Every week, I will present a summary of some basic and advanced stats for the Colts performance relative to the league. Thanks to Pro Football Reference, NFL.com and the nflSCrapR project for being awesome sources of weekly data.
Before discussing the Colts Week 5 offense, I want to address the new roughing the quarterback rule the NFL instituted to make the game safer. A lot of fans are upset with this rule, but I think if you look at the examples from The Colts-Patriots game below, it will help explain the NFL’s position.
In the image on the left, the Colts’ Najee Good dangerously manhandles Tom Brady by rushing straight at him and then with the full weight of his hand, places his palm directly on the side of Brady’s helmet. A play like this could easily lead to a QB chafing a cheek or even an eye poke. Additionally, to avoid contact, Goode contorted his body and landed awkwardly on his hip which is unsafe and fully deserving of a 15 yard tack-on.
Now in the image on the right, you can see 2 Patriot defenders demonstrating the proper technique. They both leave their feet and come crashing down on Andrew Luck. Notice how they wisely placed all of their body weight directly over Luck allowing Luck’s rib cage and skull to gently cushion the force of their 1⁄4 ton mass in free fall. This is much safer for the defenders and correctly resulted in no penalty.
Also, this is not lowering the head and leading with the helmet because reasons.
In week 5, the Colts offense was limited to 2 field goal attempts on 6 drives in the first half for 3 points and a putrid 57% DSR. In the second half, Luck and the offense responded with 21 points and an outstanding DSR of 82%. Let me do the math:
1 half of horrible + 1 half of great = 1 game of meh
An overall 72% game DSR is good but the last drive should be discounted as the game was already over and if you take that away then the rest of the game was just a league average 68% DSR.
It’s not that the Colts couldn’t move the ball. There were only 2 three & outs, but turnovers killed 3 additional drives.
Overall, the numbers aren’t bad. The third down yards to go was a little steep (7.4), but the offense still managed to convert those at a high rate (47% vs 38% league average).
Really the only black mark is the turnovers, which killed an otherwise decent effort.
Last week, I mentioned how I hate to talk about receiver drops, but I also don’t like complaining about officiating and I already did that so, what the hell. The receiver drops are getting pretty ree-god-damn-diculous. With a dozen over the last two weeks, that is an elephant in the room problem that must be addressed.
Luck’s ANY/A was a not very good 5.4, driven somewhat by stone-handed receivers but primarily by 2 picks, one of which was not at all his fault and another that was so much his fault that it should count twice.
I have been keeping an eye on the depth of attempted passes (aDOT) which for the Colts’ first 3 weeks was laughable, but in week 4 was much improved.
There is no ‘right’ number for aDOT; longer attempts aren’t necessarily better (unless you are really good at completing them). Week 5 saw a continued effort to stretch the field a bit and if you want success with a dink and dunk offense, this is the kind of depth you need.
Notice, however, that the week 5 yards per attempt dropped significantly. This is due to a much lower yards after catch than normal. This could be the result of injuries to primary receiving targets, but week 3 saw a similar result so maybe not.
Whatever the cause, the YPA needs to improve.
The Colts ran the ball more in week 5, but they didn’t run it any better.
YPC increased from 2.4 last week to 4.0 this week but that impact didn’t carry over to increased success as the weighted success rate only ticked up 4 points to about 31%. That ranks 20th which is just one spot higher than last week’s 21st ranking.
The Colts only attempted 1 third down conversion by run, which was successful. That isn’t good or bad in and of itself. But you certainly would like to see a game with lot of 3rd and shorts resulting in a lot of 3rd down run conversions.
I think without the receiver drops and the 3 turnovers, this would have been a much different game. The offense was showing that they could move the ball on the Patriots but the Colts kept getting in their own way.
If the offense can clean up these mental errors, they have the ability to be truly good. As it is now, they are not.