2011 NFL Week One: Inside The Colts Numbers

HOUSTON - SEPTEMBER 11: Wide receiver Reggie Wayne #87 of the Indianapolis Colts gets both feet down in the back of end-zone for a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium during a season opener on September 11, 2011 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

I'm back once again with all your favorite Winning Stats, which for the Colts this season won't look very "winning", especially if they continue to have performances like they did against the Texans Sunday. BBS has done a very good job covering the game already, so I won't go into much about the actual game. I can tell you that spending a week in Italy really does insulate you from news back in the States, especially when it comes to the NFL. I didn't find out about the Manning's second surgery until we were in line to board the plane back to O'Hare Saturday afternoon. Way to ruin the end of a great vacation...

I did comment on Twitter throughout the first half about the rollouts by Texans QB Matt Schaub, which we all should get very used to seeing. No longer can Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis just pin their ears back and go after the quarterback, so look for teams to move the pocket, allowing completions against the back half of the Colts defense, the next two opponents especially.

Some not-so-great numbers from the 34-7 loss:

  • Elias: The 34-0 halftime lead was a franchise record for the Texans for unanswered points. It was also the largest halftime deficit in a season opener since 1994, when the Colts led the Oilers 35-0 at the half. Any of you remember that game?
  • Elias: File this under "We all know how awesome Peyton Manning is". Kerry Collins lost fumbles twice in the first quarter Sunday, which was more fumbles than Manning has lost in the last 56 games. Yes, he's lost two fumbles in the past 3 and a half seasons, going back to November, 2007. I knew turnovers would be key, and those two fumbles led directly to 14 Houston points.
  • Inhistoric: Collins moved into 10th place all-time in passing yards, moving past the great 49er legend Joe Montana. Need an argument why passing yards shouldn't ever be used to compare QBs? Here's the reason. If Collins were to play an entire 26 game season, he'd need an additional 2,400 yards to pass Dan Fouts, and 4,000 total to pass Drew Bledsoe for 8th all-time. Manning sits at third all-time. 
  • The highlight-reel catch made by Reggie Wayne for the lone points by the Colts kept the Colts from being shut out for the first time since the day after Christmas, 1993, a 38-0 pounding by the Patriots. Both teams were 4-11 afterwards. Want to take a guess as to the starting QB for the Colts that day? Click the link to find out.
  • Oh yeah, Manning's consecutive games streak ended at 208 regular season games.

Follow me after the jump for the ugly truth, in number form...

Colts totals for Week 1:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 61.5% 26 78.4% 26 N Y 6-4
ANPY/A 5.647 20 5.880 14 N N 9-0
Turnovers 2 22 3 2 N N 6-1
Yds/Drive 21.45 28 34.91 23 N Y 4-1
ToP/Drive 2:06.9 25 3:20.4 29 N Y 6-3
Yds/Play 4.720 24 5.818 19 N Y 6-1
First Downs/Drive 1.36 23 2.36 27 N Y 6-4
3rd/4th Down 10.0% 30 45.5% 25 N Y 10-2
Avg Start Pos 31.1 6 29.1 24 Y N 3-3
3 and Outs 3 8 2 26 N N 3-2
RZ Eff 33.3% 29 64.3% 16 N N 6-2
Plays/Drive 4.545 27 6.000 22 N Y 4-3
Penalty Yds / Play 1.200 25 0.455 25 N Y 6-1
RB Success 46.7% 12 50.0% 23 N N 4-5
Yds/Carry 4.00 14 4.07 20 N N 3-2
Net Punts Yds/Game 31.67 30 44.50 23 N Y 8-6
Ranking - Week (32) 28 27 30
Ranking - Season (32) 28 26 30

Some thoughts:

  • The Offense was truly in bizarro world - everything that used to be great (Drive Success Rate, Adjusted Pass Yards / Attempt) was terrible, but the Colts had the best field position I can remember. A large part of that is Pat Angerer's fumble recovery at the Texans 13 yard line, but strange nonetheless.
  • Also in the top half of the league were the rushing stats, although we know those aren't nearly as important as the passing ones. Still good to know, especially since they'll have to rely heavier on them this season than in year's past.
  • The Red Zone defense I thought was pretty good, and once I'm able to adjust for defense it'll get much better, as the Texans offense was 4th best in the league last year inside the 20. Again, a glimmer of hope going forward if the defense can at least hold teams to three points.
  • Where are we going to see the biggest difference this season, based on the small sample size of one game? 3rd/4th Down Conversions. Since 2001, the Colts had never been below 20% when Manning played the entire game. Week 16 of 2003, a game I saw in person against the Broncos, saw the Colts only convert 20% of their 3rd and 4th downs. There were two games where it was under 20%: The 33-14 Jim Sorgi-led loss to the Broncos in 2004 (18.2%), and Week 16 of 2009 against the Jets (16.7%). Funny that in all three cases, all late in the season, the Colts won a rematch quite handily with both teams.
  • The Colts weren't the worst team in the league in any stat. Moral victory!

Overall in the NFL, it had the Bills playing the best game of the weekend, followed by the Chargers, Texans, and Ravens. We'll see how good those games really were once we can adjust for opponents, which I'll be able to crudely do next week.

Buckle up folks. I think it's going to be a long season.

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