Number Crunching: Colts and Browns Edition
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INDIANAPOLIS – Curious on some key numbers ahead of the Week Three matchup between the Colts (0-2) and Browns (0-2)?
Here are 10 numbers to keep an eye on with the Colts and Browns kicking off at 1:00 p.m. ET on Sunday:
1: The number of times the Colts have started 0-3 in the past 18 seasons. A glimmer of hope for the Colts earning their first win of the season this weekend? Under Chuck Pagano, the Colts have avoided the 0-3 disaster in three straight seasons, although they’ve flirted with 0-3 before some fourth-quarter heroics saved them. Can Pagano keep this ship afloat again?
2: The league ranking in run defense the Colts have through two weeks. It’s been a very impressive improvement in run defense for the Colts this year. A totally revamped front seven, particularly from a body-type standpoint, has been stout early on. Now, the pass defense is near the bottom of the NFL, and the lack of a consistent pass rush is largely to blame for that.
2.5: The point-spread in favor of the Browns to start the week. The youngest team in the NFL, starting a struggling rookie quarterback, playing on the road, and possibly down its two best defensive players is a favorite over the Colts this week. Losers of 20 of their last 21 games, the Browns are a road favorite for the first time since 2014.
3: The consecutive number of years the Colts have avoided an 0-3 start. The phrase “must win” has been thrown around quite a bit inside the Colts locker room this week. That’s a scary reality for the month of September. But for the Colts to stay within any reasonable distance inside the division, you have to beat the Cleveland Browns at home. Period.
4: The number of sacks the Colts had in their Week Two loss to the Cardinals. Yes, the Colts had four sacks in Week Two, and they did have seven tackles for loss. But the consistency of the pass rush on early downs is still missing. The Colts have allowed 13 plays of more than 21 yards this season. More than half of them have come on first down.
25: The percentage of catches Donte Moncrief had last week in eight targets. Moncrief’s performance in Week Two is the last thing you will expect to see on his free agency highlight tape next offseason. The Colts need better from Moncrief, who has the talent to be a true playmaker in this league. With T.Y. Hilton continually accounted for from opposing defenses, guys like Moncrief have to step up.
87: The percentage of playing time the Colts had from their three rookie defensive backs last week. S-Malik Hooker played every snap. CB-Quincy Wilson played every snap but two. And nickelback Nate Hairston was on the field more than 65 percent of the time. The future is now for the defensive backs in Indy. And the good news for fans is they made more than their share of plays in Week Two.
94: The number of passes Jacoby Brissett started his career with before throwing an interception in overtime last week. Brissett’s stat line against the Cardinals did not tell anywhere near the whole story of his steadiness last week. What Brissett showed is the ability to have this Indy offense move the football, while still not having the entire playbook installed. More is coming for Brissett in Week Three, offering up the chance to see this offense sniff the 20-point mark.
650: The number of days that has passed with the Browns winning just one game during that span. Cleveland has lost 20 of 21 games. That’s astonishing, but somewhat understandable when you look at their roster. A loss on Sunday would ignite the hot seat under Chuck Pagano for many in Colts Nation.
10,062: The number of consecutive snaps played by Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas. This is an insane accomplishment for the future Hall of Fame tackle. Thomas has started the past 162 games and his snaps streak is believed to be the longest in the NFL. Even though the playoffs have never been a part of Thomas’ career, he’s been a Canton-worthy player.