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2014 NFL Week Fifteen: Inside the Colts Numbers

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The Colts struggle but still beat the Texans for the 13th straight time in Indianapolis, wrap up the division, and Reggie Wayne becomes the franchise leader in both games played and wins. Just your ordinary Sunday in Indy.

Michael Hickey/Getty Images

For the 9th time in the last 12 years (I think that's right), the Colts are AFC South Champions, completing a season sweep of the division Sunday with a 17-10 win over the Texans. It means the Colts remain unbeaten against Houston in Indianapolis (13-0), they've now won twelve straight divisional games (beating the lowly Titans in a couple weeks should make that 13), and they've still never lost the second game against any of the three teams under Chuck Pagano. There's a little bit of the Colts being pretty good, and a little bit more of the other teams just being really bad (read: sans QB), but any way you put it, the Colts have dominated the division over the last 3 years.

I've only watched the first half, as I was out all day Sunday, and decided to go to bed last night after the first half, mostly because the second half looked painfully boring and would only cause me to get upset at the lack of Offense, so I just skipped it. It does keep my perfect record intact of the Colts winning when I can't watch, dating back to 2011 (where they lost a lot). I'm hoping I didn't miss much, but I probably won't find out.

This was the third game this season where the Colts Defense did not give up a touchdown, joining the Bengals and Jaguars game. You might think that's the most the Colts have had in a season since 1998, but they've actually had two seasons with four (2005, 2009), and in 2008 they had five games where they held their opponent out of the end zone. Maybe I'm just not remembering that team as having a good Defense, but I would have never guessed 2008 would have had the most in recent history. They also had 5 in 1989, but I'm guessing 90% of you reading were either not alive or not Colts fans yet to be able to remember them.

A lot was made of Reggie Wayne's streak of consecutive games with at least three catches ending last week, but a less-publicized one came to an end Sunday. With their 17 points, it ended a streak of 20 consecutive games of scoring at least 20 points, ranking 11th all time and falling five games short of the NFL record. If they could have done anything in the second half they could have easily extended that streak. Like Reggie's streak, they'll just have to start over next week, and hopefully sometime in 2016 we'll be talking about them setting the record.

We'll see how well I can figure out how the Colts looked without watching them by looking at the stats. I'm guessing they'll match-up pretty nicely, unfortunately.

Non-Adjusted Stats for Week 15:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 68.8% 14 56.0% 6 N N 6-1
ANPY/A 4.528 17 4.115 13 N N 8-0
Turnovers 2 22 2 4 N N 9-0
Yds/Drive 23.17 24 26.27 14 N N 6-3
ToP/Drive 2:24.6 23 2:49.5 20 N N 7-5
Yds/Play 4.344 25 4.313 7 N N 5-5
Orange Zone Eff 81.0% 3 42.9% 10 Y N 5-1
First Downs/Drive 1.67 17 1.27 10 Y N 5-2
3rd/4th Down 16.7% 31 26.3% 10 N N 2-3
Avg Start Pos 26.6 16 18.7 3 N N 10-1
3 and Outs 4 18 3 16 N Y 7-4
RZ Eff 71.4% 14 0.0% 1 Y N 5-3
Plays/Drive 5.333 17 6.091 20 N Y 4-4
Penalty Yds / Play 0.703 10 0.985 16 Y N 5-0
RB Success 54.2% 5 51.4% 25 N N 3-4
Yds/Carry 3.93 12 3.34 10 N N 2-6
Ranking - Week (32) 18 8 11
Ranking - Season (448) 315 71 167

Adjusted Stats for Week 15:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 67.6% 19 57.0% 4 N N 6-1
ANPY/A 4.696 20 3.721 8 N N 8-0
Turnovers 1.6 23 2.0 8 N N 9-0
Yds/Drive 21.85 26 26.18 13 N N 6-3
ToP/Drive 2:23.7 21 2:44.4 18 N N 7-5
Yds/Play 4.430 25 4.445 7 N N 5-5
Orange Zone Eff 82.8% 4 47.0% 14 Y N 5-1
First Downs/Drive 1.52 20 1.31 8 Y N 5-2
3rd/4th Down 19.2% 30 26.7% 8 N N 2-3
Avg Start Pos 25.9 19 19.8 4 N N 10-1
3 and Outs 4.7 23 3.0 20 N Y 7-4
RZ Eff 79.3% 13 5.1% 1 Y N 5-3
Plays/Drive 5.003 22 5.860 20 N Y 4-4
Penalty Yds / Play 0.852 13 1.092 11 Y N 5-0
RB Success 49.9% 7 55.0% 29 N N 3-4
Yds/Carry 3.99 11 3.60 15 N N 2-6
Ranking - Week (32) 26 4 12
Ranking - Season (448) 332 61 154

Some thoughts:

  • This was not a performance from a Playoff-bound Offense (for the second week in a row), but it was enough to get the job done. Ranking 26th in the league this week just won't cut it.
  • Where did it go wrong? We talked on Thursday that the Colts should have been able to move the ball between the 20s against the Texans, once they got the initial First Down, but that just didn't play out Sunday. Outside of two or three drives, the Colts couldn't move the ball at all.
  • The biggest disappointment was definitely on 3rd/4th down, where the Colts were just 2/12. You can't move the ball when you can't convert 3rd downs. Without watching I can't put my finger exactly on what happened, but clearly something went wrong that never got corrected. That can't happen against Playoff teams.
  • The good thing (and a reason the Colts won) was they converted their decent drives into points, ranking 4th in Orange Zone Efficiency for the weekend. If the Colts can't move the ball, they certainly need to cash in every opportunity they get, which they did Sunday.
  • I made a point of saying Thursday that when Turnovers happened, they needed to not let the Defense score. They did, and it made the game closer than it should have been. I've given up thinking they can go a game without a couple turnovers. Just give the Colts Defense a chance to bail them out. They've been pretty good at it.
  • The Colts didn't allow the Texans inside the Red Zone, and only let them inside the Colts 35 once, which is quite impressive, even with a 3rd string QB playing 2/3 of the game and without Andre Johnson. It wasn't long ago that it didn't matter who was playing QB against the Colts Defense, they would shred it like they were Peyton Manning. Now the Colts Defense completely shuts down bad QBs. It's really nice.
  • The Defense overall played the 4th best game of the weekend, which seems right based on what I saw on TV. Again I'll reiterate: Manhandling the teams they are supposed to are a very, very good sign. I know the Defense has looked really bad against the better QBs, but they are outstanding against the crappy Offenses.
  • The Texans running game ran well, even though they haven't been that good doing it this year. It's worrisome if the Colts get behind in a game.

Season Stats through Week 15 (Adjusted):

Statistic Offense Rank Best Defense Rank Best Record Win %
DSR 73.8% 6 Packers 66.2% 3 Bills 99-8 0.925
ANPY/A 6.888 6 Broncos 5.218 10 Bills 111-11 0.910
Turnovers 2.28 30 Packers 1.82 15 Bills 109-26 0.807
Yds/Drive 32.84 9 Saints 28.31 12 Bills 92-17 0.844
ToP/Drive 2:39.0 21 Seahawks 2:25.0 2 Bills 99-22 0.818
Yds/Play 5.913 5 Broncos 5.254 21 Broncos 84-28 0.750
Orange Zone Eff 59.8% 8 Patriots 56.2% 21 Rams 62-18 0.775
First Downs/Drive 1.85 12 Saints 1.57 7 Bills 84-21 0.800
3rd/4th Down 42.1% 9 Cowboys 32.3% 2 Bills 98-21 0.824
Avg Start Pos 30.0 16 Dolphins 26.8 2 Patriots 107-17 0.863
3 and Outs 3.76 17 Dolphins 4.77 4 Broncos 62-29 0.681
RZ Eff 66.9% 11 Raiders 65.2% 17 Rams 63-34 0.649
Plays/Drive 5.626 18 Saints 5.257 3 Bills 71-24 0.747
Penalty Yds / Play 0.749 11 Jaguars 0.849 14 Redskins 59-38 0.608
RB Success 44.4% 14 Seahawks 47.4% 26 Lions 52-55 0.486
Yds/Carry 4.24 11 Seahawks 4.60 29 Lions 55-51 0.519
Overall 10 Packers 9 Bills

Some thoughts:

  • The Overall rankings really didn't change much, staying at 10th and 9th on Offense and Defense respectively. They rank 4th overall behind the Broncos, Patriots, and Seahawks, just ahead of the Packers.
  • I'm sure not many of you have followed the Bills closely this year, but their Defense has been spectacular all season, not just against the Packers. They rank 1st in our top 5 categories and 7 of our top 9. They also are the top ranked Fantasy Defense (flying completely under the radar), and you know if you've been playing in any of our leagues, I most likely have them. I just wish they had one more win.
  • Average Starting Position is the 3rd most important stat this year, and it gets even more important when we get to the Playoffs historically, so it's crucial for the Colts to keep pinning their opponents deep, and getting those extra yards in the return game.

Week-to-Week Comparison:

Colts Opponent Non-Adjusted Adjusted
Week Offense Defense Total Offense Defense Total
1 Broncos 275 384 371 170 268 208
2 Eagles 205 301 265 142 363 287
3 Jaguars 5 151 18 6 335 96
4 Titans 34 45 5 83 125 68
5 Ravens 162 40 46 165 25 37
6 Texans 76 175 87 102 225 120
7 Bengals 177 18 34 137 10 14
8 Steelers 153 436 356 193 431 368
9 Giants 198 159 156 216 194 179
10 BYE
11 Patriots 192 430 372 196 408 351
12 Jaguars 245 12 47 242 55 99
13 Redskins 146 179 142 115 251 147
14 Browns 381 17 162 364 62 192
15 Texans 315 71 167 332 61 154

Two straight weeks the Offense has played their two worst games of the season. Now that they have the Division clinched, they need to try some stuff to figure out just what is going on, or else it's going to be a one-and-done visit in the Playoffs. They need to get back to what they were doing early in the season. A shake-up in the Offensive Line would be a nice start. I really don't think it matters too much whether they're the 3 or 4 seed, so experiment and find the rhythm again.