clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2016 NFL Week 2: Inside the Colts Numbers - We've Seen This Story Before

New, comments

Last week it was slow start, big comeback, and defensive failure. This week was back-breaking Turnovers and a slew of injuries. The Colts wanted to bring the coach and GM back, and they got exactly what they paid for.

Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Admit it. You thought the Colts were going to pull another game out when they had no business winning. Like so many other games, Andrew Luck and the Offense were getting the ball back, needing a late TD to win the game. However, just like last week, they tend to even out over time, and this week the best Defensive player in the NFL showed why he was paid all that money this offseason. The Broncos picked up the strip sack and scored their second Defensive touchdown of the game, leading to a 34-20 victory, sending the Colts to 0-2 for the third straight season.

While the first two Colts games didn't exactly mirror each other, they both showcased the biggest flaws we've seen since Chuck Pagano and Ryan Grigson. In Week 1, it was an incredibly slow start, furious comeback to take the lead, and the Defense blows it on the last series. This week, two Turnovers were both returned for touchdowns, putting the Defense that has so many injuries they were on Cornerbacks 5 and 6 at one point, in an impossible situation. Remember that groundswell of support for those two guys towards the end of last season? It's like everyone forgot about these things, and it didn't take long for them to rear their ugly heads. Again.

I do want to talk about the Broncos decision to kick a field goal up 3 on a 4th and 1 just inside the two minute warning. As a Colts fan, wanting the Colts to win the game, I thought there was a better chance of getting the ball after a kickoff and scoring a TD in the two minute drill than the Colts Defense stopping a 4th and 1 play, which would have ended the game. The decision to kick it is certainly helped when you have one of the league's top Defenses, but I think the decision there is to always go for it, and it is especially true if this situation faced the Colts. You trust the Offense to pick up one yard infinitely more than the Defense stopping the other team, right? Going up six points really doesn't do much more than being up 3 and not converting the 4th down. You lose either way if your opponent scores a TD, and most likely they'll play for a field goal and the tie regardless. And remember: you win the game if you convert 4th and 1.

While the Defense played better than Week 1, the Offense was much worse, and it didn't all have to do with their opponent. Let's dive into the numbers and see exactly where things went wrong.

Non-Adjusted Stats for Week 2:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 70.0% 17 75.8% 24 N Y 4-0
ANPY/A 3.222 31 6.500 17 N Y 6-0
Turnovers 2 18 1 16 N Y 6-1
Yds/Drive 23.00 27 44.44 30 N Y 5-0
ToP/Drive 2:39.9 16 3:24.6 28 N Y 6-0
Yds/Play 3.833 32 6.154 22 N Y 4-2
Orange Zone Eff 71.4% 8 45.2% 7 Y N 2-3
First Downs/Drive 1.73 16 2.67 29 N N 6-0
3rd/4th Down 46.7% 8 45.5% 21 N N 6-1
Avg Start Pos 26.7 16 24.8 12 N N 6-2
3 and Outs 4 23 0 30 N Y 4-0
RZ Eff 100.0% 1 57.1% 10 Y N 5-3
Plays/Drive 6.000 12 7.222 31 N N 7-0
Penalty Yds / Play 1.424 28 0.831 17 N Y 7-3
RB Success 44.4% 11 53.3% 29 N N 4-2
Yds/Carry 3.95 16 4.32 21 N Y 2-4
Ranking - Week (32) 21 25 28
Ranking - Season (64) 48 51 57

Adjusted Stats for Week 2:

Statistic Offense Rank Defense Rank Off/Def Above Off/Def Below Record
DSR 74.9% 11 76.2% 24 N Y 4-0
ANPY/A 4.123 31 7.004 19 N Y 6-0
Turnovers 2.0 20 0.8 27 N Y 6-1
Yds/Drive 24.54 28 42.76 30 N Y 5-0
ToP/Drive 2:39.4 17 3:17.0 27 N Y 6-0
Yds/Play 4.232 32 6.135 23 N Y 4-2
Orange Zone Eff 75.3% 5 50.7% 8 Y N 2-3
First Downs/Drive 1.77 16 2.52 28 N N 6-0
3rd/4th Down 48.6% 6 45.1% 21 N N 6-1
Avg Start Pos 26.9 15 25.0 12 N N 6-2
3 and Outs 3.8 24 0.5 30 N Y 4-0
RZ Eff 99.9% 3 63.3% 11 Y N 5-3
Plays/Drive 5.921 12 6.982 31 N N 7-0
Penalty Yds / Play 1.352 27 0.927 16 N Y 7-3
RB Success 46.0% 11 54.9% 29 N N 4-2
Yds/Carry 3.88 16 4.12 19 N Y 2-4
Ranking - Week (32) 21 27 30
Ranking - Season (64) 42 52 57

