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2014 NFL Week Three: Inside the Colts Numbers

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A 44-17 blowout win for the Colts should mean really good stats right? Go Inside the Numbers to find out just how nice they look.

Rob Foldy

A couple weeks ago, when Notre Dame was destroying Michigan 31-0 and running back a pick-6 at the end of the game to make it 38-0, I was ecstatic, as I had sat through a game of that exact score, only flipped, back in 2003. It was the worst game I've ever attended, and that will be the case the rest of my life. Just an awful day. But a bit of symmetry from an awful beatdown is a nice feeling.

I bet you had some of the same feeling after yesterday's 44-17 Colts win over the Jaguars, as we all know very well about the 44-17 Jaguars trouncing of the Colts back in 2006. You remember, that day in December when the Jaguars had 375 yards rushing? It's the day that turned around the Colts season, on their way to the Super Bowl, but a huge black mark on Colts history. While yesterday wasn't a history-making day like it was eight years ago (wow, really?), it was nice to finally see the Colts unleashed against an obviously inferior opponent. As cathartic as it was for us as fans, I'm sure it was even more so for the players and coaches.

We had family over yesterday afternoon so I only caught bits and pieces, and because it was a blowout I didn't bother much late (and really wanted to watch other games), but from what I saw it was a lot like the last three times these two teams played, which haven't been close either. I did see what is now the strength of the Colts Defense, Vontae Davis and Greg Toler, both make great plays, and saw another one by Bjoern Werner overturned on a play it shouldn't have been (Contact by Davis was after ball was out). And we saw Andrew Luck finally find a rhythm, something he kinda showed in the 2nd half against the Broncos, but definitely didn't last week against the Eagles.

Speaking of Luck, Elias has a little tidbit for us:

From Elias: Andrew Luck passed for 370 yards and threw four short touchdown passes in the Colts' 44-17 win at Jacksonville. Luck completed eight passes for 20 yards or more, one short of his personal high, and he became only the second player in Colts history to throw four TD passes of less than 10 yards in one game. The first was Jack Trudeau against the Dolphins in 1989.

Not everyday you get to tie a record by Jack Trudeau!

Sunday was also the reason I found all the hand-wringing and panicking going on in Indianapolis a bit silly. Sure the Colts lost both of the first two weeks, but there are still lots of games against mediocre-to-bad teams left on their schedule to worry about losing to two teams that will most likely host Playoff games. If the Colts show the kind of effort and execution against those other middling teams, the AFC South title will easily be within their grasp.

How did the numbers look? Let's dive in and find out:

Non-Adjusted Stats for Week 3:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 83.8% 3 66.7% 7 Y N 11-0
ANPY/A 10.333 4 5.400 9 Y N 8-1
Turnovers 0 1 3 3 Y N 6-2
Yds/Drive 52.90 1 28.67 11 Y N 5-2
ToP/Drive 3:42.3 4 1:54.8 2 Y N 6-2
Yds/Play 7.149 2 6.255 24 N N 5-1
Orange Zone Eff 66.1% 13 71.4% 22 N N 7-1
First Downs/Drive 2.70 4 1.50 3 Y N 9-0
3rd/4th Down 53.3% 7 40.0% 16 N N 5-2
Avg Start Pos 27.8 8 17.2 1 N N 3-2
3 and Outs 0 1 4 7 Y N 3-3
RZ Eff 73.8% 11 100.0% 29 N N 6-3
Plays/Drive 7.400 7 4.583 2 Y N 3-1
Penalty Yds / Play 0.622 12 0.273 32 N N 6-0
RB Success 34.6% 25 50.0% 23 N Y 3-7
Yds/Carry 4.97 5 5.25 29 N N 2-2
Ranking - Week (32) 2 9 2
Ranking - Season (96) 2 26 2

Adjusted Stats for Week 3:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 80.4% 8 73.7% 13 Y N 11-0
ANPY/A 9.693 5 6.263 14 Y N 8-1
Turnovers 0.2 7 3.0 4 Y N 6-2
Yds/Drive 50.55 2 34.29 17 Y N 5-2
ToP/Drive 3:28.7 5 2:22.6 4 Y N 6-2
Yds/Play 7.185 2 6.842 28 N N 5-1
Orange Zone Eff 58.3% 18 74.8% 26 N N 7-1
First Downs/Drive 2.48 5 1.92 13 Y N 9-0
3rd/4th Down 49.0% 10 44.7% 17 N N 5-2
Avg Start Pos 26.0 14 17.4 2 N N 3-2
3 and Outs 0.5 5 2.9 13 Y N 3-3
RZ Eff 68.7% 17 99.7% 31 N N 6-3
Plays/Drive 6.969 7 5.061 4 Y N 3-1
Penalty Yds / Play 0.731 13 0.380 28 N N 6-0
RB Success 34.5% 24 62.1% 32 N Y 3-7
Yds/Carry 5.56 3 5.86 30 N N 2-2
Ranking - Week (32) 3 17 5
Ranking - Season (96) 4 56 16

