Monday, December 1, 2008

Head on over...

to Stampede Blue for a nice little clash over whether or not the Colts are 'average'. Some one has taken exception to my statement last night. I defend it (rather conclusively) in the comments below.

For the record, I said they were average with an 'it' quality. It's not much of an explanation, but then again, I don't really have one. The Colts are 8-4. They probably shouldn't be, but 18, 93, and 98 have been amazing all year. Without any one of those guys...I don't want to even think about what the record would be. Anyway, enjoy the debate.


Demond Sanders said...

Here's some random Peyton for MVP trivia:

Last season the Colts had the game-high rusher in 10 of their 16 regular season games.

This season they have had the game's leading rusher just once in 12 games. (Dom Rhodes with 73 yards against Baltimore)

Bob M. said...

Speaking of rushing stats, in our most recent similar year to this (the 2006 "do we even deserve to be here with such a porous run D" season), it seemed like we allowed a 100 yard rusher in every game, and in a couple games, more than one. What was the YPG against? About 160?
This season, 3 100-yard rushers in the first three games and exactly two in the nine games since then. Mostly without the Zombie.

That's right, the D is decent, including the 4 TD passes against on the season, and despite the injuries and other issues like early retirement, the Ricky Williams express to nowhere, etc. Plus the ST seem markedly improved--still not great but nowhere near the worst. They're making up for the stumbling and injury-decimated O, which is still potent in fits and starts.
Overall, I'd say we're a top third of the league team and with our stars elevating their games when necessary, capable of being a top 2 or 3 team on any random day.

shake'n'bake said...

I don't hate the average assessment. I think they've been playing at a pretty average level most of the year, but they have the potential to be great which has peeked out late in some of the tight games and in the Ravens beatdown.

Demond Sanders said...

Orel Hershiser said that potential was the worst word in sports.

At some point you are what you are.

Bob M. said...

And THAT's coming from a guy whose first name sounds like "oral." He clearly knows a thing or two about unfortunate words. Just don't ask him about his brother Anel's failed pitching career.

You know, if the biggest discussion right now in horseshoe land is "are we average or not?" we're in pretty good shape. No calls to fire person X or Y. No screaming about the refs or the opponents. I assume things would be more testy if we were 5-7, but still, if we assume the playoffs are in our future and look at likely 1st round matchups, we can't be too unhappy, average or not. We're still probably good enough to beat those guys.
Second round... we'll see. But that's about what I said two years ago, which might be the only thing keeping me optimistic.

Deshawn Zombie said...

I feel like calling these Colts anything but average undermines the efforts of the four people most responsible for the wins of late.


Other guys have played well at times, sure. But for the most part each win depended on someone doing something amazing. That's not the mark of a good team.

This team can still be great...Super Bowl caliber great. But it isn't there yet.

BTW: no Dawson or Brackett this weekend.

Justin L said...

Random thought from the game with Brackett. When Brackett went down they got a cart for him to get him off the field because he couldn't walk under his own power. Anderson screws up his MCL and the Browns make their own QB limp off the field with help from trainers. I can't make sense of that. Maybe I'm making more of this than there is but, they sure do love their Browns in Cleveland...

Does anyone know if Brackett is seriously hurt?

Deshawn Zombie said...

he's out this week for sure. That's all Tony knew.

shake'n'bake said...

with knee/ligament injuries isn't is more of a swelling problem than pain when you move on them.

Brackett could have just got the ankle twisted badly, so it hurt to much to walk on it.

Bob M. said...

The way I hear it, once Anderson was in the locker room the Browns management asked Brackett to come in also... to jump up and down on the QB's knee. Most likely to test how strong it was or something.
Not sure what it means, but it's probably not good.

DZ, might it be accurate to say the Colts are an average team PLUS the four guys you mention who are putting in superhuman efforts to lift them above average? Or is your contention that the other 50 guys are below average and the 4 you note lift them to the level of average? Just curious.

Deshawn Zombie said...

I mean the Colts have played utterly average. In every game, there has been one or two spectacular moments in which a special player has done something great.

Indy isn't blowing anyone out, or really even having any dominant stretches during games. They are playing at a level which generally leads to losses, but somehow they pull out these games.

The offense is mired in the 20s in terms of points. The defense is middle of the road. They are average. They are insanely good in the red zone and on short yardage, so when they get chances, they cash in. But they aren't getting enough chances.

Bob M. said...

This just in: If you accept the FO DVOA rankings at face value the O is 6th (darn good) the D is 14th (middling but not bad) and the ST is 22 (a huge step up from past years when we have been an elite team with 30th ranked ST). Put it all together on a play by play basis, and you have a pretty good team.
Now if our O was ranked 1 or 2 or the D landed between 5 and 10, we'd have a lot more confidence in the other numbers. But really, if that's average, "average" is not as bad as I used to think it was.

caveat: The Eagles are 3rd overall and GB and NO are both ahed of us, which I am not so sure about. (Don't give me any "but GB beat us" crap--we whipped Balt and they're rightfully 9 slots ahead of us.)
I still say that the Browns game was a terribly uncharacteristic unlucky one for us with the exception of Mathis's one huge play. If Manning had scored on the sneak and we won 17-6 you'd probably say "we were lucky with Mathis's return--it should have been a 10-6 game" and you'd be right, but you'd also feel better about it, no?
I say PM's fumble and failure to score was a bit of flukey bad luck (i.e. he doesn't fumble ever, he's pretty good on sneaks, and had it been third down they'd have gotten it back at the one for another try or a FG).

Bob M. said...

Some year over year comparisons from FO's database:
2007 (a darn good year) the average LOS to start drives for our offense was the 31.51 YL ranking 12th. This year it's ranked #26 at 28.33. So we're 3 yards per drive worse off. Hmmm.
Defensively we're about the same which surprises me (safe to assume this stat does not include kicks returned all the way, which would make 2007 much worse): 28.82 in 2007 for a 6th rank and 27.16 in 2008 for a top ranking. Better coverage only gains us an average of 1.5 yards per opponents' drive, but no TDS against in the return game.
Our net drive success rate was 0.84 and ranked #2 behind the Pats juggernaut and in 2008 it's .022 or 13th ranked. Hmmm, pretty average.

That just goes to prove... nothing.

Well, when you look at their playoff odds page, there are only 6 teams with a higher likelihood of doing better ithe post season--that is we're ranked #7 out of 32 for likely postseason success. (this eliminated the high DVOA teams that will not make it, like Philly) #1 is nice, but #7 is fine with me. Personally, I think we'd beat TB and CAR, plus we HAVE beaten Balt and Pitt... leaving Tenn and NYG. Giants are the only team that scares me--I really can't see us winning. Counting my chickens, I know. I'll stop.