The Indianapolis Colts today notched a big win over the Green Bay Packers on the road, winning 31-26 and outplaying the Packers from the beginning to the end.
The Colts are now 4-5 on the season entering their bye week, which gives them a chance to get healthy and get ready for a second half push trying to make the playoffs. One of the interesting things about their win today, however, is that it continues a trend of the team playing very well right before their bye week.
In fact, the team’s biggest win last year was against the Denver Broncos, which came the week before the bye. The year before, the Colts defeated the Giants 40-24 on the road the week before the bye. And then in 2013, the Colts won Peyton Manning’s homecoming the week before the bye in defeating the Broncos 39-33. They lost the week before the bye in 2012 to the Jaguars 17-23 (just the third game of the Chuck Pagano era), but that was the last time they lost in that situation. Under Pagano, they’re 4-1 the week before a bye week and have outscored opponents by an average of 30.8 points per game to 25.8 points per game. In those games, Andrew Luck has completed 55.4% of his passes for 1,428 yards and 12 touchdowns with just three picks, while also adding 133 yards and two touchdowns rushing (averaging 5.8 yards per carry).
|Colts the week before the bye week|
|2014||New York Giants||W||40-24|
|2016||Green Bay Packers||W||31-26|
What does all of that mean? Probably nothing, as it’s probably more coincidence than causation that the Colts have played so well heading into their bye week. But it certainly is interesting to think that their biggest win in the 2013 and 2015 seasons came the week before the bye, and the biggest win of the 2016 season so far also came the week before the bye.
It should also be noted that the Colts have played well following their bye as well, as they were 3-1 in the first four seasons under Pagano - with the only loss coming to the New England Patriots. But one note about those three wins: all of them required a fourth quarter comeback to win.
The big story right now, though, is that the Colts pulled out their biggest win of the season today with a 31-26 victory at Lambeau Field, their first victory in Green Bay since 1988. We’ll have to wait and see whether it’s the type of win the Colts can build on moving forward, and the first chance to do so will come in week eleven as the Colts host the Tennessee Titans.