2012 NFL Week Eight: Inside The Colts Numbers

Frederick Breedon

Another pretty good Offensive Performance, and another disappointing Defensive one. Thankfully, the wins just keep on coming. Sounds vaguely familiar, wouldn't you say?

I don't know if it was the "Over 47" bet I had on the game, but Sunday's 19-13 Colts OT victory over the Titans sure seemed like it should be a lot higher scoring. I kept seeing both offenses move the ball down the field, yet I never saw the scoreboard go up. We'll see in the stats below just how this worked Sunday, but the Colts found just enough points to stay in the game, and ultimately win it in Overtime.

Speaking of that drive in Overtime, it was some of the best Offensive Line domination I've seen from the Colts in a while. To be able to run the ball, seemingly at will, especially that late in the game, is the mark of a winning team. Obviously a chunk of that credit needs to go to Donald Brown, returning from a knee injury, who had 39 yards on the ground on 6 carries, including a 19 yarder straight up the middle. The TD catch and run was spectacular, for sure, but the play call, a screen / swing pass to a RB, is something I've been waiting weeks for, and something we really need to see more often going forward. It'll help slow down the pass rush, which has basically just pinned their ears back on every passing down. Talk about that drive also needs to include mention of Andrew Luck's only other completion on that drive, a 20 yard pass to Reggie Wayne on 3rd and 8, just on the edge of Field Goal range, especially into the win. All sorts of good on this drive.

Sunday's Colts victory also brought us several firsts, including the Colts first road win in 11 games (going back to Week 16, 2010), the first Overtime game this year that had an opening drive touchdown, thus preventing both teams from possessing the ball, and the first road win for Luck, a mark that would have assuredly been continuously brought up had it not happened soon. It was also his third Game-winning drive, and a rather unique one at that. According to Elias, it was only the third time in history a rookie has thrown a TD pass in Overtime, joining Drew Bledsoe to Michael Timpson and Ryan Fitzpatrick to Kevin Curtis. We'll document all of these at some point, as the list of accolades just keeps on growing.

So how did the numbers look on Sunday? Well, one side of the ball played their best game so far this season. I'm sure you can guess which side that is:

Non-Adjusted Stats for Week 8:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 82.1% 4 77.8% 22 N N 5-1
ANPY/A 6.525 11 7.968 22 N N 8-0
Turnovers 1 10 0 20 N N 5-0
Yds/Drive 50.78 2 48.43 26 N N 5-2
ToP/Drive 3:29.4 5 4:05.0 28 N N 3-1
Yds/Play 6.176 5 6.054 22 N N 5-2
Orange Zone Eff 40.8% 23 46.4% 10 N N 6-1
First Downs/Drive 3.33 1 2.86 25 N N 3-3
3rd/4th Down 53.8% 4 45.5% 20 N N 3-2
Avg Start Pos 22.7 21 21.1 4 N N 5-1
3 and Outs 0 1 1 25 N N 2-1
RZ Eff 60.7% 16 42.9% 5 N N 6-1
Plays/Drive 8.222 1 8.000 26 N N 3-4
Penalty Yds / Play 0.608 15 1.161 3 Y N 5-2
RB Success 63.3% 2 39.1% 9 Y N 3-4
Yds/Carry 5.03 6 4.48 19 N N 2-4
Ranking - Week (28) 6 22 14
Ranking - Season (236) 27 202 111

Adjusted Stats for Week 8:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 76.9% 7 82.2% 27 N N 5-1
ANPY/A 5.114 17 8.600 25 N N 8-0
Turnovers 1.6 21 0.0 26 N N 5-0
Yds/Drive 43.22 5 47.56 27 N N 5-2
ToP/Drive 3:04.5 8 4:07.8 28 N N 3-1
Yds/Play 5.635 10 6.042 23 N N 5-2
Orange Zone Eff 36.5% 24 49.4% 12 N N 6-1
First Downs/Drive 2.91 3 2.95 27 N N 3-3
3rd/4th Down 51.9% 6 44.5% 21 N N 3-2
Avg Start Pos 22.1 26 22.9 6 N N 5-1
3 and Outs 1.1 2 1.2 27 N N 2-1
RZ Eff 56.5% 20 51.1% 9 N N 6-1
Plays/Drive 7.577 4 7.920 28 N N 3-4
Penalty Yds / Play 0.765 20 1.165 3 Y N 5-2
RB Success 62.9% 2 50.4% 19 Y N 3-4
Yds/Carry 4.94 8 4.72 19 N N 2-4
Ranking - Week (28) 7 26 15
Ranking - Season (236) 52 223 158

Some thoughts:

  • We'll start on Offense, where once again the Colts took it to an inferior opponent. Drive stats look outstanding, moving the ball at will, converting on 3rd/4th Down, etc. This is the most important thing for an Offense to be able to do. Without it, no points will come. It's great to see this much progress so early on.
  • I said earlier we'd see in the stats why the game was low scoring? In what is surely becoming a theme, the Colts just can't find the end zone (last 2 drives notwithstanding). Ranking 24th (out of 28) in Orange Zone Efficiency and 20th in Red Zone Efficiency are the reasons games continue to be so close at the end. Hopefully someone on W. 56th Street notices and they start working on it. It's going to catch up with them eventually.
  • Another game, another turnover on what looked like a bad read from Luck on which way Wayne was supposed to go. I think Wayne ran the correct route based on the coverage, but Luck had already thrown to the post, and Michael Griffin made the easy interception. Well, relatively easy, as the Titans had already dropped a sure INT in the end zone earlier in the day. Rookie mistakes. Gotta fight through them.
  • The running game, as a whole, was fantastic all day once again, making it two weeks in a row. A 63% Success Rate and five yards per carry? I'll sign up for that every week.
  • Let's start with the lone positive of the day for the Defense, and that was in the Red Zone. In fact, it probably allowed the Colts to win the game, so it was fairly important. The Orange Zone was pretty good too, but just a little above average. Hopefully a sign of good things to come.
  • On the flip side, over four minutes per drive? The Titans came into the game averaging 2:25 per drive, 25th in the league. Also allowed 47.5 Yards per Drive, almost 8 Plays per Drive, and an 82.2% Drive Success Rate, which is quite bad, especially against a team who ranked 27th in the stat coming in.
  • They also let Matt Hasselbeck carve them up, something he couldn't do against either the Steelers or Bills. I won't put it all on the secondary, as Hasselbeck had all day to throw, but the overall Pass Defense really needs to improve.
  • Another game without a turnover forced. Eesh.
  • There were only 16 total drives in the game, 9 by the Colts and only 7 by the Titans, tied for lowest in the league this year. This is also why the game ended up being so low scoring, my Over bet be damned.

Season Stats through Week 8 (Adjusted):

Statistic Offense Rank Best Defense Rank Best Record Win %
DSR 71.0% 13 Patriots 76.2% 30 49ers 40-8 0.833
ANPY/A 5.500 20 Broncos 7.624 30 Bears 56-5 0.918
Turnovers 1.85 20 Steelers 0.53 32 Bears 46-10 0.821
Yds/Drive 31.23 11 Broncos 33.86 29 Texans 40-12 0.769
ToP/Drive 2:45.0 11 Steelers 2:53.0 27 Texans 46-15 0.754
Yds/Play 5.149 22 Giants 5.956 30 49ers 36-15 0.706
Orange Zone Eff 48.6% 26 Saints 68.1% 31 Bears 47-11 0.810
First Downs/Drive 1.92 7 Patriots 1.92 28 Cardinals 37-16 0.698
3rd/4th Down 39.9% 15 Steelers 43.0% 29 Texans 34-19 0.642
Avg Start Pos 27.1 32 Giants 29.5 12 Lions 40-14 0.741
3 and Outs 2.70 4 Patriots 3.53 21 Texans 37-17 0.685
RZ Eff 60.7% 22 Packers 80.7% 31 Bears 41-18 0.695
Plays/Drive 6.114 6 Steelers 5.754 21 Texans 35-18 0.660
Penalty Yds / Play 0.776 13 Falcons 1.241 1 Colts 35-19 0.648
RB Success 42.5% 21 Bills 49.0% 27 49ers 32-39 0.451
Yds/Carry 3.89 19 Bills 4.82 29 49ers 31-29 0.517
Overall 14 Patriots 30 Bears

A couple things:

  • Can't complain about the Offense at all. Anything above average with only one legitimate weapon is outstanding. Still need work scoring points, but at least they already know how to get in position to do so.
  • I'm not sure what else can be said about the Defense. It's bad. It's not really defensive specific, but the Colts are drawing the most Penalty Yards per Play from their opponents of anyone in the league. I'm sure conspiracy theorists will tell you why that is, but somebody has to be first.

Week-to-Week Comparisons:

Colts Opponent Non-Adjusted Adjusted
Week Offense Defense Total Offense Defense Total
1 Bears 175 149 194 97 163 137
2 Vikings 119 166 154 135 177 187
3 Jaguars 96 87 64 122 190 177
4 BYE
5 Packers 110 85 74 89 54 48
6 Jets 186 207 226 196 232 233
7 Browns 56 164 107 56 224 172
8 Titans 27 202 111 52 223 158

The Colts are winning games, which is great, and the Offense seems to be maintaining a high level, but that's three straight stinkers thrown up by the Defense. Hopefully the Defense can pull themselves out of this funk, and there's no better time than this coming Sunday against the Dolphins, a suddenly huge game.

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