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Indianapolis Colts by the Numbers: Week 5 Defensive Stats

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NFL: Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

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, and the nflSCrapR project for being awesome sources of weekly data.

Traveling to Foxborough on a short week was a test for the Indianapolis Colts defense. They responded by giving up 3 TDs and a field goal on the first 6 defensive drives.

Surrendering a a 79% DSR is not good, not good at all.

Look at the TD drives in the first half and notice how the Pats did it; long sustained drives. These were not drives composed of explosive plays from defensive mistakes. These were death by a thousand cut drives. These are the kind of drives that the Colts offense is trying to attain and the kind that our defense is susceptible to.

By the numbers, the second half was better. But that was really more about Patriot receiver mistakes than it was Colts defensive effort.


That’s just bad news across the board.

On 3rd down the average yards to gain for the Patriots was 4.2. That’s the shortest amount for any team this week, which shows how easy the gains were for the Patriots on 1st and 2nd downs.

The only bright spots are the turnovers and giving up only one first down via penalty. That at least kept this game within 3 scores. Yay.


On the passing side, Brady had his way with the Colts defense. As usual he wasn’t throwing long passes. His 6.5 aDOT was the 6th shortest for the week and the Colts limited the Patriot yards after catch to the 5th shortest amount (4.9).

But Brady methodically completed 77% of those passes and that is the Achilles heel for a defense designed to let short plays happen while waiting for a mistake. If the mistake never comes, you’re in trouble.

Fortunately, Brady’s receivers made a couple of mistakes and gave up 2 picks, keeping the Colts in the game. But it wasn’t enough . . . not even close.


Well at lest the defense was consistently bad, letting the Pats rush well, too. Over half of their rushes were successes (first down, TD or chunk yardage), while the Colts had the 5th worst defensive weighted success rate performance for the week.


This was kind of a perfect storm for the defense: injured, short week, travel, hobbled offense, against the Patriots, it rained frogs.

I didn’t expect much from the defense and that is what I got. I just want this game out of my life.

SEASON TOTALS (per game)