2013 NFL Week Four: Inside The Colts Numbers

Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

The Colts dominated their opponent for the second straight week, this time to the tune of 37-3 against the Jaguars. Could they have played even better than against the 49ers?

I'm really thinking this Colts team has turned a corner now after thoroughly dismantling the hapless Jaguars 37-3 Sunday afternoon. What we've seen the last two weeks we didn't see at all last season, and it's bringing back memories of yesteryear when the Colts would just steamroll opponents. When you obliterate bad opponents, you know things are going right. And they're certainly going right for the Colts at the moment.

I was driving back from South Bend Sunday afternoon after a fun weekend (if you don't count the 4 hours in the stadium), so I only got to listen to the game on the radio. After the first 10 minutes, it looked like it was going to be another one of those games with Jacksonville, where they hang around with a far superior Colts team and Josh Scobee kicks an 80 yard field goal to win it at the horn. Thankfully the Colts decided to play to final 50 minutes like they were supposed to.

Robert Mathis was a monster all day, tying a career high by getting three sacks of Blaine Gabbert, and improving his NFL leading total to 7.5 through 4 games. There are quite a few 3-4 OLB that get a lot of publicity (and rightly so), but Mathis is playing at an unbelievable level right now. It also brought him to 99 sacks in his career, where he'll look to be just the 30th player in NFL history with 100 sacks. It would have been pretty cool if #100 happened to come against a certain former QB, but I'm thinking it'll come well before October 20th.

Oh, and remember when (dumb) people would say that he was only good because he had Dwight Freeney playing on the other side of the line? He (and I) laugh in your face. We'll be watching the sack numbers as he keeps piling them up. He's a holy terror right now. Good luck, backup Seahawk LT.

According to Elias, this was the 3rd time since the merger in 1970 that a QB (Andrew Luck) and RB (Trent Richardson) both picked in the top 3 of the same draft started for the same team, and this was by far the quickest after being drafted that it happened. The only other one they mention is Vinny Testeverde and Alonzo Highsmith in 1992.

Could the Colts have been even more dominant than they were a week ago against the 49ers? Let's dive into the stats and find out.

Non-Adjusted Stats for Week 4:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 78.4% 5 53.8% 5 Y N 7-1
ANPY/A 6.780 12 0.833 1 Y N 8-0
Turnovers 1 7 3 5 Y N 6-0
Yds/Drive 39.73 7 17.08 2 Y N 5-1
ToP/Drive 3:19.8 3 1:56.8 5 Y N 4-1
Yds/Play 6.243 9 3.796 3 Y N 4-3
Orange Zone Eff 71.4% 6 0.0% 1 Y N 5-3
First Downs/Drive 2.36 4 1.17 7 Y N 5-2
3rd/4th Down 46.2% 8 16.7% 3 Y N 8-2
Avg Start Pos 28.5 10 23.0 6 N N 6-0
3 and Outs 1 1 6 6 Y N 5-3
RZ Eff 65.7% 14 0.0% 1 N N 8-1
Plays/Drive 6.364 8 4.500 6 Y N 3-3
Penalty Yds / Play 0.829 13 1.204 8 N N 2-4
RB Success 44.4% 15 25.0% 5 Y N 3-6
Yds/Carry 5.31 7 2.22 2 Y N 4-3
Ranking - Week (30) 5 1 1
Ranking - Season (126) 12 2 2

Adjusted Stats for Week 4:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 76.5% 5 66.3% 11 Y N 7-1
ANPY/A 5.325 17 3.983 7 Y N 8-0
Turnovers 1.3 11 3.4 5 Y N 6-0
Yds/Drive 40.61 6 31.93 18 Y N 5-1
ToP/Drive 3:28.2 1 2:34.6 18 Y N 4-1
Yds/Play 5.938 9 5.689 18 Y N 4-3
Orange Zone Eff 50.2% 24 35.2% 3 Y N 5-3
First Downs/Drive 2.29 3 1.79 18 Y N 5-2
3rd/4th Down 50.0% 4 21.0% 4 Y N 8-2
Avg Start Pos 29.1 13 19.4 5 N N 6-0
3 and Outs 0.7 2 3.0 21 Y N 5-3
RZ Eff 56.9% 20 38.2% 5 N N 8-1
Plays/Drive 6.878 1 5.428 15 Y N 3-3
Penalty Yds / Play 1.149 22 1.187 6 N N 2-4
RB Success 44.5% 13 39.9% 12 Y N 3-6
Yds/Carry 5.01 6 4.27 17 Y N 4-3
Ranking - Week (30) 7 9 4
Ranking - Season (126) 18 32 10

