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2016 NFL Week 8: Inside the Colts Numbers - Reality Check

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The Colts are now halfway through their season, and Sunday's 30-14 loss to the Chiefs showed on the scoreboard how the Colts have been playing for most of the season, just this time they played a legitimate Playoff team. Reality hit them square in the nose.

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

We found out Sunday what happens when Andrew Luck has a bad game: the Colts get obliterated. The Chiefs did pretty much whatever they wanted on both sides of the ball, including with a backup QB for a good portion of the game, in a 30-14 romp that wasn't actually that close. It was the Colts worst game of the season, and that's not just because of the opponent.

Usually in games like we saw against Kansas City, the focus goes directly to the Quarterback, and with good reason, as he makes a crap-ton of money, and with it another level of scrutiny. To Andrew Luck's credit, he's never shied away from taking responsibility for his bad play, even when it wasn't warranted, so it came as no surprise he took all the blame for the debacle on Sunday. But I think the storyline shouldn't be "Luck was awful, he's the reason the Colts stink", but "Luck was awful, which means the Colts have zero chance of winning." Luck won't be perfect, but as you'll see at the end of the story here, the Colts Offense has been consistently good all season, and all it got them was a 3-4 record (which they're lucky to have had that record). If he happens to have a clunker (even Peyton Manning had those), it's a lost cause.

This game really turned at the end of the first half, as the Defense got the ball back to the Colts offense with 42 seconds left and two timeouts remaining, with the Colts trailing just 10-7. There was plenty of time to get at least a tying field goal, so I like the fact they wanted to move the ball. However, Luck threw an interception on the very first play, and three plays later the Chiefs were in the end zone, up 17-7, and it wasn't any closer than that the rest of the way.

These end-of-the-half interceptions have plagued Luck for his entire career, where he's thrown 11 of them within the final two minutes of the first half. That is the most in the NFL since the start of the 2012 season, and ironically enough the team with the fewest since then is the Chiefs with only two. It's something that has bothered me for several years now, and it's hard to pinpoint what exactly he's doing, because he's so good at the end of games. How good? He's only had 3 in the final two minutes of the 4th quarter, and none of them were a game within one score. Is he taking more chances because there is more game left? Is it all a coincidence? I have no idea, but the coaching staff and Andrew Luck are paid boatloads of money to figure it out, and they need to do it fast.

How did the stats look in Week 8? Well not so pretty. But let's dive in and see what we've got.

Non-Adjusted Stats for Week 8:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 66.7% 22 71.9% 11 N Y 5-1
ANPY/A 4.073 25 8.955 22 N Y 5-2
Turnovers 2 21 0 16 N Y 3-1
Yds/Drive 23.08 25 35.17 13 N Y 5-0
ToP/Drive 2:12.0 24 2:48.0 13 N N 7-1
Yds/Play 4.468 22 5.944 19 N Y 4-2
Orange Zone Eff 66.7% 11 61.2% 11 N N 3-2
First Downs/Drive 1.50 22 1.67 6 N N 3-0
3rd/4th Down 33.3% 22 43.8% 15 N Y 6-1
Avg Start Pos 22.8 23 34.8 25 N Y 6-1
3 and Outs 5 20 3 9 N Y 2-0
RZ Eff 100.0% 1 57.1% 5 Y N 2-5
Plays/Drive 5.167 24 5.917 11 N Y 4-1
Penalty Yds / Play 0.726 11 0.563 20 N N 5-1
RB Success 58.3% 3 33.3% 2 Y N 1-5
Yds/Carry 5.00 6 3.26 6 Y N 4-5
Ranking - Week (26) 24 15 26
Ranking - Season (240) 208 160 218

Adjusted Stats for Week 8:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 68.7% 19 72.9% 11 N Y 5-1
ANPY/A 4.717 23 8.818 25 N Y 5-2
Turnovers 1.1 17 0.2 20 N Y 3-1
Yds/Drive 22.15 23 36.03 18 N Y 5-0
ToP/Drive 2:11.9 25 2:33.1 9 N N 7-1
Yds/Play 4.383 23 6.331 23 N Y 4-2
Orange Zone Eff 69.4% 10 69.9% 18 N N 3-2
First Downs/Drive 1.54 19 1.67 8 N N 3-0
3rd/4th Down 29.6% 25 40.3% 10 N Y 6-1
Avg Start Pos 22.9 23 33.3 24 N Y 6-1
3 and Outs 5.6 24 3.7 11 N Y 2-0
RZ Eff 100.2% 2 72.0% 13 Y N 2-5
Plays/Drive 5.109 25 5.663 7 N Y 4-1
Penalty Yds / Play 0.970 17 0.832 14 N N 5-1
RB Success 50.7% 8 39.5% 6 Y N 1-5
Yds/Carry 4.53 10 3.21 5 Y N 4-5
Ranking - Week (26) 22 13 23
Ranking - Season (240) 198 149 202

