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2014 NFL Week Twelve: Inside the Colts Numbers

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Sunday was one of those games you get through and never speak of again, a 23-3 win over Jacksonville.

Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

It was one of those weeks for the Colts where you just thank whatever higher-being you believe in that your favorite NFL team plays in one of the crappiest divisions in football, so they get to play the Jaguars twice a season. Sunday's 23-3 win for the Colts was by no means a masterpiece, but the Colts took care of business at home against a clearly inferior opponent.

I usually like waiting until after some charts to talk about stats, but the Turnovers need to be addressed up top. The Jaguars are one of the worst teams in forcing turnovers in the NFL, yet the Colts still couldn't help themselves, and it starts with Andrew Luck. I'm not sure how many more of those "I know I can make a play even though I'm being tackled by 8 guys" plays I can take. At this point it's a coaching problem, as they've let him continue to make those bone-headed decisions time and again. There were clearly "protection problems" in the first half Sunday, and Luck had barely any time to throw, but when your 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage and being thrown down by three guys, it's time to protect the ball and not try to find someone close by to throw it to. They (thankfully) don't affect the outcome against a team like the Jaguars, but they sure will in the Playoffs, when you absolutely cannot give your opponent extra possessions. Just go down. It'll be ok.

Overall the Colts had six fumbles on the day, which they lost 3. According to Elias, it was the largest margin of victory by a team with at least six fumbles since 1997, when Tampa Bay committed six fumbles in a 27-7 win over New England. Remember, it's completely random who recovers fumbles, but is not random when it comes to fumbling. Six fumbles is bad. Really bad.

I like to talk about streaks in these articles, and Reggie Wayne extended his NFL-best streak of games with 3+ catches to 81 consecutive Sunday afternoon. However, I really think it should have ended Sunday. Two of the three catches came in the final minutes of the game, the third of which came after the two-minute warning where all the Colts had to do was take knees to end the game. In fact, Chuck Pagano had to explain to Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley why they were throwing the ball there, just so they didn't think anything nefarious was going on. I understand what Pagano was trying to do, but it's seriously cheapening a record that should stand without "manipulation" like this. Wayne isn't a guy who goes out there just wanting to extend this streak; he has this streak because he's been an excellent route-runner and pass catcher his entire career. While he may have lost a step this season, I hate seeing this record not end naturally, in a game where the Colts played pretty "meh", Wayne had some struggles, and the Colts won.

How do the numbers look from Sunday? Let's take a look.

Non-Adjusted Stats for Week 12:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 72.2% 17 50.0% 2 Y N 7-0
ANPY/A 6.324 14 2.226 2 Y N 8-2
Turnovers 3 24 2 8 N N 1-1
Yds/Drive 32.42 16 17.64 2 Y N 7-0
ToP/Drive 2:50.4 14 2:21.4 5 N N 4-1
Yds/Play 5.403 13 3.593 1 Y N 7-0
Orange Zone Eff 45.7% 23 21.4% 1 N N 5-1
First Downs/Drive 2.00 13 1.00 3 Y N 4-0
3rd/4th Down 52.9% 7 23.1% 4 Y N 8-1
Avg Start Pos 31.8 7 27.2 16 Y N 6-1
3 and Outs 3 13 6 2 Y N 5-2
RZ Eff 45.7% 23 21.4% 1 N N 4-1
Plays/Drive 6.000 17 4.909 6 Y N 4-1
Penalty Yds / Play 0.750 10 0.796 18 N N 3-3
RB Success 48.4% 12 34.8% 3 Y N 4-2
Yds/Carry 5.00 8 3.48 9 Y N 7-2
Ranking - Week (30) 17 1 2
Ranking - Season (352) 200 9 39

Adjusted Stats for Week 12:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 74.4% 11 59.3% 5 Y N 7-0
ANPY/A 6.048 14 4.460 6 Y N 8-2
Turnovers 3.4 28 1.2 14 N N 1-1
Yds/Drive 31.59 16 25.28 6 Y N 7-0
ToP/Drive 2:43.9 16 2:47.1 17 N N 4-1
Yds/Play 5.388 14 4.206 4 Y N 7-0
Orange Zone Eff 51.1% 23 28.7% 2 N N 5-1
First Downs/Drive 2.08 11 1.45 8 Y N 4-0
3rd/4th Down 51.1% 11 28.8% 6 Y N 8-1
Avg Start Pos 28.6 13 29.3 20 Y N 6-1
3 and Outs 3.3 18 4.6 7 Y N 5-2
RZ Eff 51.8% 22 34.2% 3 N N 4-1
Plays/Drive 5.922 15 5.745 14 Y N 4-1
Penalty Yds / Play 0.798 12 1.149 8 N N 3-3
RB Success 54.6% 4 42.0% 10 Y N 4-2
Yds/Carry 4.78 11 3.86 12 Y N 7-2
Ranking - Week (30) 16 5 6
Ranking - Season (352) 192 41 76

