by Kent Sterling
In the history of the NFL, only one team has one 11 or more games while being outscored by its opponents. That was the 2012 Indianapolis Colts.
There is an undeniable statistical likelihood that point differential determines success or failure, but because of the limited sample size represented by the 16-game season, it can be overcome for one year but almost never two.
Click here to follow Kent on Twitter
Last year, the Colts were 9-1 in games settled by seven points or less.
There are two pieces of guidance I trust concerning the 2013 Colts. One is Bill Barnwell of grantland.com put together an excellent statistical analysis of teams that deviate significantly from what record their point differential predicts – and it’s not good news for Colts fans. The other is NFL defensive mastermind Rick Venturi, who talks about the men playing the game, rather than the numbers.
I disagree. I think the Colts should have a better record this season. They dropped 2 particular games (1 to Jacksonville and 1 to the Jets) last season that they should not have lost. That first game against the Texans could have been won as well.
Barring anything terrible happening to someone, I think they should improve this year to 12-4. The needs on all sides have been addressed and, lets face it, couldn’t get any worse.
A lot of people claim Pagano being sick last year was some kind of magic potion that inspired the team to more wins than they deserved. I don’t think that’s the case. Losing a head coach is a blow to a team and the coaching staff, not an advantage. Also consider the fact that Pagano was the architect of this new 3-4 defense, and was not able to really work his players.
The needs were addressed well to very well in the offseason, and the whole team is ready for business. I know the stats indicate that the margin of points for the Colts was -33, so people are buying into this nonsense. But if you look at the scores for every game it’s clear where the stats came from.
When the Colts won, they scraped by. When they lost, they got SPANKED. The Pats beat them by 30 or more I think. The Jets beat them by 20 something, as did the bears. The scores were lopsided at both ends. This does not suggest that the team overperformed, just that they had a lot of close games and a few BAD losses.
This team will be a major sleeper to some top tier teams in the NFL this year. Particularly the 49ers, as the addition of several players on the roster are known for being great at stopping the run. I can’t wait to see Kaep get leveled by Landry. The team goes 12-4 this season, no question.