Indianapolis, IN - The Colts are not a first half team inn any way, shape or form. In their four losses this season, the Colts have been outscored 82-26 just in the first half. Now don’t get me wrong, in their losses first and second half don’t matter, they have gotten outscored in both, but lets just look here at the two halves for the Colts.
When winning:¬†The Colts in the first half have scored 96 points and given up 84, so that shows they have usually had a pretty good first half when they win, but not even close to their second half. Second half scoring for the Colts looks like this when they win, 118 and only giving up 51, that includes when they played the Broncos, Seahawks, and 49ers, three teams that just don’t give up and can put up points. That’s day and night folks, and it goes to show just how good their second half play is. Now Luck’s passing stats are similar between the halves, so as the quarterback and leader of the Colts, is he really their leader? Yes of course and here is why.
Andrew Luck by the half: Andrew Luck’s passing stats are nothing special and when broken down by halves, there is not much difference. 1,304 yards, seven touchdowns, and two interceptions with a 56.3 percent completion percentage in the first half. His second half has him throwing for 1,289 yards, eight touchdowns, and five interceptions with a 61.2 completion percentage. But here is a fun fact for all of us about Luck. His rushing stats are night and day by the half, where we see in the first half he has rushed for 80 yards, no touchdowns and a 5.7 average, but in the second half he has poured it on rushing for 182 yards, four touchdowns and did so with a 6.3 average. But that’s not even the really fun fact. When the Colts win, those are the games Luck has 157 of his yards rushing in the second half and all of his four touchdowns, coming at home and away! And three of the games that he had his rushing touchdowns in came when the Colts won by seven or fewer points! Are we seeing a pattern here?
So, what’s my take on all of this? Andrew Luck helps the Colts win ball games, and his second half stats prove it, in which his completion percentage goes way up as a passer and his rushing more than out performs his first half usage. The reason for all of this is because Andrew Luck does what it takes to win ball games, and that means playing great in the second half. So, yes I believe Luck is their leader and star of the team, but I do have some more interesting facts to show you.
First to second half differences:¬†But this category is for the season, not the halves. The first half of the year, more or less included Pro Bowler Reggie Wayne. Lets break down the impact he had for this team. In the seven games with Reggie, the Colts were 5-2, without him, they are just 2-2. But it doesn’t end there, as we see in the five wins he Colts had with Reggie, they outscored opponents in the first half 87-50 and in the second half ¬†they have outscored their opponents 71-38, effectively being good in both halves. But without Wayne, they have gotten outscored in their wins in the first half by a 38-9 margin, coming back in the second half with a 48-13 point difference. Now lets look at their two losses with and without Wayne.With Wayne, in the first half they got outscored 27-23, but in there second half they still kept it close only getting outscored 16-10. Without Wayne is a different story. In the first half alone, the Colts have gotten outscored 55-3, and there second half is better but still with a margin of 23-16.
Here are the two reasons they win:¬†Andrew Luck and Reggie Wayne! Wayne is out for the season, so where does this leave the Colts? Well they still have Luck, and he has the tendency to perform big when the need arises, but the rushing game is awful with our two intended workload running backs being gone for the season, having to rely on a new Colt, Trent Richardson and Donald Brown, who doesn’t seem able to carry a workload like Ahmad Bradshaw or Vick Ballard and ¬†that hurts the passing game. So what can the Colts do to win ball games? I believe come out firing (which goes against everything Pep Hamilton stands for), but might be the only way for the Colts to have a chance, and hope that if they can put some points on the board early through the air, than they can run more effectively throughout the game. They have some young talent, T.Y. Hilton, LaVon Brazill and Da’Rick Rogers coming up, Hilton already proven and of course the have Coby Fleener, a very solid tight end and they could use Heyward-Bey a little less than they do if they start to play Rogers, hopefully taking some pressure off of him so he can perform better (he cracks under pressure).
So for the Colts, they don’t have a lot of options, and time is running out for them this season, and it will definitely end sooner rather than later if they don’t do something to step up and take control of their season!
Ben Hartman is a Staff Writer for Pro Sports Extra. Follow Ben on Twitter at @BenjyH31.