Some thoughts:

  • I'll start with a positive - the Defense was pretty average, which is definitely a compliment for them. You'll see below, but it was actually the second best game they've played all season, behind the Chargers game.
  • Where did they struggle mightily? Stopping the pass, where they finished second from the bottom last week, even with Nick Foles playing for more than half of it. We've seen games in the past where the Colts lose Vontae Davis and they completely fold, and their pass Defense went down the tubes once he went out.
  • They also were prone to big plays, giving up over six Yards per Play, but that's nothing new for this year.
  • I'm not gong to spend much time talking about how bad the Offense looked, as you all saw that on Sunday. The biggest problem was just moving the ball, as the drive stats were bottom of the league in Week 8.
  • They did score points at a high level, scoring on both trips to the Red Zone, which is something they've done all season long.
  • The Colts ran the ball well and stopped the run with great success on Sunday. The Colts were awful at passing the ball and stopping the pass. See the difference?

Season Stats through Week 8 (Adjusted):

Statistic Offense Rank Best Defense Rank Best Record Win %
DSR 73.4% 7 Cowboys 74.3% 28 Cardinals 43-6 0.878
ANPY/A 5.939 12 Falcons 7.229 29 Broncos 48-4 0.923
Turnovers 1.38 10 Bills 1.10 31 Chiefs 50-15 0.769
Yds/Drive 31.37 8 Falcons 36.42 31 Ravens 34-7 0.829
ToP/Drive 2:42.0 14 Lions 2:42.0 13 Texans 47-20 0.701
Yds/Play 5.365 17 Falcons 6.072 30 Broncos 30-10 0.750
Orange Zone Eff 60.4% 10 49ers 63.8% 30 Eagles 38-15 0.717
First Downs/Drive 1.87 9 Saints 2.10 30 Ravens 38-10 0.792
3rd/4th Down 37.9% 19 Patriots 41.8% 23 Dolphins 41-12 0.774
Avg Start Pos 27.5 27 Chargers 27.9 5 Patriots 49-23 0.681
3 and Outs 3.46 12 Redskins 3.12 25 Texans 28-16 0.636
RZ Eff 79.4% 3 Raiders 73.6% 27 Seahawks 37-20 0.649
Plays/Drive 5.820 11 Cowboys 5.931 23 Texans 39-21 0.650
Penalty Yds / Play 0.953 25 49ers 1.039 6 Packers 36-24 0.600
RB Success 49.2% 7 Panthers 49.9% 29 Ravens 20-36 0.357
Yds/Carry 4.17 19 Bills 4.54 26 Jets 24-29 0.453
Overall 7 Falcons 30 Cardinals

A few things:

  • Of our eight top stats, all but one of them (Time of Possession per Drive) are ranked 28th or worse on Defense, and that ToP/Drive could be misleading, as it could be teams are just scoring fast on them. Only the Lions and Browns are worse overall.
  • The Offense ranks 3rd in the Red Zone, which will help mask some of the issues we've seen Offensively, as scoring touchdowns is essential when the Defense can't stop anyone.

Week-to-Week Comparison:

Colts Opponent Non-Adjusted Adjusted
Week Offense Defense Total Offense Defense Total
1 Lions 7 235 127 63 219 163
2 Broncos 163 186 204 98 213 190
3 Chargers 100 80 60 54 96 36
4 Jaguars 119 107 103 164 158 191
5 Bears 91 172 144 78 211 172
6 Texans 137 148 165 64 220 165
7 Titans 13 182 64 17 162 55
8 Chiefs 208 160 218 198 149 202

The Offense hasn't played well in two games this season - that Jaguars debacle in London against one of the worst teams in the NFL, and Sunday, their worst loss of the season. There's lots of chatter about this coming Sunday being the "last stand" for 2016. I think we've already seen it, and this season will only spiral out of control the rest of the way.