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.
Against Jacksonville, the Colts offense went 11 drives without scoring. With the first 5 drives against Houston the story didn’t change.
It wasn’t until the second quarter when Andrew Luck and company got it in gear, breaking the 16 drive streak with 4 consecutive scores. And so this hot-cold effort ended up being a lukewarm 72.4% Drive Success Rate on the day.
That’s not a bad number, and likely a good enough level of play to get to the post-season. But once there, that won’t win many playoff games.
For the third week in a row, the Colts had trouble converting 3rd downs even with a favorable average 6.9 yards to go. Conversion on other downs made up for it though, as almost 32% of scrimmage plays resulted in a new set of downs, which was 6th best on the week.
The tipped interception had a large impact on overall performance as 6.6 yards per play is a big number to only get 2.2 adjusted points per drive.
Luck shrugged off a poor Jacksonville performance, to put up some outstanding numbers on the week. 40% of his passes moved the chains which is pretty unstoppable as long as the team can avoid sacks and turnovers.
A 66% completion rate isn’t Luck’s best on the year but with an 8.9 Average Depth of Target it is very good. Completed passes were even farther down the field with 9.7 air yards and the receivers tacking on good yards after the catch (5.1).
Other than the dropped passes (and the subsequent interception), the pass game was near flawless.
While better than last week, the run game still wasn’t good. The best rusher on the day was Luck who provided 2 of the 4 rushing firsts and the only run over 10 yards. Without QB contributions, Marlon Mack and Nyheim Hines could only muster 34 yards and 2.4 Yards Per Carry.
CONCLUSIONS & NEXT MATCH-UP
This was a good but unbalanced week. I was happy with the effort considering Houston is a top 10 defense by DVOA, but good play needs to become great play down the stretch. The offense has to improve the run game and bring a more balanced threat if we expect to win in the playoffs . . . and we ARE going to the playoffs.
Dallas is strong against the run (wRSR 7th) but not as good against the pass (19th ANY/A against). So while that seems to favor a pass-heavy Colts team, shutting down the run can easily lead to shutting down the pass *cough* Jags *cough*.