2012 NFL Week Five: Inside The Colts Numbers

Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

The Colts played their best game of the season in beating the Packers, and the numbers show it. Just how well did the Colts play Sunday? Find out when we go Inside the Numbers.

Sunday was one of those games we as Colts fans won't soon forget. Time will tell whether it will stand with some of those great games from 2006/early 2007, but the 30-27 come-from-behind win over the Packers, with everything that happened to the team and their head coach a week earlier, certainly has the feel of an all-timer.

Looking at the game from a high level, it was a polar opposite of how the last two games went for the Colts. Against the Vikings and Jaguars, they stormed out to double-digit leads, then tried to hang on until the end, working once and not working the other time. Whether it was shaking off the bye, other things on their mind, or a "wow" factor from playing the Packers, the Colts just looked flat. Stories came out that the locker room at halftime wasn't depressing, but confrontational and inspiring all rolled into one.

Really, I think the game turned on the interception by Jerraud Powers, which has been largely overshadowed by the monster day by Reggie Wayne. Aaron Rodgers doesn't make many mistakes, so when he does defenses absolutely must capitalize on them, which is exactly what Powers did. He read the play the whole way, a back-shoulder timing route, and Rodgers missed his spot by about three feet (in the NFL, that's a big miss), and Powers grabbed the ball. It calmed the Colts down, showed them that the game wasn't over, and that these guys could be beaten. I'm not sure they knew that until that moment.

There's been a lot said already about the day Wayne had, probably the best game of his career, and it should be noted that the guy who was feeding him the ball, five-year veteran rookie QB Andrew Luck, had a pretty good day too. We'll get to the stats here shortly, but both wins now have come with 4th quarter game-winning drives, and he had a third that was negated by the defense. I know we got used to this happening all the time with Peyton Manning, but this is not a normal occurrence in the NFL. There aren't many teams that can feel confident that they can score touchdowns late in the 4th quarter to win games, yet it seems the Colts already have that ability, and we're just four games into the Luck era.

Some notes from our friends at Elias about the young Mr. Luck:

How did the numbers look from the Colts glorious Sunday? Let's take a look:

Non-Adjusted Stats for Week 5:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 73.8% 12 69.4% 15 Y N 5-0
ANPY/A 5.763 15 6.053 16 N N 7-0
Turnovers 1 2 1 19 N N 6-0
Yds/Drive 33.14 13 23.73 7 Y N 7-0
ToP/Drive 2:31.1 17 1:38.9 1 N N 8-2
Yds/Play 5.213 13 5.836 18 N Y 5-3
Orange Zone Eff 61.2% 11 66.7% 20 N N 8-1
First Downs/Drive 2.00 11 1.40 8 Y N 7-2
3rd/4th Down 38.1% 15 30.8% 9 N N 7-2
Avg Start Pos 26.8 17 27.8 19 N N 3-2
3 and Outs 3 12 6 2 Y N 6-1
RZ Eff 77.1% 7 100.0% 27 N N 4-1
Plays/Drive 6.357 8 4.067 2 Y N 7-2
Penalty Yds / Play 1.124 24 1.459 3 N N 2-4
RB Success 44.4% 15 50.0% 18 N N 2-3
Yds/Carry 3.97 17 6.13 23 N Y 5-5
Ranking - Week (28) 13 13 8
Ranking - Season (154) 73 53 51

Adjusted Stats for Week 5:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 78.4% 7 64.6% 7 Y N 5-0
ANPY/A 6.742 7 5.685 15 N N 7-0
Turnovers 1.6 12 1.7 15 N N 6-0
Yds/Drive 36.27 9 23.79 4 Y N 7-0
ToP/Drive 2:38.0 17 1:32.9 1 N N 8-2
Yds/Play 5.846 9 5.857 20 N Y 5-3
Orange Zone Eff 60.7% 9 43.8% 8 N N 8-1
First Downs/Drive 2.21 8 1.09 1 Y N 7-2
3rd/4th Down 43.7% 12 25.9% 4 N N 7-2
Avg Start Pos 28.5 11 28.6 19 N N 3-2
3 and Outs 2.2 9 6.7 1 Y N 6-1
RZ Eff 97.6% 2 76.8% 23 N N 4-1
Plays/Drive 6.369 9 3.931 1 Y N 7-2
Penalty Yds / Play 0.742 14 1.028 10 N N 2-4
RB Success 38.1% 18 40.9% 8 N N 2-3
Yds/Carry 4.20 17 5.89 24 N Y 5-5
Ranking - Week (28) 8 5 4
Ranking - Season (154) 42 30 22

Some thoughts:

