2011 NFL Week Seventeen: Inside The Colts Numbers

JACKSONVILLE, FL - JANUARY 1: Blaine Gabbert #11 of the Jacksonville Jaguars fumbles the football after being sacked by Robert Mathis #98 of the Indianapolis Colts at EverBank Field on January 1, 2012 in Jacksonville, Florida. The Jaguars defeated the Colts 19-13. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

With everything that has happened with the Colts over the past three days, some people might have forgotten they played a game on Sunday, a 19-13 loss to the Jaguars, cementing the #1 overall seed with a 2-14 record, and we've seen the aftermath since. The loss meant the first time since the AFC South was formed in 2002 that the Colts were swept by an opponent in a season. That's pretty amazing to think about.

There wasn't much I took from the game, other than the players played at maximum effort, which we all expected. The goal-line stand on the opening drive by the Defense, including the absolute stoning of Maurice Jones-Drew by Antoine Bethea that got a standing ovation from my couch, was great to see, as was Robert Mathis just doing what he does, recovering his own strip-sack. It's too bad the Offense couldn't do anything with it. Overall it wasn't their best day (we'll get to the stats in a bit), but those two plays were great to see in a meaningless game.

I also think it's important to recognize Punter Pat McAfee, who set the franchise record for highest punting average at 46.6 yards per punt. What makes what McAfee did even more impressive was that he was forced to punt 88 times, the most for the Colts since their very first season in Indianapolis, 1984, when Rohn Stark punted 98 times. Add in 21 punts downed inside the 20 with only 3 touchbacks, and McAfee was a very nice bright spot for the Colts, no matter what the former Vice Chairman said about him.

Click through to see how the Colts played on Sunday. It's about how you'd expect...

Non-Adjusted Stats from Week 17:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 69.0% 17 64.0% 8 N N 5-2
ANPY/A 4.000 24 4.136 10 N N 8-0
Turnovers 3 26 1 18 N Y 6-3
Yds/Drive 29.80 18 26.10 11 Y N 3-2
ToP/Drive 2:55.2 9 3:04.8 27 N Y 5-2
Yds/Play 4.585 25 4.579 7 N N 4-1
First Downs/Drive 1.90 12 1.50 12 Y N 3-4
3rd/4th Down 40.0% 16 35.7% 11 Y N 10-2
Avg Start Pos 20.7 30 38.1 31 N Y 7-3
3 and Outs 4 16 2 24 N Y 5-2
RZ Eff 71.4% 12 32.1% 6 Y N 7-2
Plays/Drive 6.500 5 5.700 22 N N 2-3
Penalty Yds / Play 0.615 12 0.175 31 N N 1-5
RB Success 23.8% 31 51.4% 22 N Y 5-6
Yds/Carry 2.55 31 5.43 28 N Y 2-6
Net Punts Yds/Game 41.00 20 44.00 19 N N 4-1
Ranking - Week (32) 20 15 22
Ranking - Season (512) 326 235 299

Adjusted Stats from Week 17:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 73.5% 13 72.6% 18 N N 5-2
ANPY/A 4.407 21 6.827 21 N N 8-0
Turnovers 2.9 27 1.0 25 N Y 6-3
Yds/Drive 33.31 13 33.98 24 Y N 3-2
ToP/Drive 2:58.2 5 3:09.7 28 N Y 5-2
Yds/Play 4.994 22 5.812 20 N N 4-1
First Downs/Drive 2.15 6 1.86 22 Y N 3-4
3rd/4th Down 44.7% 13 41.1% 16 Y N 10-2
Avg Start Pos 19.5 32 37.7 31 N Y 7-3
3 and Outs 2.9 12 0.9 31 N Y 5-2
RZ Eff 65.8% 18 41.2% 6 Y N 7-2
Plays/Drive 6.832 3 5.900 22 N N 2-3
Penalty Yds / Play 0.493 8 0.336 30 N N 1-5
RB Success 30.6% 28 50.4% 22 N Y 5-6
Yds/Carry 3.06 28 5.49 26 N Y 2-6
Net Punts Yds/Game 38.80 27 45.76 22 N N 4-1
Ranking - Week (32) 16 27 23
Ranking - Season (512) 252 425 383

Some thoughts:

