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Indianapolis Colts by the Numbers: Week 16 Defensive Stats

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NFL: New York Giants at Indianapolis Colts IndyStar-USA TODAY NETWORK

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.

In my offensive stats post, I described how the Colts offense was terrible in the first quarter and brilliant the rest of the game. For the defense, I won’t say they were ever brilliant, but they were definitely terrible in the first quarter.

To start the game, the Colts let the Giants eat up the clock with two TD drives that made Eli Manning look like Peyton. After that, while the defense wasn’t great, they were at least good enough to get the win.

For the game, the Colts gave up 22 first downs and a way too high 79% Drive Success Rate. However, the bulk of that leakage occurred in the first quarter. Here is a breakdown of some stats by Giant drives started in the first quarter vs. the rest of the game:

1st Qtr Comparison

Drive Start 1st downs (per drive) Yards (per drive) Points (per drive) DSR Passer Rating Rushing Success
Drive Start 1st downs (per drive) Yards (per drive) Points (per drive) DSR Passer Rating Rushing Success
Qtr 1 5 81.0 7.0 100.00% 137.7 44.4%
Qtr 2 - 4 1.5 29.9 1.6 66.67% 83.7 26.3%


There is all kinds of breaking with that bending. The Colts only gave up one first down by penalty, but there were also 3 pre-snap penalties in the first 2 drives alone, so I’m not going to be singing their praises there.

A 58% third down conversion rate and 6.3 yards per play is simply a recipe for disaster.


A 6.8 average depth of target is pretty short, but even so a 76% completion rate is ridiculous. Add to that, 6.4 Yards after the catch and you get Eli Manning’s 4th best Yards per Attempt on the season.


The defense did find some success against the run. The Colts gave up only 2 explosive plays for 26 yards and 0 third down conversions, while Saquon Barkley was held to just over 2 Yards per Carry.

A 32% weighted Rush Success Rate against is good enough to put the Colts defense in the top third of teams . . . almost.


The first quarter effort was a drowning ship that threatened to bring the game and the season down with it. Fortunately, the Colts defense woke up and managed to play just well enough to keep the Giants from stealing one. If they play like this against the Titans . . . well, I’m not even going to say it.

Going into week 17, the good news is that for the season, the Titans offense hasn’t been very good (23rd in DVOA) and the Colts defense easily kept them in check in week 11, limiting their output to just 10 points.

The bad news is that the Titans have been trending up over the last 5 weeks. Both their passing (ANY/A) and rushing (wRSR) are in the top 10 of all teams since week 12. However, the Colts have been pretty strong against the run and Mariota may not even play (or be healthy), so that bodes well for the match-ups.


SEASON TOTALS (per game)