It’s always fun to reminisce about the great Colts teams of old, and the good news for fans is that those great teams actually weren’t that long ago. The Peyton Manning era in Indianapolis was a special time in which the Colts consistently had not only the NFL’s best quarterback but also one of the best offenses, period.
Recently, Football Outsiders’ Aaron Schatz wrote a piece for ESPN on the top 30 offenses of the last 30 years, using DVOA to determine it – a metric that seeks to incorporate all sorts of data points to determine how good a unit really was, comparing it to the league average, to the strength of opponents, etc. It shouldn’t really surprise Colts fans (or football fans period) to learn that Peyton Manning was the quarterback for four of the top 30 offenses over the last 30 years according to DVOA (including postseason performance, which is pretty weird since that’s a deviance from the typical DVOA rankings).
What is more interesting is that the seasons represented account for just two of his five MVP awards and just two of his seven first-team All-Pro selections, meaning that while these are arguably his best offenses, Manning was just as good in a number of other seasons too.
Let’s take a look at which Colts seasons made the cut. You’ll see their rank, the DVOA number (the + number represents how much above league average they were, with the league average being 0), Schatz’s comments (in the block quotes), and then after that my comments on the offense.
25. 2006 Colts, +25.8% DVOA
In the regular season, this was one of the most unbalanced teams of the past 30 years: No. 1…
click here to read the rest of this story