Throughout the season, we've been looking at the Winning Stats, and how they've played out in each Colts game. We also looked at the running Season Total, and saw just how well the Offense and Defense were playing. I hope it gave you some insight into what makes a winning NFL football team, at least statistically.
What I thought I'd do is show you the final numbers from the season, the final Power Rankings and Strength of Schedule, Game by Game rankings for the Colts, and some of the best games by any team in 2009. One note as well: These stats include Curtis Painter time, as the Colts weren't the only team to rest starters, so instead of adjusting a whole bunch of games, I just put the actual stats in there.
Let's get to it, as there are quite a few tables after the jump:
Colts Season Stats (including Playoffs):
|Avg Start Pos||27.2||31||Vikings||28.7||11||Cowboys||118-39||0.752|
|3 and Outs||3.05||5||Cowboys||3.26||31||49ers||79-27||0.745|
|Penalty Yds / Play||0.526||1||Colts||0.810||13||Packers||87-46||0.654|
|Net Punts Yds/Game||40.39||11||Raiders||42.49||30||Patriots||47-59||0.443|
A few thoughts:
- Even with the Curtis Painter Experience, the Colts finished 3rd Overall Offensively this season, only behind the Saints and Chargers, in terms of raw numbers. Before Week 17, the Colts were still #1, which is probably a better measure.
- There are 2 stats offensively that stick out like a sore thumb: Avg. Start Pos. and Yds/Carry. It's not surprising that these two areas should be addressed in the first 3 rounds of the draft. You can include in the Special Teams Upgrade Needed that the Colts were 3rd worst at Opponents Net Punt Yds. Please get a returner Polian.
- The Colts defense was really only above average in one area: Red Zone Efficiency. The Offense was even better than the defense, which hopefully will continue into next season.
- The best stat in 2009 in terms of wins was ANPY/A, winning 92.5% of games when both the Offense and Defense go above average. This also pushes ANPY/A over Drive Success Rate for the best stat, in terms of wins, over the past 9 seasons.
- Next season you won't be seeing Net Punting Average in the Winning Stats, as you don't win when you do it well. Actually, I just think there are more, much more important stats that overshadow it. No reason to skew the results with it.
Power Rankings (click on headers to sort):
Even with the last two games, the Colts Opponent-Adjusted Offensive Ranking was still #1, which isn't surprising. Overall they finished 6th, which isn't too bad with how bad the defense did in these rankings. Overall the best team, according to the Winning Stats, was the Patriots, which just shows you that stats can never tell the whole story, even though they certainly help explain lots of things.
Strength of Schedule (click on headers to sort):
|Team||Strength of Schedule|
The Colts finished with the 11th toughest schedule, with the offense facing a tougher schedule than the defense. I like using the Non-Adjusted rankings for this, as it has less theoretical calculations going into it, thus less error. I think to make it accurate we need to use the raw numbers for it, but I've included the Adjusted SoS as well, in case you're interested.
Game by Game Rankings (click on headers to sort):
I've linked each game's in-depth breakdown for each week, in case you wanted to see more on that game.
The Colts played one great game (Titans), a couple other very good games, and a bunch of above average games that were good enough to win games each and every week. The Offense was not below average (> 267) in any game except Week 17, once you adjust for the Opponent. Very consistent, which is good in today's NFL.
Best Individual Game Performance (anything in red means one of multiple games):
|Avg Start Pos||53.6||Bears||Lions||16.6||Saints||Colts|
|3 and Outs||0.00||Bills||Buccaneers||11.00||49ers||Rams|
|Penalty Yds / Play||0.000||Patriots||Saints||2.574||Ravens||Packers|
|Net Punts Yds/Game||54.50||Falcons||Panthers||10.67||Eagles||Giants|
The Colts show up on here once Offensively, in Yds/Play against the Dolphins, averaging a First Down on each and every play! I said it back in Week 2, but that's the best Yds/Play average since 1996! Pretty amazing stuff. They do show up thrice on defense as well, thanks to that Dolphins game, and the awful Avg. Start Pos. in the Super Bowl. Yep, SB XLIV was the worst of the entire year.
A couple other things:
- The Steelers dominated the Chargers offensively, yet almost blew the game at the end. That DSR is pretty amazing.
- The Saints really did put a beat-down on the Patriots Secondary, much like the Patriots defense put a beat-down on the Titans. Both of those numbers are mind-boggling to think about.
- The Lions were the only team this season to not complete a 3rd/4th Down in a game, against the Packers. The Patriots were the only team to not commit a penalty, although it didn't really help them against the Saints.
Top 10 Games of Season:
Again, no Colts here, but we knew that already. Also no surprise the most dominating game this season was the 59-0 drubbing of the Titans by the Patriots. Two playoff games showed up in the Offensive top 10, with the Saints over the Cardinals, and the Cardinals over the Packers. That was a little surprising.
Didn't get enough data here? I've uploaded an Excel file, where you can see how any team did in any game this year, see how teams would have matched up at any point in the season, or see what the Power Rankings / Strength of Schedule was at any point in the season. You can also see a Game by Game Ranking for any team this year.
I've also updated the Playoff Data that I gave you earlier with the 2009 games. Let me know if you have any questions.
I have an idea about what I want to look at over the summer, and I'll write something up on it, along with a call for suggestions. I think you'll like what I'm going to look at.