  • The Colts were in the game Sunday because they held the Jaguars to four Red Zone field goals, something I said was a key before the game. It was also good enough for 6th best in the NFL on Sunday.
  • The Defense let the Jaguars stay on the field too long, as witnessed by the five trips into the red zone. Also note that they had the worst field position to start against, starting on average at the Colts 38 yard line. That meant two first downs and they were in Josh Scobee range already. That isn't necessarily on the defense, but just an observation.
  • They couldn't stop Jones-Drew, and the stats show it. Several long gashes, like I said there would be, but they couldn't stop him consistently either. Really helped out Blaine Gabbert.
  • The Offense, in terms of raw numbers, didn't look so hot, but remember the Jaguars were a top 10 defense, so once we adjusted for that they played very average, which wasn't good enough to win.
  • The drive stats were better than I was expecting, as they had fairly long drives, in terms of both time and plays, which was the biggest change we saw from Curtis Painter to Dan Orlovsky. Being top 5 in the league for the week isn't bad either.
  • Turnovers killed the Colts, as well as some killer field position. Starting inside the 20 on every drive, on average, isn't the way to win games. That's even with starting at the Jacksonville 36 after the Mathis fumble recovery. It was bad.
  • The running game disappeared once again. Not sure why it happened, but I think the Jaguars sold out to stop the run, something other teams hadn't done in 2011, and forced Orlovsky to beat them. It worked.

Season Stats through Week 17 (Adjusted):

Statistic Offense Rank Best Defense Rank Best Record Win %
DSR 62.7% 28 Patriots 72.3% 26 Jets 98-13 0.883
ANPY/A 4.327 26 Packers 6.706 29 Jets 124-19 0.867
Turnovers 2.02 25 49ers 1.29 28 Packers 111-27 0.804
Yds/Drive 24.12 27 Saints 30.73 21 Jets 83-20 0.806
ToP/Drive 2:21.0 31 Chargers 2:60.0 31 Bears 110-22 0.833
Yds/Play 4.684 26 Saints 5.307 24 Ravens 80-20 0.800
First Downs/Drive 1.37 27 Saints 1.83 26 Jets 77-28 0.733
3rd/4th Down 35.4% 23 Saints 45.0% 30 Lions 102-27 0.791
Avg Start Pos 26.5 32 49ers 33.6 31 49ers 100-27 0.787
3 and Outs 5.10 29 Saints 3.33 24 Bengals 88-24 0.786
RZ Eff 54.6% 30 Lions 74.6% 30 Ravens 95-36 0.725
Plays/Drive 5.205 26 Saints 5.754 25 Jets 65-37 0.637
Penalty Yds / Play 0.548 1 Colts 0.736 28 Jets 64-58 0.525
RB Success 41.7% 28 Saints 48.0% 24 49ers 54-69 0.439
Yds/Carry 4.08 16 Panthers 4.06 17 Ravens 57-75 0.432
Net Punts Yds/Game 37.94 19 Saints 40.22 28 Bears 71-42 0.628
Overall 29 Saints 29 Jets

A couple things here:

  • Want something positive about the 2011 Colts? They were the least penalized team, on a per-play basis, in the league! Huzzah!
  • Overall though, they were last in both Offense and Defense after Week 14, and they played well enough to put three teams on each side behind them, including the Patriots Defense, which ranks 30th. Good luck to them winning in the playoffs with that kind of defense.
  • Take a look at those winning percentages for the two rushing categories. Teams lost more than they won when they ran the ball well and stopped the run. Why would a team invest a ton of money in a RB again?

Week by Week Comparisons:

Colts Opponent Non-Adjusted Adjusted
Week Offense Defense Total Offense Defense Total
1 Texans 432 389 472 358 353 417
2 Browns 405 353 440 458 386 481
3 Steelers 420 291 423 407 142 315
4 Buccaneers 362 435 467 449 489 504
5 Chiefs 149 485 382 129 512 441
6 Bengals 343 352 395 288 412 403
7 Saints 462 512 512 477 511 512
8 Titans 434 245 405 463 286 452
9 Falcons 503 404 505 501 343 498
10 Jaguars 494 221 461 483 399 492
11 BYE
12 Panthers 377 413 460 465 332 462
13 Patriots 51 486 287 89 363 185
14 Ravens 463 429 492 437 428 482
15 Titans 398 91 239 426 97 279
16 Texans 288 89 141 184 49 54
17 Jaguars 326 235 299 252 425 383

The Colts played the two worst defensive games of the season (Chiefs, Saints), and the overall worst game of the season, that 62-7 debacle to the Saints. In hindsight it's pretty clear that the Browns, Buccaneers, and the first Jacksonville games were the ones the Colts could have easily won had they played even mediocre.

I'll post a season review article at some point, but I think I'll wait on it until after the Super Bowl, just in case some team pulls an absolute stinker in the playoffs. You can see the final power rankings and strength of schedule on the Winning Stats page.

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