Every Wednesday, I’ll serve up five stats you should know heading into that week’s Ravens game. This week’s stats, pertaining to Sunday's game in Indianapolis against the Colts, are focused on the prolific quarerback the Ravens will be tasked with containing if they want their three-game winning streak to continue against the 2-2 Colts.
5,220 — The near-record setting yardage pace that Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is on, after he completed nearly 70 percent of his passes in the first four weeks and threw for 1,305 yards. It's probably not what the Ravens, whose pass defense through four games has been suspect at best and non-existent at worst, want to hear. The Ravens' offense has rightfully earned headlines, but it's the defense that will be put to the test against Luck.
Five — That’s the number of touchdowns the Colts tight ends, Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener, have scored through five games. The pair has combined for 254 yards on 22 catches in an offense where seemingly everyone — including former (and possibly still) punchline Trent Richardson — can produce thanks to Luck. The Ravens haven’t allowed a tight end touchdown all year, a result of them tightening up in the red zone and generally keeping receivers in front of them, even in a leaky pass defense. Whether that pair can get into the end zone will likely play a big part in whether the Colts can move above .500 at the Ravens' expense.
One — Only defensive tackle Haloti Ngata has intercepted a pass through four games, an obvious sign that the secondary is struggling. Surprisingly, two teams — the Jets and Saints — haven’t picked off a ball yet this year. Even worse, Pro Football Focus credits Ravens defenders with just three pass defenses, far fewer than the 22 credited in the press box stats. It seems pretty clear that the Ravens defenders other than Jimmy Smith are merely trying to run with guys and keep them in front of them, as opposed to making plays on the ball. Carolina quarterback Cam Newton exposed even the smallest hole in coverage, and Luck will probably do the same.
27.3 — OK, the last Andrew Luck-related stat. The Ravens have held opponents to three touchdowns in 11 tries in the red zone (27.3 percent). No team in the NFL has gotten to the red zone more (20), scored more touchdowns (13), or scored more points (106) from inside the 20 than the Colts.
37.8 – This percentage of third-down conversions for the Colts' opponents means Indianapolis' defense is getting off the field at a relatively strong clip. The Ravens’ success on third down, specifically in the passing game against Carolina, allowed the offense to sustain drives and ultimately blow the doors off the Panthers. The Colts are middle of the pack in scoring defense and in the bottom half of the league in total defense, but if the Ravens can sustain drives the way they have — with 12 drives of 10 plays or more through three games — then Indianapolis could be vulnerable.