Some thoughts:

  • The Offense played a pretty average game against a pretty average Defense. They produced average statistics.
  • You can see how bad the Turnovers were, 28th in the league, and easily could have been worse. Obviously it's the most concerning thing with this Colts team.
  • They also, once again, didn't fare too well inside the Orange and Red Zone, scoring barely half of the possible points. This stat has slowly declined throughout the season, and I'm not sure why. They need to go back to the drawing board and figure out how to score TDs when they get close. Let's hope the loss of Ahmad Bradshaw doesn't really tank these stats.
  • The best stat of any of them was RB Success Rate, ranking 4th in the league this week. Nice to see them bounce back after an awful week last week against New England.
  • The Defense also bounced back nicely, ranking 5th overall in the league this week. Honestly, it's what we should see against a really bad Offense.
  • They were especially good in the Orange/Red Zone, giving up just 3 points on two trips. In fact, the field goal they got was after a Luck fumble that put them in the Red Zone to start the drive, so a nice job to keep them out of the end zone.
  • The Field Position looks bad, but other than the fumble mentioned above, and the first one where the Jaguars took over around midfield (where they promptly gave the ball back to the Colts), it was a nice day. They downed a punt perfectly at the 1, even as Pat McAfee was being run into. We also saw some nice things from Josh Cribbs in the return game.

Season Stats through Week 12 (Adjusted):

Statistic Offense Rank Best Defense Rank Best Record Win %
DSR 74.4% 5 Broncos 67.2% 8 Bills 76-4 0.950
ANPY/A 6.858 5 Broncos 5.465 15 49ers 87-10 0.897
Turnovers 2.02 26 Packers 1.77 15 Bills 83-22 0.790
Yds/Drive 34.10 7 Saints 29.24 14 49ers 72-12 0.857
ToP/Drive 2:50.0 11 Chiefs 2:22.0 1 Colts 79-12 0.868
Yds/Play 5.784 6 Broncos 5.365 22 Dolphins 67-23 0.744
Orange Zone Eff 54.7% 14 Packers 59.0% 22 Bengals 49-14 0.778
First Downs/Drive 1.94 8 Saints 1.64 14 49ers 64-14 0.821
3rd/4th Down 42.6% 9 Cowboys 31.7% 2 Bills 79-15 0.840
Avg Start Pos 31.4 10 Dolphins 25.5 1 Colts 80-11 0.879
3 and Outs 3.49 12 Saints 4.71 3 Broncos 49-20 0.710
RZ Eff 62.7% 19 Raiders 72.1% 26 Rams 47-25 0.653
Plays/Drive 5.902 7 Saints 5.296 8 Bills 55-15 0.786
Penalty Yds / Play 0.711 10 Jaguars 0.802 18 Redskins 47-32 0.595
RB Success 43.6% 14 Dolphins 46.6% 25 Broncos 40-44 0.476
Yds/Carry 4.01 19 Seahawks 4.77 31 Lions 41-42 0.494
Overall 7 Saints 10 Bills

Some thoughts:

  • The Colts Defense remains tops in the NFL in Time of Possession per Drive and Average Starting Position, despite the struggles this week, and ranks 2nd in 3rd/4th down. However, they're 26th in the Red Zone and 31st in Yards per Carry. Strange they can be so good in spots, and so bad in others.
  • Offense is now over two turnovers per game, whereas they were under one per game at this time a year ago. I think this is going to be the downfall of the 2014 Colts, because they do everything else Offensively very well.

Week-to-Week Comparisons:

Colts Opponent Non-Adjusted Adjusted
Week Offense Defense Total Offense Defense Total
1 Broncos 223 302 294 147 199 154
2 Eagles 172 235 207 124 281 227
3 Jaguars 5 114 12 6 262 72
4 Titans 28 31 4 62 77 43
5 Ravens 128 27 33 130 24 36
6 Texans 62 133 66 80 196 106
7 Bengals 143 11 27 134 8 17
8 Steelers 123 342 282 154 341 298
9 Giants 161 122 128 188 140 148
10 BYE
11 Patriots 157 337 296 161 320 278
12 Jaguars 200 9 39 192 41 76

This game was closer to being how they played earlier this season on their five game winning streak. It also was a complete opposite performance than the first Jacksonville game, where the Offense dominated and the Defense wasn't very good. You can also see it was the worst offensive performance we've seen from the Colts this season. That's not a very good sign either. They have five weeks to get the ship turned back around. Let's hope they do.