2012 NFL Week Eleven: Inside The Colts Numbers

Jared Wickerham

A blowout on the scoreboard usually means the stats don't look pretty on Tuesday, and that is definitely true on one side of the ball, while the other side did have a few positives. Find out what when we go Inside the Numbers of the Colts 59-24 loss to the Patriots.

Boy, that escalated quickly. I mean that really got out of hand fast!

For a while Sunday afternoon it looked like the Colts would be able to go toe-to-toe with the Patriots, jumping out to a 14-7 lead after their first two drives, and the Patriots missed a field goal, giving the Colts the ball back. It looked like the Colts were going to seize control of the game and take a big lead.

Then a simple false start on a Pat McAfee punt, the only penalty called on the Colts the entire night, and everything unraveled from there. A punt return, two interception returns for touchdowns, and an unstoppable Patriot Offense led to a 59-24 laughter, something not many, including me, expected before hand.

There was another moment in the game, with the Colts down just 31-17 midway through the third quarter, when the Colts had 4th and 4 from the NE 39 yard line. Josh already called it 'inexcusable', and it signaled to me that Bruce Arians was more concerned with keeping the game less of a blowout than trying to win. The outcome of the ensuing drive, the only punt by the Patriots all day, is inconsequential. While the Colts chances of winning the game were remote at the time, there were no signs, and the Head Coach should know that his defense had no chance stopping the New England Offense, and he'd have to try and keep up by scoring touchdowns with his much, much better unit. Even though he's only been a head coach for seven games now, he's been around long enough to know when he has to match scores, or else he's losing. It was pretty obvious.

It was the seventh time in Colts franchise history they've given up 50+ points in a game, and the second most in history, behind last year's 62-7 loss to New Orleans. Three of these games have come against the Patriots, but the last one was back in 1984, the Colts first year in Indianapolis. You'll see just what the defensive numbers look like below, and while they were bad, they weren't completely atrocious like last year, as 21 points didn't come from the defense, and another TD came when the Patriots got the ball at the Colts 16 yard line. Even taking all those out, it's still 31 points, and a boatload of yards.

Let's get to the numbers, where we'll try to take a couple silver-linings out of a game we all can immediately forget after today:

Non-Adjusted Stats for Week 11:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 75.6% 6 88.2% 28 N N 7-0
ANPY/A 4.588 17 11.171 26 N Y 8-2
Turnovers 4 26 0 21 N Y 8-3
Yds/Drive 34.46 7 49.56 28 N N 3-1
ToP/Drive 2:31.9 14 3:00.6 26 N Y 5-1
Yds/Play 5.973 7 7.433 28 N N 5-0
Orange Zone Eff 60.7% 11 77.6% 24 N N 2-3
First Downs/Drive 2.15 5 2.78 28 N N 4-0
3rd/4th Down 57.1% 2 66.7% 28 N N 6-0
Avg Start Pos 19.4 27 32.9 21 N Y 9-1
3 and Outs 5 20 1 28 N Y 5-0
RZ Eff 100.0% 1 73.8% 21 N N 3-3
Plays/Drive 5.769 10 6.667 28 N N 3-2
Penalty Yds / Play 0.067 1 1.167 10 Y N 2-4
RB Success 52.2% 8 40.0% 11 Y N 5-3
Yds/Carry 4.96 9 4.60 18 N N 4-4
Ranking - Week (28) 9 28 25
Ranking - Season (320) 161 316 292

Adjusted Stats for Week 11:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 72.8% 10 79.0% 28 N N 7-0
ANPY/A 3.653 21 9.149 26 N Y 8-2
Turnovers 2.9 23 0.9 21 N Y 8-3
Yds/Drive 31.10 10 41.32 28 N N 3-1
ToP/Drive 2:36.6 13 2:54.5 23 N Y 5-1
Yds/Play 5.468 11 7.002 27 N N 5-0
Orange Zone Eff 57.8% 13 68.4% 19 N N 2-3
First Downs/Drive 1.93 6 1.98 22 N N 4-0
3rd/4th Down 50.4% 3 56.1% 28 N N 6-0
Avg Start Pos 23.4 22 30.4 17 N Y 9-1
3 and Outs 5.1 24 3.0 23 N Y 5-0
RZ Eff 99.9% 1 68.3% 17 N N 3-3
Plays/Drive 5.701 8 5.594 19 N N 3-2
Penalty Yds / Play 0.046 1 1.287 5 Y N 2-4
RB Success 50.3% 12 36.2% 8 Y N 5-3
Yds/Carry 5.56 2 4.69 19 N N 4-4
Ranking - Week (28) 9 27 23
Ranking - Season (320) 171 285 273

Some thoughts:

  • As pretty much every other Colts game this season, Turnovers decided the game. Unless you are playing against a putrid Offense (like the Cardinals), you can't have a turnover margin of -4 and expect to win the game, especially when two of them are run back for TDs. It was clear Andrew Luck had some trouble gripping the ball on a couple of those plays. Only one game left in the cold, so there won't be much more practice gripping a frozen ball.
  • Adjusted Net Passing Yards per Play was also way down, partly attributable to the Interceptions, partly due to the low completion percentage. It's been low all year, and at some point we'll have to look into why that is, because Luck's play would suggest otherwise.
  • Third and Fourth Down were excellent again this week, 57.1% (50.4% Adjusted), third best for the week. Unfortunately their opponent was best on the week. That area has really improved for the Colts over the year.
  • Orange Zone Efficiency was right around average, which is an improvement, but won't beat a team like the Patriots, who you can't leave points on the field against. The Red Zone was a perfect 2-for-2.
  • Running Backs were knocking off big chunks of yards, gaining nearly 5 Yards per Carry. RB Success Rate was good too. They lost by five TDs. FB Robert Hughes did pick up five yards on a 3rd and 1 early on, his only carry of the game, which reminded me of another five run he had two years ago. That one was much more important.
  • There's not many positives you can pull from the Defense, other than the Raw Numbers look a tiny bit better when put into context and adjusted for the best Offense in the NFL. The Patriots are pretty good at this Offense thing.
  • The Defense stopped the Run OK, but most of that was done with the game well in hand by the Patriots, and they knew they could just throw on 3rd and long and convert. Great to see the run stopped, but unfortunately not that imperative to winning games.
  • Thanks to the missed field goal by Stephen Gostkowski the Orange Zone and Red Zone numbers look ok for the Defense. Minor win in forcing the FG. More of that please going forward.
  • Tom Brady got over 11 yards each time he dropped back to throw Sunday. I can't wait until Andrew Luck can do that with any kind of consistency.
  • The Defense wasn't as bad as the Chiefs Sunday, if you want some sort of optimism. Still pretty bad however.

Season Stats through Week 11:

Statistic Offense Rank Best Defense Rank Best Record Win %
DSR 72.4% 9 Patriots 76.8% 32 Bears 58-10 0.853
ANPY/A 5.437 17 49ers 7.431 30 Bears 79-7 0.919
Turnovers 1.82 20 49ers 0.75 31 Bears 67-15 0.817
Yds/Drive 33.51 8 Patriots 36.13 31 Bears 50-13 0.794
ToP/Drive 2:56.0 6 Steelers 2:54.0 29 Texans 59-19 0.756
Yds/Play 5.303 16 49ers 6.112 31 Broncos 48-16 0.750
Orange Zone Eff 46.1% 28 Saints 65.4% 31 Bears 58-16 0.784
First Downs/Drive 2.04 2 Patriots 2.03 30 Cardinals 46-20 0.697
3rd/4th Down 44.6% 5 Patriots 42.7% 27 Texans 52-20 0.722
Avg Start Pos 27.2 32 Packers 28.3 7 49ers 62-18 0.775
3 and Outs 2.59 3 Patriots 3.07 26 Cardinals 50-17 0.746
RZ Eff 66.8% 15 Saints 76.9% 30 Bears 56-25 0.691
Plays/Drive 6.305 2 Patriots 5.936 26 Cardinals 42-24 0.636
Penalty Yds / Play 0.715 6 Falcons 1.305 1 Colts 47-27 0.635
RB Success 41.9% 23 Bills 44.5% 20 49ers 42-48 0.467
Yds/Carry 4.05 16 Vikings 4.62 28 49ers 44-39 0.530
Overall 9 Patriots 32 Bears

A couple things:

  • The Colts continue their strong ranking on Offense, especially in the Drive Stats, where a few of them are top 5 in the league. Orange Zone Efficiency and Turnovers are what's holding them back from being in the elite. Not bad for year 1.
  • The Defense's slow decline has reached the basement, as they are now ranked dead last in the NFL. We knew it would be a struggle with so many new players, and a brand new scheme, but it shouldn't be this bad. The front office has their work cut out for them.

Week-to-Week Comparisons:

Colts Opponent Non-Adjusted Adjusted
Week Offense Defense Total Offense Defense Total
1 Bears 230 203 263 114 252 196
2 Vikings 158 226 210 180 242 239
3 Jaguars 128 116 86 185 231 230
4 BYE
5 Packers 149 115 99 97 83 49
6 Jets 244 287 306 254 319 318
7 Browns 78 225 146 66 305 213
8 Titans 36 277 153 57 297 186
9 Dolphins 27 263 123 21 315 197
10 Jaguars 65 50 23 120 133 103
11 Patriots 161 316 292 171 285 273

After a week of optimism, the Defense fell right back into its rut, while the Offense really did not play well, despite them being semi-highly ranked for the week. The Colts bounced back beautifully, at least offensively, after the bad Jets loss, so it makes me hopeful it might happen again. We'll all find out Sunday against the Bills.

I now have the updated Winning Stats page up and running, and I'll try to have all the stats updated by this evening. You can also find it from the home page by going to the Library section, as well as final stats from 2010 and 2011. I'll also be including in-depth 3rd Down Stats and Orange/Red Zone numbers this week for full statistical consumption.

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