Checking the Numbers: Pats-Colts Game Week 9

brady-manning

INDIANAPOLIS - NOVEMBER 15: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts greets Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots after the game at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 15, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Colts won the game 35-34. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

On Sunday Night Football, the New England Patriots traveled to Indianapolis to face the Colts. If Brett Favre had stayed retired, this would clearly have been the marquee game of this season. As it was, this game played out to be perhaps the most exciting finish this season. In a game where Tom Brady and the Pats appeared to be in control, a late gamble gave Peyton Manning and the Colts a short field and ultimately the 35-34 victory. Since you can get the game recaps plenty of places, here we will take a look at the teams stats and compare them with their opponents averages to this point in the season.

It has been a few weeks since I have written a game review post like this, but if you read those early in the season, you may recall that my method is to compare the box score numbers (taken from Yahoo! Sports) with each team’s average per game numbers (derived from numbers at Pro-Football-Reference.com) up to this point in the season. In earlier posts, I included data from the 2008 season, since there was so little 2009 data to use. But, since we are halfway through the season, I think it makes sense to use 2009 data exclusively.

As usual, I have four tables:

  1. Table 1: compares New England’s offensive numbers from this game with their per game numbers for 2009 prior to last week, which  indicates how well the Colts’ defense performed in the game.
  2. Table 2: compares Indy’s offensive numbers from this game with New England’s defensive per game numbers for 2009 prior to last week, which  indicates how well the Colts’ offense performed in the game.
  3. Table 3: compares Indy’s offensive numbers from this game with their per game numbers for 2009 prior to last week, which  indicates how well the Pats’ defense performed in the game.
  4. Table 4: compares New England’s offensive numbers from this game with Indy’s defensive per game numbers for 2009 prior to last week, which  indicates how well the Pats’ offense performed in the game.

Table 1

Team Statistics Colts’ Def vs. Patriots’ Off
  NE NEAvgOff % Difference
  First Downs 24 23.63 1.59%
    Passing 17 15.13 12.40%
    Rushing 7 6.13 14.29%
  TOTAL NET YARDS 477 409.25 16.55%
    Total Plays 72 69 4.35%
    Average Gain Per Play 6.6 5.93 11.28%
  NET YARDS RUSHING 113 114.25 -1.09%
    Rushes 28 27.63 1.36%
    Average Per Rush 4 4.1 -2.44%
  NET YARDS PASSING 364 295 23.39%
    Yards Per Pass Play 8.3 7.1 16.90%
    Times Sacked 2 1.25 60.00%
    Had Intercepted 1 0.63 60.00%
    Fumbles Lost 1 0.25 300.00%

Table 2

Team Statistics Colts’ Off vs. Patriots’ Def
  IND  NEAvgDef % Difference
  First Downs 25 16.88 48.15%
    Passing 18 11.25 60.00%
    Rushing 5 4.5 11.11%
  TOTAL NET YARDS 407 291.75 39.50%
    Total Plays 63 58.5 7.69%
    Average Gain Per Play 6.5 5 30.00%
  NET YARDS RUSHING 91 112.38 -19.02%
    Rushes 18 25.25 -28.71%
    Average Per Rush 5.1 4.5 13.33%
  NET YARDS PASSING 316 179.38 76.17%
    Yards Per Pass Play 7 5.4 29.63%
    Times Sacked 1 1.88 -46.67%
    Had Intercepted 2 0.88 128.57%
    Fumbles Lost 0 1 -100.00%

Table 3

Team Statistics Patriots’ Def vs. Colts’ Off
  IND  IND AvgOff % Difference
  First Downs 25 21.88 14.29%
    Passing 18 15.38 17.07%
    Rushing 5 4.63 8.11%
  TOTAL NET YARDS 407 400.38 1.65%
    Total Plays 63 63.13 -0.20%
    Average Gain Per Play 6.5 6.3 3.17%
  NET YARDS RUSHING 91 85.38 6.59%
    Rushes 18 22.88 -21.31%
    Average Per Rush 5.1 3.7 37.84%
  NET YARDS PASSING 316 315 0.32%
    Yards Per Pass Play 7 7.8 -10.26%
    Times Sacked 1 0.88 14.29%
    Had Intercepted 2 0.75 166.67%
    Fumbles Lost 0 0.25 -100.00%

Table 4

Team Statistics Patriots’ Off vs. Colts’ Def
  NE IND AvgDef % Difference
  First Downs 24 18 33.33%
    Passing 17 11.75 44.68%
    Rushing 7 5.13 36.59%
  TOTAL NET YARDS 477 303.38 57.23%
    Total Plays 72 64.88 10.98%
    Average Gain Per Play 6.6 4.7 40.43%
  NET YARDS RUSHING 113 108.13 4.51%
    Rushes 28 25.13 11.44%
    Average Per Rush 4 4.3 -6.98%
  NET YARDS PASSING 364 195.25 86.43%
    Yards Per Pass Play 8.3 4.9 69.39%
    Times Sacked 2 2.75 -27.27%
    Had Intercepted 1 1.13 -11.11%
    Fumbles Lost 1 0.75 33.33%

Rather than analyze each table individually as I have in the past, I will just review the data all together and touch on particular highlights. In every table, we see the evidence that this was an offensive shootout. Tables 1 and 3 show that both teams were at or exceeding their usual offensive output. New England had 16.55% more total yards than their average for the year, while Indy was very close to their own offensive average.  Tables 2 and 4 show that each team far exceeded their opposing defenses’ average yardage allowed coming into the game. The Colts gained nearly 40% more yards than New England’s defense had been giving up, while the Patriots had over 57% more yards than Indianapolis’s defense had averaged allowing. In both cases, that large disparity was accounted for through the air. The Colts passed for 76% above NE’s average allowed, and the Pats had 86% more passing yards than Indy’s defense had allowed to this point in the season. Although the Colts had to come from behind, they did exceed their team rushing average by a few yards, while NE had just 1 yard below their season average on the ground.

In conclusion, I’d say that this game certainly lived up to its billing as one of the most exciting matchups of the year. I guess we would not expect anything less when the two pre-eminent quarterbacks of the decade meet.

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