The Andrew Luck Era officially began Sunday, and he wasn't the only fresh face we all saw on the field sporting the Blue Horseshoe. According to Colts.com, there were 30 new players that made the trip up I-65, which is well over half the roster, with 14 of them making their NFL debut. I knew there was a lot of turnover, but I never saw a number in front of me until now. Knowing that makes the 41-21 loss in Chicago a little more tolerable.
Luck's numbers weren't overwhelming by any means, but they really weren't bad when you think about he faced the league's fourth best Defense from a year ago, and it's a good bet the Bears will be up there once again this year. He completed over 50% of his passes, and threw for 309 yards, only the 4th rookie ever to throw for over 300 yards on opening weekend (Cam Newton, Robert Griffin, Peyton Manning). Throwing him into the fire right away against one of the league's best will help out in the next couple weeks, when the Colts go up against far lesser teams.
There was a lot of talk leading up to Week 1 about the replacement officials, and thankfully for both them and the NFL, they didn't cost any team, even though they came dangerously close in Arizona, giving the Seahawks four timeouts in the second half. The most interesting stat I've read coming out of Week 1, and this doesn't even include the two games last night, is that the number of Defensive Pass Interference calls (25) were as many called in 2010 and 2011 combined in Week 1.
Want to see all the numbers from Week 1? Check them out after the jump...
Non-Adjusted Stats for Week 1:
|Statistic||Offense||Rank||Defense||Rank||Off/Def Above||Off/Def Below||Record|
|Orange Zone Eff||50.0%||27||81.0%||28||N||Y||6-1|
|Avg Start Pos||28.9||15||28.9||19||N||N||5-2|
|3 and Outs||3||11||7||1||Y||N||5-3|
|Penalty Yds / Play||0.302||3||0.686||17||N||N||3-5|
|Ranking - Week (32)||27||21||26|
|Ranking - Season (32)||27||21||26|
- First, a disclaimer: These numbers are more for reference, rather than to draw any conclusions off of. Until we get a few more weeks of data in, and see how the Bears and Colts fare against other teams, we won't be able to make any meaningful judgments about either team. My guess is these number will all look better for the Colts as the season goes on.
- The biggest number that jumps out at me is the five turnovers committed by the Colts, which will be a recipe for disaster this season for such a young team. Hopefully they got all their jitters out of them in one week, and we'll see them take much better care of the football next week.
- The drive stats on Offense weren't quite as bad as I was expecting, which is a pleasant surprise. Being just slightly below average against a top defense is a good sign going forward.
- On Defense, the Colts lead the league in a category! They forced seven 3 and Outs, tops in the NFL for the week. Unfortunately, it seemed if the Bears got that initial first down, they scored points. Baby steps though.
- Head Coach Chuck Pagano has made it clear he wants the Colts to be able to run the football and stop the run, and for the most part they did on Sunday. The Offense was a little more Boom or Bust, leading to a poor RB Success rate, but the Defense did a really good job bottling up Matt Forte and Michael Bush.
- We introduced the Orange Zone Efficiency this year, and the Colts really struggled on both sides of the ball once they got inside the Bears 35 yard line. The overall record of the league at 6-1 means it was a pretty good predictor of wins in Week 1.
- Manning Update: I'll try to include one tidbit from #18 each week this year, and this week is their overall Offense ranking of 3rd best, which will assuredly become the best performance of the week after it's adjusted for Defense. He carved up the Steelers. Look out NFL.
Next week I'll include some adjusted numbers, even though they still won't mean much until after the Colts Bye in Week 4, and even then it's still a moving target for the first half of the season.