Some thoughts:

  • It was a real struggle passing the ball for Andrew Luck Sunday, beating out only one other team even when you adjust for opponent. Bad days happen, and after Week 1 we should give them the benefit of the doubt until we see more games like Sunday in Denver.
  • The Colts didn't turn the ball over last week against the Lions, but they went right back to their old habits, turning the ball over twice, and having both turn into Defensive scores is never a recipe for victory. I want to believe this past week is the exception, but I'm certainly not convinced yet.
  • The big plays were also severely lacking, ranking dead last in the league this week in Yards per Play. This was partly due to how quickly the Broncos defenders were on Luck, and how the Colts just couldn't seem to break away from defenders. The Colts are built for big plays, so when they don't get any, it's bad news.
  • A good sign for the Offense? They were excellent once again at scoring touchdowns when they got into the Orange and Red Zone. It didn't happen nearly enough on Sunday, but when they did, they cashed in. This is a big reason they've been right on the brink of victory the first two weeks despite being thoroughly outplayed in both games.
  • The Defense played better this week, but still towards the bottom of the league. Especially bad was their ability to get the Broncos off the field in a timely manner. They gave up a bunch of Yards per Drive, did not get a single Three and Out on the day, and gave up nearly seven Plays per Drive, well above league average.
  • To go along with the Offensive success in the scoring zones, the Defense played much better close to their own end zone, another factor in keeping them in the game. They obviously gave up some yards, but they held them to field goals four times, giving them the opportunity at the win.

Season Stats through Week 2 (Adjusted):

Statistic Offense Rank Best Defense Rank Best Record Win %
DSR 65.3% 28 Saints 75.7% 30 Texans 8-0 1.000
ANPY/A 5.591 17 Falcons 6.213 25 Broncos 11-0 1.000
Turnovers 1.55 12 Raiders 1.47 27 Cardinals 9-4 0.692
Yds/Drive 29.77 17 Jets 32.56 30 Texans 9-0 1.000
ToP/Drive 2:36.0 26 Jets 2:49.0 30 Texans 10-4 0.714
Yds/Play 5.143 24 Redskins 5.572 29 Broncos 7-2 0.778
Orange Zone Eff 54.5% 22 Steelers 61.4% 28 Seahawks 5-6 0.455
First Downs/Drive 1.68 18 Jets 1.93 32 Texans 10-1 0.909
3rd/4th Down 35.6% 27 Steelers 44.6% 30 Texans 10-2 0.833
Avg Start Pos 28.8 24 Eagles 28.6 7 Lions 9-10 0.474
3 and Outs 3.70 18 Broncos 3.42 25 Eagles 9-3 0.750
RZ Eff 67.9% 12 Steelers 72.7% 30 Seahawks 11-7 0.611
Plays/Drive 5.656 15 Cowboys 5.858 29 Texans 12-2 0.857
Penalty Yds / Play 0.790 14 49ers 0.866 9 Packers 13-7 0.650
RB Success 41.2% 24 Seahawks 50.5% 30 Packers 5-8 0.385
Yds/Carry 4.12 17 Raiders 4.31 25 Packers 4-7 0.364
Overall 24 Jets 32 Texans

A couple thoughts:

  • The Colts Defense is the worst in the NFL after two weeks. Anyone want to argue with that? Injuries are obviously playing a part in this, especially in the secondary, but there's nothing they've been good at in back-to-back weeks.
  • The Offense is pretty middle-of-the-road in a lot of categories, but they're struggling consistently putting drives together, ranking 28th in Drive Success Rate and 27th on 3rd/4th downs. I expect these to improve as we go along in the season, but right now they aren't looking very good.

Week-to-Week Comparisons:

Colts Opponent Non-Adjusted Adjusted
Week Offense Defense Total Offense Defense Total
1 Lions 3 64 36 7 63 44
2 Broncos 48 51 57 42 52 57

We can see the dropoff on the Offensive side, while the Defense improved slightly from Week 1 to Week 2. Neither game have the Colts played well, even though they were in position to potentially win both games. We've talked over and over in these columns about how you can play poorly and still win games on occasion. I hope the Colts aren't planning to test this theory each and every week, because the results won't be pretty.