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Indianapolis Colts by the Numbers: Week 11 Defensive Stats

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NFL: Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts Trevor Ruszkowski-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.

While the Colts offense had a heyday moving the ball down the field on the Titans, the defense prevented Marcus Mariota from doing the same.

That’s ummm . . . sparse.

The Titans only crossed into Indy territory 3 times all day and one of those drives was a garbage time gimme. Prior to that drive, 4 three-and-outs, 5 sacks and 2 turnovers kept the Titans to a horrendous 53% Drive Success Rate and even the last TD drive only lifted it to 64%, which is far less than league average.


The Colts defense ranked 7th in DSR and 2nd in Adjusted Points Per Drive for the week, coming in behind New Orleans (?!). They held the Titans to just 4.5 yards per play, while forcing an average of 6.7 yards to gain on third downs.

It wasn’t all good news though as 2 penalties gifted the Titans first downs extending those drives including the final TD drive.


Mariota’s 7.0 Yards Per Attempt is about league average and was primarily driven by the air yards on his throws and not Yards After Catch. Last week, the Colts gave up a ridiculous 10.1 YAC to Blake Bortles . . . BLAKE BORTLES!! But this week, the defense reversed course and held the Titan receivers to just 3.5 YAC, which was 4th best in the league.

Also, Mariota did have a very good 72.4% completion rate and he wasn’t just throwing check-downs as attested to by the 7.1 average depth of target. But the sacks and interceptions killed Tennessee drives resulting in a stupid low 3.1 Adjusted Net Yards Per Attempt.

That, right there, is a bend but don’t break passing defense illustrated with stats. You’re welcome.


As they have been much of the year, the Colts defense was very good against the run last Sunday. Tennessee’s low 87 yard rushing total can primarily be attributed to game script but limiting opponent success to just 13 of their carries is something the Colts have consistently done throughout the season and last week was no exception.

The Colts did allow the Titans 3 explosive rushes for a total of 38 yards, but that is below the league season average (3.2 for 55 yards).


Overall a great defensive effort from these Colts. While there are some things I would like to see improve, I think that is more my resistance to a cover 2 defense then it is actual flaws with the team. If the defense can continue pressuring the QB and capitalizing on offensive mistakes (turnovers) then all will be good. But throughout the year those inputs have not been a given.

The upcoming Miami game should be a good match-up for the Colts defense. On the season, Indy’s passing D has been hit or miss but Miami’s passing game has been mostly miss with Ryan Tannehill Brock Osweiler their QB.

Football Outsiders has the Colts run defense ranked 6th in DVOA and my numbers concur, ranking them 6th in Weighted Rush Success Rate (humble brag about how good wRSR is as a metric). Since Miami isn’t a very good rushing team, that bodes well for Indianapolis.

The Colts are currently 7.5 point favorites.

SEASON TOTALS (per game)