Some thoughts:

  • Even after you adjust for opponent (who is really bad), the Colts still played better Sunday than they did a week ago, which is a great sign. It may change if the 49ers continue to improve their early season struggles, but for now the Colts improved on their great performance in San Francisco.
  • Sixteen stats, thirteen of them saw both the Colts Offense and Defense play at an above-average level, which is unreal. The whole team is getting into the fun.
  • The Colts ability to move the ball is a very good sign, even if they aren't finishing them off like they could or should be. More scoring opportunities mean they have some wiggle room if they happen to make a mistake. Being able to sustain drives is incredibly important, especially when they play better Offenses, as it'll keep them off the field.
  • It is frustrating, however, to see these long drives fizzle out before getting six points. The Orange Zone and Red Zone numbers look to be the lone area that need some improving, but can easily be fixed. Against the Jaguars it doesn't matter. It will next week.
  • The Colts Defense keeps forcing turnovers, a welcome change from the past few seasons. Again, Gabbert might be one of the worst QBs to get consistent playing time, but the Defense still has to make the plays, and they are taking advantage of the opportunities given to them. Keep them coming!
  • The Jaguars weren't able to move the ball at all, keeping up with their season average in Yards per Drive at 17 yards. The Adjusted number looks much worse, as it shows how they would have done against a league-average team, and it's pretty clear the Jaguars are well below average.

Season Stats through Week 4 (Adjusted):

Statistic Offense Rank Best Defense Rank Best Record Win %
DSR 78.5% 4 Broncos 73.6% 25 Jets 23-1 0.958
ANPY/A 5.462 15 Broncos 5.441 16 Texans 27-4 0.871
Turnovers 0.58 3 Panthers 2.01 13 Seahawks 25-5 0.833
Yds/Drive 38.87 3 Packers 36.58 27 Jets 22-3 0.880
ToP/Drive 3:26.0 3 Panthers 3:03.0 24 Jets 24-5 0.828
Yds/Play 5.730 9 Packers 5.711 26 49ers 19-8 0.704
Orange Zone Eff 53.6% 19 Dolphins 57.1% 22 Browns 23-6 0.793
First Downs/Drive 2.28 3 Broncos 2.07 30 Jets 21-5 0.808
3rd/4th Down 49.3% 4 Broncos 37.3% 16 Chiefs 26-6 0.813
Avg Start Pos 26.6 24 Chiefs 24.2 7 Chiefs 27-4 0.871
3 and Outs 1.39 2 Eagles 2.14 28 Texans 23-8 0.742
RZ Eff 63.0% 23 Panthers 72.4% 22 Panthers 22-11 0.667
Plays/Drive 6.885 3 Patriots 6.297 27 Jets 25-9 0.735
Penalty Yds / Play 0.498 3 Panthers 0.609 28 Seahawks 17-14 0.548
RB Success 50.8% 7 Panthers 59.2% 32 Giants 12-20 0.375
Yds/Carry 5.50 3 Eagles 4.47 23 Broncos 18-13 0.581
Overall 3 Broncos 26 Chiefs

Some thoughts:

  • Offense fell behind the Broncos into third place, and there's absolutely no shame in that happening. I really like seeing all those top 5 rankings in that column. Improve on scoring points, and this Offense will be lethal.
  • The Defense has played really well each of the last two weeks, but those Offenses are ranked 30th and 32nd, so the stats won't show it yet. Play well again Sunday, and I guarantee we'll see those numbers change. Let's do it.

Week-to-Week Comparison:

Colts Opponent Non-Adjusted Adjusted
Week Offense Defense Total Offense Defense Total
1 Raiders 6 109 47 15 123 78
2 Dolphins 27 103 64 28 104 69
3 49ers 17 30 10 3 85 21
4 Jaguars 12 2 2 18 32 10

Two bad games, two excellent ones, with the bonus that they squeaked out a win in one of those bad games. A sure sign of a good team is when they hammer bad ones, and that's exactly what the Colts did. While they won't be able to play at this level every week, I hope they continue to play with a chip on their shoulder through this next stretch of games. The 2nd quarter of the season will tell us whether this team had a couple good weeks, are a Playoff team, or are a Super Bowl team. First test is Sunday. I hope we see the same Colts again.

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