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2016 NFL Week 11: Inside the Colts Numbers - Hanging Tough

The Colts jumped out to a big lead and hung on for a 24-17 win over the Titans Sunday, putting them at 5-5 and just a game out of first place in the AFC South. How did the numbers look?

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The bye week was a welcome sight for the Colts, and it showed on Sunday with a 24-17 win over the Titans at Lucas Oil Stadium, their 11th straight win over their division rival, and the 16th win in their last 17 meetings, dating back to 2008. On some level, I feel bad for Curtis Painter, the starter in that lone loss to Tennessee in 2011, as it could have been over eight years in a row of wins against a team that hasn't always been at the bottom of the division.

The Colts came out on fire Sunday for the second game in a row, looking like a team that can play with anyone in the league, building a 21-0 lead and headed for even more when Dwayne Allen dropped a sure first down towards the end of the first half, leading to a field goal try, the first miss for Adam Vinatieri since Week 2 of last season after making an NFL record 44 straight. Then the Titans moved down the field, scoring a TD with 20 seconds left, totally changing the dynamic of the game. The Colts Offense went in the tank, while the Titans chipped away, but in the end both the Offense and Defense made plays at the end of the 4th quarter to secure the victory.

For a brief amount of time I thought we were getting a new Chuck Pagano: Decision Maker, after he decided to go for it on 4th and 1 from the 2 when up 14-0, paying off with a T.Y. Hilton magician-esque touchdown. That notion quickly went away one drive later, as he decided to kick a field goal on 4th and 1, which ended up being the missed FG by Vinatieri. He once again punted on a 4th and 1 close to mid-field, which I don't have too many issues with, as they did pin them inside the 10, but I think he should have been more aggressive, like he was early on, especially when it looked like the game was getting away from them.

It was a tale of two halves statistically, so let's jump in and see what they look like.

Non-Adjusted Stats for Week 11:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 75.0% 9 73.3% 15 N N 1-3
ANPY/A 8.200 7 6.837 16 N N 3-0
Turnovers 1 11 0 19 N N 8-0
Yds/Drive 32.70 14 35.10 19 N N 5-2
ToP/Drive 2:53.9 12 3:06.1 23 N Y 2-3
Yds/Play 5.638 10 5.014 14 Y N 5-1
Orange Zone Eff 68.6% 9 48.6% 8 Y N 4-5
First Downs/Drive 1.80 17 2.00 17 N N 1-3
3rd/4th Down 46.2% 9 35.3% 9 Y N 5-2
Avg Start Pos 27.3 12 22.4 5 N N 6-1
3 and Outs 3 9 3 14 N N 4-1
RZ Eff 100.0% 1 50.0% 5 Y N 4-2
Plays/Drive 5.800 15 7.000 23 N N 2-3
Penalty Yds / Play 1.207 22 1.557 2 N N 4-1
RB Success 41.7% 16 62.5% 26 N Y 2-8
Yds/Carry 2.71 24 3.59 11 N N 3-3
Ranking - Week (28) 9 17 8
Ranking - Season (322) 100 179 106

Adjusted Stats for Week 11:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 76.3% 10 71.9% 13 N N 1-3
ANPY/A 7.846 7 5.821 12 N N 3-0
Turnovers 1.4 18 -0.1 24 N N 8-0
Yds/Drive 29.68 17 34.05 19 N N 5-2
ToP/Drive 2:51.3 12 3:07.1 21 N Y 2-3
Yds/Play 5.331 12 4.663 9 Y N 5-1
Orange Zone Eff 59.6% 14 39.8% 2 Y N 4-5
First Downs/Drive 1.73 18 2.00 16 N N 1-3
3rd/4th Down 46.2% 8 29.5% 5 Y N 5-2
Avg Start Pos 27.5 13 24.3 9 N N 6-1
3 and Outs 3.2 11 2.9 20 N N 4-1
RZ Eff 94.4% 6 38.9% 3 Y N 4-2
Plays/Drive 5.647 17 7.103 24 N N 2-3
Penalty Yds / Play 0.775 15 1.520 3 N N 4-1
RB Success 43.2% 16 57.8% 25 N Y 2-8
Yds/Carry 2.68 25 3.16 7 N N 3-3
Ranking - Week (28) 12 12 9
Ranking - Season (322) 131 137 122

Some thoughts:

