We've had a few weeks for the 2014 season to digest, so I think it's a good time to go back into season and see where the Colts excelled, where they struggled, and where they fit in the entirety of the NFL. We'll start with the best Offensive performances, because they're easier to remember and they stand out more than the others.
What I've done is go through each of our Winning Stats and found the game where the Colts had their best performance of the year, and put it into one nice, neat table. For the best games on Offense, you'll see a couple common games pop-up, but there's one surprise game, thanks to a small sample size. Here's the stats, and we'll talk about some of the games afterwards, working our way down the table:
|Orange Zone Eff||Redskins||13||49-27||96.4%|
|Avg Start Pos||Titans||17||27-10||38.2|
|3 and Outs||Jaguars||3||44-17||0.68|
|Penalty Yds / Play||Giants||9||40-24||0.333|
- By far, the two best Offensive games of the season for the Colts were in Week 3 at Jacksonville (I still love the 44-17 symmetry) and the Week 13 game against the Redskins, where I don't think Jim Haslett has figured out what hit him yet that day.
- Week 3 was great because it was just long drive after long drive, evidenced by it leading pretty much every drive-related stat. It was one of those games where the Colts didn't really take any chances, because they didn't have to. I'd say this was Pep Hamilton's best game of the season.
- The Redskins game was an aerial assault, the best day passing in Andrew Luck's career so far. In fact, only three other games over the past three seasons have had 10+ ANPY/A, so to see him tear apart the Washington secondary was quite fun to watch. Getting nearly 10 yards per play and converting 96% of Orange Zone points is quite remarkable.
- I'm a bit disappointed in the 3rd/4th down category though, not getting 60% (adjusted for opponent) in a single game this season. They averaged over 40% on the season so they obviously were pretty consistent throughout the season, but they never had a game where they were just converting everything.
- Also a little disappointing was the Average Starting Position had even less distance from their average of the 30 for their best game, Week 17 against Tennessee. Very consistent, but nothing great.
- We know the Turnovers were awful all year, but they didn't have a game with a negative adjusted Turnovers all season (that essentially is a 0 Turnover game against an above-average Defense). The best they could do is against the Giants on MNF, who were just slightly below league-average. This is where the offseason work should go.
- The best Red Zone game was against the Patriots in the Playoffs. Makes sense, right? But only one trip, and they scored a TD, so it's the best. Small sample size.
- The best game running the ball, success-wise, was against the Bengals in Week 7, while on a Yards per Carry basis it was against the Steelers in Week 8, a game that running the ball did absolutely nothing to alter the score of the game. Easily of these two the better game was against Cincinnati, as they had success late running out a game they dominated; the best use of a running game.
Here's the overall NFL bests, and the Colts show up a couple times:
|Orange Zone Eff||Jets||Bills||8||23-43||108.9%|
|Avg Start Pos||Bills||Jets||8||43-23||48.9|
|3 and Outs||Bears||Bills||1||20-23||-1.32|
|Penalty Yds / Play||Dolphins||Chargers||9||37-0||0.114|
- First, the good stat: Best game in Yards per Play was that Redskins game at just under 9.5 Yards per Play. They torched them real good that day.
- Sadly, the Colts Defense shows up in three of the top four categories: Week 11 against the Patriots gave up a 94% Drive Success Rate, Week 16 against the Cowboys gave up over 16 ANPY/A (yikes), and the Steelers gained nearly 60 yards per drive in Week 8.
- There were more games than I thought that a team lost when they had the best game in the NFL for the season. Some are a sample size issue again, but the biggest surprise is the Plays per Drive for the Chiefs in Week 2, nearly 10 plays per drive, but they lost because they couldn't score any points at the end. Amazing.