Some thoughts:

  • Even after adjusting for the bad team the Colts played Sunday, it was still a really good performance on both sides of the ball, ranking 5th overall last week, and the 16th best game played so far this season. I'll take that every week.
  • I love seeing single digits in the Rank columns up near the top of this table, because that means the Colts played really well. I said last week it was a good sign that they were able to move the ball effectively, even though they couldn't score points, and they did so again Sunday. They averaged 53 yards per drive, which is still over 50 when opponent adjusted. They also had some big plays (although not TDs), which gives them a big Yards/Play rank.
  • The Colts also did not have a Three and Out the entire day. This deserves its own bullet.
  • I said Thursday that the Jaguars actually take care of the ball pretty well, so forcing three turnovers was very nice, and as I said above, should have been a 4th with the fumble in the end zone.
  • That big play to Allen Hurns killed their Yards per Play stat. It was just one bad play on a day with so many good ones, so I'm not going to harp on it too much. It was a 30 point game and the Colts got lazy. Big deal.
  • Forcing a bad Offense into starting drives, on average, inside their own 20 is just not fair, but the Colts did just that. Pat McAfee a stud Sunday.
  • The Red Zone numbers are why stats sometimes get a bad reputation. Sure the Jaguars were 100% in the RZ this weekend. But they only got there 1 time, so it makes that percentage totally deceiving. Most stats you see are good, but one like this can be used "truthfully" but with no context.
  • The Colts were worst in the NFL at RB Success Rate Defense and 3rd worst in YPC Defense. Man it sure cost them, didn't it?

Season Stats through Week 3 (Adjusted):

Statistic Offense Rank Best Defense Rank Best Record Win %
DSR 71.1% 11 Chargers 70.7% 22 Seahawks 22-2 0.917
ANPY/A 5.901 12 Chargers 4.977 8 Seahawks 26-2 0.929
Turnovers 0.89 2 49ers 1.96 9 Bengals 27-5 0.844
Yds/Drive 31.31 11 Chargers 30.79 23 Seahawks 18-5 0.783
ToP/Drive 2:49.0 10 Chargers 2:45.0 21 Bengals 19-6 0.760
Yds/Play 5.323 12 Eagles 5.312 19 Seahawks 18-8 0.692
Orange Zone Eff 54.8% 15 Broncos 52.9% 14 Bengals 16-3 0.842
First Downs/Drive 1.75 11 Chargers 1.85 26 Seahawks 19-3 0.864
3rd/4th Down 39.1% 15 Chargers 42.0% 25 Bengals 19-7 0.731
Avg Start Pos 31.2 12 49ers 27.9 5 Chargers 21-3 0.875
3 and Outs 3.84 18 Chargers 3.40 19 Seahawks 15-6 0.714
RZ Eff 65.3% 16 Saints 62.4% 12 Bengals 13-8 0.619
Plays/Drive 5.867 6 Chargers 5.768 20 Bengals 9-5 0.643
Penalty Yds / Play 0.755 13 Dolphins 1.026 4 Ravens 12-8 0.600
RB Success 40.2% 26 Cowboys 52.8% 29 Seahawks 8-15 0.348
Yds/Carry 4.48 6 Cowboys 4.61 23 Seahawks 10-11 0.476
Overall 12 Chargers 19 Seahawks

Some thoughts:

  • The Colts made a really nice jump up to 12th Offensively this week, and there's really not a "bad" area other than the RB Success Rate, something nobody here should be surprised by. Thankfully is really doesn't mean all that much in terms of winning, so I'm not concerned.
  • The Defense is playing the pass really well and forcing Turnovers, but everything else is either mid-pack or worse. Let's hope we see some consistent play from the Defense, and I think the better numbers will come.
  • If you look at the Win% chart in this table and tell me with a straight face you should build your team to run the ball / stop the run, I think you should have your head examined. Seriously.

Week-to-Week Comparisons:

Colts Opponent Non-Adjusted Adjusted
Week Offense Defense Total Offense Defense Total
1 Broncos 68 81 83 69 49 69
2 Eagles 48 63 61 44 41 38
3 Jaguars 2 26 2 4 56 16

Improvement each week overall, and a big one this week. Let's hope it continues against the Titans this week. The Defense did get a bit "worse", but I think that has to do with opponent more than anything. The Jaguars are so bad you have to play nearly perfect to "look good" in these stats. I think these numbers show the Defense has been consistent, which is a very good sign, as they were one of the least consistent teams a year ago.