  • When you look at the overall game, the Offense and Defense performed at about the same level, which I'd agree with as a whole. The first half was obviously much better for both sides, but I'd say both sides played well.
  • On Offense, they only had three first downs in the entire second half, which is a reason for concern. This Offense shouldn't go an entire half with only three first downs. Of the three, one was the 50 yard catch and run from Luck to Hilton that led to a field goal, and the third one was on the final drive that iced the game away, so they certainly made the few they did convert count. However, three first downs in a half can't happen again if they want to win.
  • The Colts were a perfect 3-3 in the Red Zone, while the Defense held the Titans, the best team in the Red Zone this year, to just 1-2, stopping them on a 4th and 1 from the 19 on their final drive. If I had to give one reason the Colts are 5-5, it's because they've been excellent in the Red Zone.
  • Everything else on the Offensive side is right in the "average" range, other than our Passing stat, Adjusted Net Passing Yards per Attempt, where Luck was very good at nearly 8 adjusted yards per attempt. That's where he needs to be each and every week if the Colts want to pull one of these games out they shouldn't.
  • On Defense they didn't give up big plays (9th in Yards per Play), and got the Titans off the field, holding them to 35% on 3rd/4th down, good for 5th best this week. I like these stats.
  • The Run Defense was interesting, as they had a really good Yards per Carry stat, but one of the worst RB Success Rates, which means they gave up a lot of 4 or 5 yard runs, but never the big one. The Run Offense, on the other hand, wasn't really good at all, but it didn't matter.
  • Drive stats really struggled around the league this week, as teams that were above average on both sides of the ball in Drive Success Rate last week went just 1-3, a very strange occurrence for a stat that has won at 80% this year and historically nearly 90%.

Season Stats through Week 11:

Statistic Offense Rank Best Defense Rank Best Record Win %
DSR 73.1% 7 Cowboys 74.0% 29 Ravens 52-13 0.800
ANPY/A 5.744 15 Falcons 7.009 30 Broncos 58-8 0.879
Turnovers 1.56 12 Falcons 0.89 32 Chiefs 70-18 0.795
Yds/Drive 30.56 11 Cowboys 35.72 32 Ravens 45-15 0.750
ToP/Drive 2:44.0 11 Cowboys 2:42.0 14 Eagles 62-25 0.713
Yds/Play 5.227 18 Falcons 5.981 31 Broncos 40-16 0.714
Orange Zone Eff 61.5% 9 Giants 59.9% 22 Cardinals 52-27 0.658
First Downs/Drive 1.86 7 Cowboys 2.03 29 Ravens 48-16 0.750
3rd/4th Down 39.5% 13 Saints 38.8% 16 Dolphins 55-16 0.775
Avg Start Pos 27.1 29 Bills 28.5 11 Patriots 66-30 0.688
3 and Outs 3.54 13 Redskins 3.14 22 Ravens 39-21 0.650
RZ Eff 80.9% 3 Panthers 69.9% 21 Saints 47-30 0.610
Plays/Drive 5.828 9 Cowboys 5.918 21 Ravens 52-28 0.650
Penalty Yds / Play 0.840 18 Chargers 1.027 6 Titans 45-30 0.600
RB Success 48.6% 7 Bills 53.4% 32 Ravens 28-53 0.346
Yds/Carry 3.97 21 Bills 4.60 27 Ravens 35-37 0.486
Overall 10 Cowboys 30 Ravens

A couple thoughts:

  • Overall on both sides their rank stayed the same, as the Offense played to their normal level, while the Defense, which played much better than they have this season, was so far behind they have a lot more room to catch up.
  • The biggest stat I see in this chart is the Defense is ranked dead last in forcing Turnovers, a place you never want to be. The Offense has gotten better at not turning the ball over, but the Defense is not holding up their end of the bargain.

Week-to-Week Comparison:

Colts Opponent Non-Adjusted Adjusted
Week Offense Defense Total Offense Defense Total
1 Lions 12 314 170 69 305 222
2 Broncos 225 253 276 133 299 267
3 Chargers 130 103 79 84 90 44
4 Jaguars 160 145 142 157 209 225
5 Bears 118 233 196 112 300 261
6 Texans 182 201 227 97 289 238
7 Titans 18 250 84 34 211 73
8 Chiefs 281 220 296 279 217 288
9 Packers 141 212 198 172 222 243
10 BYE
11 Titans 100 179 106 131 137 122

The Colts have clawed their back into the AFC South race, and the next three weeks will tell us all we need to know about their chances of making the Playoffs. Obviously it'll be very tough this week without Andrew Luck, but they have very winnable games the two weeks after that. They've played well the last two weeks, so I'm a little more optimistic that they can hang with the good teams left on the schedule. In all likelihood, however, they're going to have to win in either Minnesota or Oakland, as well as not drop the games they should win. Their chances aren't "bleak", like they were three weeks ago, but it's certainly no sure thing.