The Colts offense seems to be struggling in recent games, and Demond found one of the reasons why. He mentioned it to me the other day, and when I did the math to check his claim, I was stunned to see how right he was.
I want to present you two WRs. Guess who they are. (update: I've now included FO numbers through week 9)
Catch rate: 47%
Catch rate: 51%
Raise your hand if you think Marvin Harrison played well in 2008. No takers?
Now vote if you think Pierre Garcon has played well in 2009. I assume some of you have your hands up.
By now you've figured it out. WR 1 is Marvin Harrison through 8 games in 2008. WR 2 is Pierre Garcon this year. Remember that with Garcon you also have to factor in the 7 penalties he's accured this season.
Almost all the improvement in the Colts' offense has come from Wayne and Clark elevating their game. Those two are producing at an incredible rate, but in terms of the third and fourth options, the 2009 Colts are almost identical to the 2008 squad. Garcon is the spitting image of 2008 Marvin Harrison. For the record, let's compare Collie and Gonzalez:
Gonzo: 34, 412, 3 TDs, 28% DVOA, 72% catch rate
Collie: 32, 356, 4 TDs, 10.1% DVOA, 67% catch rate
Collie has filled in wonderfully in the slot for Gonzalez. Gonzo was a
bit better, but virtually identical. Now it's clear he was a better than Collie, but still in the ball park.
We need to get Gonzalez back and get Garcon off the field. I like Frenchy. He's playing hard. He's improving, but he's just not there yet. He's hurting the offense. When the offense was really clicking early in the year, he had a positive DVOA. Since week four, he's been on a consistant slide.
Normally, comparing a WR to Harrison is a compliment. Not so in this case. Now we know why the Colts didn't bring Harrison back.
They already had his clone on the roster.