Can this year’s Indianapolis Colts match franchise’s historic ’99 season?

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck at the footba...

Andrew Luck (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1999, Peyton Manning’s second season with the Indianapolis Colts, the team won 13 games, an increase of 10 victories over their 3-13 season in Manning’s rookie campaign. At that time it was the largest increase in wins by a team in league history.

After 12 games here in the 2012 season, in Andrew Luck’s rookie year, the Colts have already increased their win total to eight from only two last season. With four games remaining, the question is: Can Luck, in his first year, match what Manning did in his second year with the Colts… lead the team to 10 more wins than the previous year?

To match the ’99 Colts, this year’s version of the team will have to run the table with wins over Tennessee (home), Houston (away), Kansas City (away) and Houston (home).

Here’s a look at the best one-year turnarounds in NFL history since 1978 when the league went to a 16-game schedule.

Indianapolis, 1999, 10-win increase: Went from three wins in 1998 to 13 wins in 1999. (Peyton manning’s second year with the team)

Miami, 2008, 10-win increase: Went from one win in 2007 to 11 wins in 2008. (New coach, Tony Sparano; Chad Pennington’s first year as starting QB)

Pittsburgh, 2004, nine-game increase: Went from six wins in 2003 to 15 in 2004. (Ben Roethlisberger’s rookie season)

St. Louis Rams, 1999, nine-game increase: Went from four wins in 1998 to 13 wins in 1999. (Marshall Faulk’s first year with team; Kurt Warner’s first year as Rams’ starting QB).

The Colts are currently one of eight teams that have already surpassed their win totals from last year with four games left in the season. In  addition to the Colts who are already plus-six this season (two wins last year, eight wins this year), the other seven teams are:

* Atlanta (had 10 wins last year, have 11 wins this year)

* Denver (had eight wins last year, have nine this year)

* Houston (had 10 wins last year, have 11 wins this year)

* Minnesota (had three wins last year, have six wins this year)

* St. Louis (had two wins last year, have five wins this year)

* Tampa Bay (had four wins last year, have six wins this year);

* Washington (had five wins last year, have six wins this year)

With four games remaining, there are nine teams that will not match their win total from last season. They are:

Team, Last year win total, this year’s win total
Detroit: 10 (2011), 4 (2012)
Green Bay: 15 (2011), 8 (2012)
Kansas City: 7 (2011), 2 (2012)
New Orleans: 13 (2011), 5 (2012)
Oakland: 8 (2011), 3 (2012)
Philadelphia: 8 (2011), 3 (2012)
Pittsburgh: 12 (2011), 6 (2012)
San Francisco: 13 (2011), 8 (2012)
Tennessee: 9 (2011), 4 (2012)

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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