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.
This is one of those rare weeks where Drive Success Rate doesn’t really tell the story. 25 first downs and a 75.8% DSR is a lot of ground to give to an opponent and normally I would say that is a bad effort. Yet Houston was held to 21 points and 1.9 points per drive which is good (for us).
The disconnect is the manner in which the scoring drives happened. They were methodical but clustered. Houston got a lot of first downs indicating a behavior that normally translates to other drives, but outside those 3 drives the Texans couldn’t move the ball very well.
I think the reason for that is the Colt’s defensive penalties. Each of the 3 scoring drives had at least one gifted first down. Over a third of their total first downs came after the Colts committed a penalty on the drive. When the Texans couldn’t draw a flag they couldn’t move.
Here you can see the schizophrenic nature of the stats. Adjusted Points per Drive, Yards per Play and Third Down Conversions are all good. Drive Success Rate, overall First Down Conversions, Penalties and Explosive plays are all bad.
The Colts defense allowed Deshaun Watson to complete 71% of his passes but they were short completions with only 4.3 air yards. Yards after the Catch has been a problem and this week is no exception.
You would think by Week 14, I would get used to a bend don’t break style. Evidently, it doesn’t matter what I think as holding Watson to just 1 TD and sacking him 5 times (thank you Denico Autry) is a great way to limit his production.
Nothing too exciting here. Giving up 4 explosive rushes is not a good thing, but limiting Third Down conversions to 33% is.
CONCLUSIONS & NEXT MATCH-UP
If it wasn’t for the penalties, this would have been a great week for the defense. But penalties were called (right or wrong) and they played well enough to win against a good team (did I just say that?).
Dallas is up next and they have had one of the better offenses in the league on the year. Dak Prescott to Amari Cooper is no joke as their passing game ranks 11th by DSR over the last 5 weeks. Against a Colts defense that ranks 17th in preventing ANY/A, that gives the edge to Dallas. I’ve also heard that Ezekiel Elliott can run the ball, but with a 5 week wRSR ranked 15th and a Colts D that’s 1st in wRSR against, that might be a favorable Indy match-up.