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2013 NFL Week Three: Inside The Colts Numbers

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A dominating performance by the Colts in all three phases of the game. What was the most impressive? Find out when we go Inside the Numbers.

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Just how we all drew it up, right?

Well, I'm guessing there's a group of about 100 people who work on W. 56th Street who would say it went exactly how they expected it to, a 27-7 dismantling of the defending NFC champion 49ers in San Francisco. And it was glorious.

In every football game, no matter the level, there are a number of breaks that, for the most part, even out over a long span, and Sunday was no different. While the Colts Defense played fantastically (and you'll see below just how good they were), they caught a huge break when Vernon Davis was deactivated with a hamstring injury. I think it was pretty clear how big a part of the 49er offense he is, as Anquan Boldin was really their only weapon in the passing game (who the Colts blanketed all day). I love that the Colts were able to take advantage of it, as they'll assuredly get bad breaks as the season goes on. It doesn't take anything away from what happened on the field. Just nice the Colts took advantage of the situation.

The only thing that puzzled me all day was kicking the extra point after the Andrew Luck TD run, which put them up 19-7. The Colts clearly should have gone for 2 there, and it's good that it never really mattered. However, it very well matter at some point in the future, so I hope that was genuinely an "oops" moment on Chuck Pagano's part.

Oh, but that TD run was absolutely brilliant. It seems as though Luck was the only person who knew that he was going to keep the ball on that play, which really helps sell the naked bootleg when your own players can't tip anything about the play. Pretty ingenious.

A couple notes from the game:

  • Reggie Wayne moved into 9th place on the all-time NFL list for receptions, passing Randy Moss, and now sits at 986. His next victim? Hines Ward, who has a nice, even 1000 for his career.
  • I think the Colts will be happy to be a part of this: From Elias, San Francisco is the first team in NFL history to lose two September games by at least 20 points coming off a Super Bowl appearance. Yikes.

I know you want to see the stats. Let's dive in:

Non-Adjusted Stats for Week 3:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 78.8% 6 62.5% 5 Y N 9-0
ANPY/A 5.607 16 3.133 7 Y N 10-2
Turnovers 0 1 2 9 Y N 5-2
Yds/Drive 33.60 13 25.40 10 Y N 8-2
ToP/Drive 3:38.5 5 2:21.5 13 Y N 7-1
Yds/Play 5.015 20 4.792 10 N N 8-3
Orange Zone Eff 64.3% 11 50.0% 12 Y N 9-0
First Downs/Drive 2.30 7 1.40 7 Y N 7-1
3rd/4th Down 41.7% 12 30.8% 10 Y N 9-1
Avg Start Pos 27.3 18 19.3 4 N N 5-3
3 and Outs 2 7 5 2 Y N 6-2
RZ Eff 85.7% 9 100.0% 26 N N 7-1
Plays/Drive 6.700 8 5.300 12 Y N 7-2
Penalty Yds / Play 0.149 1 0.906 10 Y N 5-3
RB Success 52.8% 10 44.4% 17 N N 4-6
Yds/Carry 4.59 14 5.00 24 N N 5-3
Ranking - Week (32) 6 8 5
Ranking - Season (96) 11 19 6

Adjusted Stats for Week 3:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 82.7% 3 74.1% 23 Y N 9-0
ANPY/A 8.047 10 5.612 14 Y N 10-2
Turnovers 0.6 6 2.2 12 Y N 5-2
Yds/Drive 44.07 3 33.44 19 Y N 8-2
ToP/Drive 3:38.9 4 2:45.0 14 Y N 7-1
Yds/Play 6.376 7 5.784 21 N N 8-3
Orange Zone Eff 46.8% 23 69.5% 26 Y N 9-0
First Downs/Drive 2.50 4 1.91 18 Y N 7-1
3rd/4th Down 44.5% 9 30.5% 8 Y N 9-1
Avg Start Pos 23.8 23 18.7 5 N N 5-3
3 and Outs 0.7 6 2.7 17 Y N 6-2
RZ Eff 65.4% 19 115.6% 30 N N 7-1
Plays/Drive 7.183 4 5.828 15 Y N 7-2
Penalty Yds / Play 0.208 5 0.156 30 Y N 5-3
RB Success 55.9% 8 61.2% 30 N N 4-6
Yds/Carry 5.43 6 5.19 22 N N 5-3
Ranking - Week (32) 6 21 9
Ranking - Season (96) 2 65 27

Some thoughts:

  • Without looking it up, there haven't been too many complete team wins for the Colts over the last five seasons I've been doing these write-ups, but this absolutely was a complete team win. Check out the top five stats up there, the most important five to winning: the Colts swept them all. Above average on Offense, above average on Defense, and an assured win. The records next to those stats speak for themselves.
  • The pass defense was superb all day, and that number is only as big as it is due to the final drive, where the Colts were just keeping things in front of them, and then they capped it off with an interception of a ball thrown off of Cory Redding's noggin. Yes it certainly helped that Davis was not there, but they were all over the place, both the front 7 as well as the secondary.
  • I talked in the preview that the Colts would have to put points on the board when they get into the scoring zones, and they absolutely did in both the Orange and Red Zone. Great play by the Offense to score, and I've already talked about the greatness of the TD run by Luck.
  • It can't be a complete team win without talking about the Special Teams, which were also excellent Sunday. Three of four Pat McAfee punts landed inside the 10 yard line, and I cannot remember a game where the Colts opponent started, on average, inside their own 20. With the exception of 3 or 4 teams, if you make an offense drive 80 yards every drive, you're going to be in really good shape. I'm fairly comfortable saying the Colts Offense might be in that 3-4 teams too.
  • Lots was made of the "power run game", which was effective in the second half, but the stats don't really blow you away. The RB Success rate I care much more about, and I'll take over 50% all the time. Didn't lead to much winning this week, though, as teams who ran the ball well and stopped the run were just 4-6.
  • Overall the Colts were above average on Offense and Defense in 11 of the 16 categories we track. I haven't looked it up (and would be a bit time consuming), but that almost never happens. Complete domination.

Season Stats through Week 3 (Adjusted):

Statistic Offense Rank Best Defense Rank Best Record Win %
DSR 78.4% 5 Broncos 76.8% 25 Jets 16-0 1.000
ANPY/A 7.412 11 Broncos 6.278 17 Patriots 19-4 0.826
Turnovers 0.20 2 Chiefs 2.20 9 Seahawks 19-5 0.792
Yds/Drive 36.64 7 Seahawks 35.41 24 Jets 17-2 0.895
ToP/Drive 3:03.0 12 Raiders 2:50.0 20 Jets 20-4 0.833
Yds/Play 5.942 8 Broncos 5.869 23 Jets 15-5 0.750
Orange Zone Eff 64.9% 11 Bills 77.7% 30 Patriots 18-3 0.857
First Downs/Drive 1.99 9 Panthers 2.07 26 Jets 16-3 0.842
3rd/4th Down 46.0% 8 Chargers 37.6% 16 Jets 18-4 0.818
Avg Start Pos 26.1 23 Chiefs 23.7 6 Chiefs 21-4 0.840
3 and Outs 2.51 12 Buccaneers 2.91 20 Jets 18-5 0.783
RZ Eff 81.6% 8 Jets 108.5% 31 Patriots 14-10 0.583
Plays/Drive 6.297 8 Ravens 5.995 19 Jets 22-6 0.786
Penalty Yds / Play 0.024 2 Panthers 0.020 31 Rams 15-10 0.600
RB Success 44.5% 15 Eagles 72.0% 32 Lions 9-14 0.391
Yds/Carry 5.00 9 Eagles 4.60 21 Broncos 14-10 0.583
Overall 2 Panthers 25 Patriots

Some thoughts:

  • As we sit right now the Colts have the second best Offense in the NFL in both Adjusted and Non-Adjusted stats, sitting behind the Panthers (?!?) in Adjusted rankings, and the Broncos in raw numbers (big shock). Right now the Colts lead the NFL in Time of Possession per Drive, Plays per Drive, and Penalty Yards per Play. The Offense is humming.
  • The Defense numbers don't look great, but I promise they will come up once we have more data. Right now it has the 49er Offense ranking 30th in the NFL, and I think that'll change as we play more games. I do love the Turnover stat being in the Top 10 though, as you can take more risks when your Offense is good, which appears to be the case for the Colts.
  • I know I harp on the Run vs. Pass importance a lot, but as long as we keep hearing about running the ball winning games, I'm going to continue bringing this up. Passing/Stopping the pass wins the game 19 of 23 times this season. Running/Stopping the run (RB Success Rate) wins you 9 of 23 games. If your sole intention is winning games, which do you want to be good at?

Week-by-Week Comparisons:

Colts Opponent Non-Adjusted Adjusted
Week Offense Defense Total Offense Defense Total
1 Raiders 4 85 33 15 78 41
2 Dolphins 20 79 49 17 79 43
3 49ers 11 19 6 2 65 27

This game, in the adjusted column, will only get better and better as the season goes on, presuming that the 49ers figure out their issues and start drilling teams again. We might have seen the best Offensive game by any team in the NFL this season (the Panthers this week is better, for now). It really should not be taken lightly how important this game was for the confidence of the Colts. Even though they enjoyed each one of those close wins, there's a whole different level of accomplishment when you go out and just stomp an opponent, especially away from home, and especially when nobody is giving you any chance of even hanging around, let alone winning. It shows the Colts can put a game away (and in style I might add), and can do it on the road.

I want to see these Colts going forward. More games where there's no reason to sweat. I learned Sunday I missed those days. Let's hope there's a lot more to come.