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.
The Colts defense opened up the day by holding Jacksonville’s first drive to just 5 scrimmage yards. They followed that by giving up a 97 yard TD drive. It was that kind of day.
On the last 4 drives, the Colts defense allowed only 3 points and produced a game saving takeaway so you could say that the defense didn’t break.
But prior to that, they did a whole lotta breakin’. On the day, the Jaguars posted 24 first downs and a 77.4% Drive Success Rate.
2 of the Jags 24 first downs came from Colt penalties, which is something this defense can’t continue to do. And by “can’t”, I mean they probably will.
The Jags averaged 6.4 yards to go on 3rd downs (when they actually made it to 3rd downs) resulting in a high 52.9% conversion rate.
Bortles completed 69% of his passes, but that success came at the cost of distance. His average depth through the air was only 3.7 yards and an even shorter 2.1 yards for completions. At that distance, a 69% completion rate is about league average.
The way you beat that high-completion underneath game is to limit the yards after the catch, which the Colt defense failed to do in spectacular fashion, yielding 9.9 yards on average. 51% of Bortles’ passes were at or behind the line of scrimmage and on those plays the Colts gave up 10.2 YAC.
Think about that. On average, our pass defense basically gave up a first down every time Bortles threw a short pass . . . which was all day. That is so bad, that I made a graph of it.
This doesn’t even show the 80 yard TD pass, which was the only Jacksonville pass attempted beyond 10 yards and was defended so horribly that it is literally off the chart.
With a 30% weighted Success Rate against, the Colts kept the Jaguar run game in check.
Indy held Leonard Fournette to just 53 yards on 24 carries (this is me not mentioning his additional 5 receptions for 56 yards and a TD). Out of 34 team carries, the Jags could only break 10 yards twice and about 1⁄4 of their carries resulted in negative yardage.
While they showed up at the end, it wasn’t a good day for the defense. They played against Jacksonville about exactly the same as Jacksonville’s defense played against us. The run game was shut down, but the pass game was open for business.
Each defense gave up a 77% DSR and so it’s no surprise that this game came down to the last possession.