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Week 3 Review - Inside the Numbers

Complete domination by the Colts.  You have heard the media rave about well the Colts played Sunday night in the desert, but it was all expected from yours truly.  I wasn't nervous before the game, and you shouldn't have been either, if you saw the numbers.  The Cardinals were middle of the pack defending the pass, and that's exactly how they looked on Sunday. They also were not the passing juggernaut so far this season that their reputation has given them. Kurt Warner completed a lot of passes against Jacksonville, but the Jaguars have done that before.

I've only got one piece of random trivia, and it took me a lot longer to get than I thought.  Over the past 2 weeks, the Colts won on the road on Monday night, then went on the road again the following week and won.  Since 1980, teams that have played back-to-back road games, where the first game was on Monday night, have won both games only 19 times in 89 chances.  It's only happened 3 times since 2002, twice by the Colts (anyone know the other time the Colts did this?).  It happens about 3 times a year, which seems high to me.  That is a rough two weeks.

Jump over to the other side to see all the numbers...

Here's the stats from Sunday night:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 76.5% 7 64.7% 11 Y N 9-0
ANPY/A 11.829 1 3.948 8 Y N 8-1
Turnovers 1 7 3 3 Y N 8-0
Yds/Drive 42.08 4 24.85 9 Y N 9-1
ToP/Drive 2:38.5 14 2:10.6 5 N N 7-0
Yds/Play 7.652 1 4.614 10 Y N 9-1
First Downs/Drive 1.83 14 1.62 13 Y N 7-0
3rd/4th Down 30.8% 21 31.3% 13 N N 7-1
Avg Start Pos 25.7 21 27.9 15 N N 7-1
3 and Outs 3 7 4 10 Y N 3-0
RZ Eff 48.6% 20 25.0% 6 N N 3-2
Plays/Drive 5.500 19 5.385 13 N N 6-2
Penalty Yds / Play 1.045 21 0.500 26 N Y 7-3
RB Success 50.0% 13 36.4% 7 Y N 8-1
Yds/Carry 4.06 19 2.00 1 N N 4-3
Net Punts Yds/Game 38.75 20 45.50 30 N N 4-5


Here's what jumps out to me (in red above):

  • Once again, the Colts (see: Manning, Peyton) led the league in ANPY/A, at almost 12 per attempt!  Um, that's pretty damn good, especially with how bad the 1st quarter went.  The Colts were again in the top 10 defensively in ANPY/A, which is not that surprising.  They are really good against the pass, no matter the offense.
  • The Colts came into Week 3 at #1 in Yards/Drive, and the Cardinals defense was ranked #3.  It was pretty clear who really earned that ranking.  The Colts gained over 40  Yds/Drive, including a 95 yarder to score their first TD.
  • After Monday Night, it felt like the defense would never get off the field in a timely manner.  Guess what?  They were 5th in the league last week, getting the Cardinal defense off the field in 2:10.  A few more games like this will do wonders for this team.
  • The Colts backed up their record setting performance in Yds/Play last week with another league-leading 7.7 Yds/Play.  The offense will be unstoppable if they keep up this pace.
  • It's not often we'll be able to talk about how good the run defense is, so I'm going to do it now.  The Colts led the NFL this week in Yards/Carry at 2.0 YPC.  They were also Top 10 in RB Success Rate, making this a great run-defense effort.
  • The Colts were Above Average both offensively and defensively in the Top 4 categories, making it almost a mortal lock for a win.  More weeks like this please.
  • The Top 4 categories had a combined record of 34-2, including 4 wins for the Colts.  Also, the Steelers lost while being Above Average on both sides in ANPY/A, making them the first team to lose this year while doing this.

And for the Season so far...

Statistic Offense Rank Best Defense Rank Best Record Win %
DSR 76.7% 3 Ravens 71.1% 19 Broncos 21-2 0.913
ANPY/A 10.388 1 Colts 3.787 6 Broncos 25-1 0.962
Turnovers 3 7 Packers 4 16 Eagles 22-3 0.880
Yds/Drive 42.28 1 Colts 31.80 18 Broncos 19-2 0.905
ToP/Drive 2:46.6 11 Dolphins 3:19.0 31 Giants 20-6 0.769
Yds/Play 7.170 2 Cowboys 4.565 5 Broncos 21-5 0.808
First Downs/Drive 1.97 7 Ravens 2.00 24 Broncos 18-3 0.857
3rd/4th Down 41.7% 15 Dolphins 50.9% 31 Vikings 14-5 0.737
Avg Start Pos 27.3 24 Vikings 26.7 6 Falcons 20-2 0.909
3 and Outs 8 4 Cowboys 8 25 Eagles 10-5 0.667
RZ Eff 55.4% 24 Jaguars 55.4% 13 Broncos 11-7 0.611
Plays/Drive 5.897 12 Patriots 6.967 32 Giants 13-9 0.591
Penalty Yds / Play 0.620 5 Dolphins 0.378 31 Saints 24-16 0.600
RB Success 46.5% 14 Ravens 57.6% 29 Titans 18-11 0.621
Yds/Carry 3.53 24 Cowboys 4.33 19 Titans 13-14 0.481
Net Punts Yds/Game 42.22 10 Seahawks 41.58 18 Bengals 11-9 0.550


Here's what I got out of these numbers:

  • The Colts have the 3rd best Drive Success Rate in the league, only behind the Ravens and Saints. I can't imagine the Ravens staying up there throughout the season, but could see the Saints staying up there.
  • The Colts ANPY/A offensive stat, 10.4 / Attempt, is on pace to break the NFL record for a single season, which is 9.78, set by Peyton in that magical year of 2004.  So, after 3 weeks, he's on pace for one of the greatest statistical years for a QB ever.  This stat is 1.5 ANPY/A better than the second best team, the Saints again.  Everyone has been talking about how great Drew Brees is, but he's not in Manning's league yet.
  • The Colts have been pretty damn good defensively in terms of ANPY/A, checking in at 6th in the league.  My guess?  They will be in the top 3 halfway through the season.
  • The Colts are #1 in Offensive Yards / Drive, and are ranked 5th in Defensive Yards / Play, and 6th in Defensive Starting Position.  That is a good sign for our kicking games, and means the Colts are looking like geniuses with regards to letting Hunter Smith go, and drafting Pat McAfee.
  • Speaking of Average Starting Position, it is winning over 90% of the games where both sides are Above Average, which is much higher than we found historically.  Time of Possession / Drive is winning less than we found, but we already knew that around here.
  • I'm a little concerned the Colts are ranked 15th in 3rd/4th down Conversions.  Hopefully this number improves over the course of the year, as last year they were over 50%.
  • You want to know why the Broncos are 3-0?  Check out the defensive stats.  Of our Top 7 stats, they are best in the NFL in 5 of the 7 stats.  This can be explained by the fact they've played 2 of the worst teams in the NFL, but it certainly shows the Broncos are playing really well defensively.
  • The Titans are leading the lead in the two Rushing defensive categories, so at least they have that going for them.  It's too bad it really doesn't lead to wins, as they've experienced this year.