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Indianapolis Colts by the Numbers: Week 6 Defensive Stats

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NFL: Indianapolis Colts at New York Jets Robert Deutsch-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, NFL.com and the nflSCrapR project for being awesome sources of weekly data.


I’m just going to say it . . . the defense last week wasn’t terrible. I know, I know. Did I even watch the game? How can giving up 35 points not be terrible?

Here’s how. They played the hand they were dealt. The offense turned the ball over 4 times . . . FOUR!!! The Jets had great field position all day, starting inside their own 35 on three drives and once more inside their 45. That’s a bad situation.

The Colts D was handed lemons and they reached for the tequila and salt.

Even though the Jets had 9 scoring drives, they only amassed a 64% Drive Success Rate. That is a function of 7 of those drives being limited to field goal attempts and almost half of their drives not earning a first down.

That is what a bend but don’t break defense is supposed to do. It’s just that they had to bend a lot. Had the offense, oh I don’t know, caught the ball and not turned it over, there wouldn’t have been 13 drives for the Jets. Fewer opponent drives = fewer opponent scores.


TEAM TOTALS

While Points per drive was a problem, the Jets had the 2nd best starting field position of any team in week 6. So that’s not all on the defense.

Yards per play, DSR, first down conversions, yards to go on 3rd down and 3rd down conversions are all good defensive numbers. I was also encouraged by 2 more turnovers and only 1 first down via penalty given up.

If those stats repeat themselves the rest of the season, then they can perform all the long distance end zone celebrations they want.


PASSING

The passing defense was below average but not horrible. The Jets completion rate was ridiculously high at 80%, but that is partially explained by the passes being so short (7th shortest aDOT this week).

Protecting against big plays will allow those numbers underneath. Of course the Colts defense gave up 5 big plays as well, so there’s that.

Overall, Sam Darnold’s 8.2 ANY/A was very good but not so much so that I would damn the defense.


RUSHING

Welcome to Bizarro world. It’s a cube shaped planet called “Htrae” and here the Colts rush game is good on both sides of the ball. Also, Ryan Fitzpatrick is allowed to be the best QB in the league for a few weeks.

The Jets tried to convert 4 third downs by running and walked away with nothing, while only a little over 1 in 4 carries were successful (first down, TD or chunk yardage).

On a weighted success basis, the Colts defense ranked #2 in rushing against. That’s good enough to balance out the less than stellar passing D.


CONCLUSION

I’ll end this how I started. The defense wasn’t terrible.

Now don’t get me wrong, they weren’t good either. And unless the offense can sustain drives longer and not turn the ball over so much then we can expect more of the same going forward.


SEASON TOTALS (per game)