  • It would have been a real shame for the Colts to lose on Sunday, as they played a fantastic game on both sides of the ball, ranking 4th overall in Week 5. It may have taken a while for the scoreboard to catch up, but the Colts played really, really well.
  • There wasn't one area where the Colts excelled on Offense, but they're just doing everything at an above-average level, which is great to see. One area they look to have done pretty well is in the Red Zone, where they scored 77% of their possible points, yet it looks even better than that when you consider the Packers defense has been quite good this year when backed up.
  • I love seeing "1" in the rank column, especially on Defense, which the Colts did in several categories Sunday. Check out the Time of Possession per Drive, First Downs per Drive, Three and Outs, and Plays per Drive, all led by the Colts. I mentioned Thursday the need to keep the Packers Offense off the field. I just had no idea it would be the Defense doing that task more than the Offense.
  • Also in my preview I talked about the Packers ability to score TDs once they cross the 35 yard line, or as we're calling it, the Orange Zone. I had it in the back of my mind the whole game watching, and the numbers played out exactly as I thought. They crossed the 35 six times, scoring 4 TDs, and Mason Crosby missed two 50+ yard field goals, just barely crossing the 35, including the one at the end of the game.
  • One area I was slightly disappointed in, which I didn't think I saw while watching, was the Colts running game. Donald Brown seemed like he had more "successful" runs, and maybe he did and the RB Success Rate number is down because of Vick Ballard, but the Packers were bad coming in, lost BJ Raji early, yet the Colts weren't as good as I thought were, or could have been.

Season Stats through Week 5 (Adjusted):

Statistic Offense Rank Best Defense Rank Best Record Win %
DSR 72.3% 9 Giants 69.5% 18 49ers 29-4 0.879
ANPY/A 6.582 7 Texans 6.924 26 Bears 38-2 0.950
Turnovers 1.63 17 Redskins 1.03 30 Bears 30-8 0.789
Yds/Drive 30.74 12 Broncos 27.54 13 Texans 27-8 0.771
ToP/Drive 2:35.0 20 Steelers 2:12.0 2 Texans 35-7 0.833
Yds/Play 5.562 8 49ers 5.808 28 Vikings 23-8 0.742
Orange Zone Eff 59.3% 9 Packers 47.8% 13 Bears 28-8 0.778
First Downs/Drive 1.73 13 Patriots 1.40 6 Chiefs 29-9 0.763
3rd/4th Down 43.0% 12 Steelers 36.1% 11 Texans 25-14 0.641
Avg Start Pos 29.1 20 Falcons 32.4 29 Seahawks 26-10 0.722
3 and Outs 2.83 7 49ers 5.48 1 Colts 30-13 0.698
RZ Eff 76.7% 4 Packers 67.4% 18 Bears 23-16 0.590
Plays/Drive 5.592 18 Steelers 4.789 2 Texans 27-9 0.750
Penalty Yds / Play 0.854 18 Falcons 1.053 7 Redskins 19-13 0.594
RB Success 35.5% 28 49ers 44.2% 19 Buccaneers 19-28 0.404
Yds/Carry 4.17 12 49ers 4.66 26 Buccaneers 22-18 0.550
Overall 11 49ers 15 Bears

A couple thoughts:

  • Just four games into Andrew Luck's career, the Colts are on the doorstep of a top 10 Offense. I thought it would come sooner than later, but I'm pleasantly surprised at how well the Offense is clicking, especially with so many new faces, and a sub-par and injured Offensive Line. Again, nothing great, but nothing important really bad. And he's just learning folks.
  • I also couldn't have imagined the Colts defense being in the top half of the league, but that's where they find themselves a quarter of the way through the season, including leading the league in Three and Outs. It's still early, but I'm about ready to put the "Death by Paper-Cut" Defense behind us. These guys get the other Offense off the field, and quickly.
  • Passing the ball, as well as stopping the pass, winning at 95%. Carry on.

Week-by-Week Comparisons:

Colts Opponent Non-Adjusted Adjusted
Week Offense Defense Total Offense Defense Total
1 Bears 116 98 125 49 86 56
2 Vikings 78 111 99 53 93 67
3 Jaguars 64 54 45 91 99 108
5 Packers 73 53 51 42 30 22

This is a great example of how adjusting for opponent makes a huge difference when looking at a game statistically. If you went on raw numbers, the Jaguars game would have been the best game for the Colts this season. Is that what you saw with your own eyes? Or, do your eyes match up closer to the adjusted stats, showing the Packers game to be far and away the Colts best game, and the Jaguars game really bad? It's a lot closer to reality, and the reason why I adjust all my stats.

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