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Week 10 Statistical Preview: Colts vs. Patriots

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The Colts end their 3 game home stand tonight when they take on the evil Patriots.  Does it feel weird to anyone else that this game should have been last week, seeing as how each of the previous 4 season they've played in Week 9?

Coming into this week, the Colts are ranked 2nd Offensively, 14th Defensively, and 3rd Overall, according to the Winning Stats Power Rankings.  The Patriots are 1st, 10th, and 2nd respectively.  Talk about two nearly identical teams.

On to the stats, and why the Colts will win tonight...

Here are the season stats for the Colts and Patriots:

Colts Patriots
Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Offense Rank Defense Rank
DSR 78.4% 1 67.2% 10 77.7% 2 67.0% 9
ANPY/A 8.043 2 3.890 3 7.417 5 4.887 8
Turnovers / Game 1.00 3 1.88 8 0.88 1 1.88 8
Yds/Drive 40.04 1 28.55 16 38.52 2 28.12 12
ToP/Drive 2:54.5 6 2:54.6 25 3:12.2 2 2:33.7 11
Yds/Play 6.343 3 4.676 4 5.931 5 4.987 9
First Downs/Drive 2.19 2 1.69 22 2.22 1 1.63 15
3rd/4th Down 50.5% 2 44.5% 30 45.4% 5 38.5% 15
Avg Start Pos 28.7 21 26.1 3 31.4 8 27.3 9
3 and Outs / Game 2.38 2 3.75 19 2.75 4 3.88 16
RZ Eff 68.5% 12 60.5% 10 63.0% 22 68.9% 22
Plays/Drive 6.313 2 6.106 29 6.494 1 5.639 21
Penalty Yds / Play 0.655 4 0.846 14 0.717 11 0.919 7
RB Success 47.5% 11 47.9% 20 55.3% 3 44.9% 15
Yds/Carry 3.73 27 4.30 17 4.14 18 4.45 23
Net Punts Yds/Game 40.66 11 42.21 27 36.37 31 36.14 2
Overall 2 14 1 10

Some thoughts and keys to the game:

  • While the Patriots are no slouch when it comes to passing and defending the pass (ANPY/A), the Colts are better both offensively and defensively.  I know it is cliche at this point, but whichever team can get to the Quarterback the most will win.  Freeney vs. 6'8" Rookie Vollmer?  I'll take #93.
  • Time of Possession / Drive is worrisome.  The Colts defense is still having some issues getting off the field in a timely fashion, and we all know the Patriots can sustain 10+ minute drives.  Those will be Colt killers today.
  • Getting some 3rd down stops is also critical.  Look for a few well-timed blitzes on 3rd down, and watch for the draw play to Kevin Faulk.  I'm looking at you Eric Foster.  Make it happen.
  • I think today's game will come down to which team scores Touchdowns in the Red Zone, and which one kicks Field Goals.  The Colts have struggled getting in the end zone the past 2 games, but the Patriots have struggled to get in the end zone all year.  There should be quite a few yards put up between the 20s, but the team who scores TDs in the red zone will win.
  • Score?  Colts 28, Patriots 20.  Can the game get here already?