers on the road than they did at home. But number of TD passes tell a pretty good story: 13 at Home, 20 on the Road. That's almost one more TD pass per game.
- Want another stat that made a huge difference? Look at Yards / Play, which also has a huge Home/Away disparity, almost a full yard / play. The Colts just couldn't move the ball at home, for whatever reason. We already saw how the passing per-play stat was significantly lower, so what about the rushing numbers?
- RB Success also saw a big difference, with the Colts actually being able to run the ball on the road. Joseph Addai only played in 3 home games, while playing in 5 on the road, so that may play a part in it. Donald Brown's best game was at home against the Jaguars, so that isn't it. There wasn't a big difference in actual attempts (202 vs. 189), so it was just flat out running the ball better on the road. Anyone else have an explanation?
- Some things, thankfully, were great no matter where they played, like most of the drive stats. The Colts could still put drives together at home, they just didn't gain as many yards doing it. The Plays / Drive were nearly identical, but the yardage was about 6 yards different each drive.
- The Colts were fantastic in the Red Zone last season both home and away, which is a good sign going forward. They continued to score TDs when they got inside the 20 better than anyone else last season. Whatever they did last year, please do more of it this season.
The other big surprise in this is how each unit (Offense and Defense) picked the other one up where they didn't play well last season. The Offense clearly struggled at home, but the Defense was there to keep the Colts in games. Likewise on the road, where the Defense couldn't do much right at all, the Offense was spectacular. They really only put together a full-team performance once last season, the Week 2 thrashing of the Giants. It makes me optimistic that we now know the Colts can actually play well, at least in certain settings. If they want to get back to the Super Bowl, though, they'll need to learn to play both at home and on the road.