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Indianapolis Colts by the Numbers: Week 1 Defensive Stats

Cincinnati Bengals v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images

On the heels of the offensive metrics, I present the defensive stats from Week 1 in the NFL.

These are the same measures used for the offense, but viewed from the defensive perspective. So, Pts is points against and yards are yards given up. You get the idea.


There is not much good news here.

  • The rankings are by points per drive against, where the Colts finished 28th. This includes defensive and special teams scores so excluding the fumble return would likely bump the defense up a few spots. I’ll work to remove those scores as well as not counting drives that end in QB kneels.
  • We travel next to the #2 defense by Pts/Drv against. Let’s hope that was a function of Sam Bradford.
  • The Colts offense had a very good 72.7% DSR, but the defense gave up an even higher 73.1% to the Bengals making them the 25th least effective unit by that measure.
  • Both 3rd down conversion rate (50%) and all down conversion rate (32%) were far worse than average (30th and 27th place respectively), so that’s not good.
  • Really the only bright spot was the 2 turnovers: a Kenny Moore interception and a Darius Leonard fumble recovery.


  • Ranked by ANY/A against, the Colts passing D comes in 23rd in Week 1.
  • A Passing Down Conversion Rate (PDC) of 36.7% means the Bengals had no trouble moving the ball down the field through the air.
  • Giving up a 75% completion rate (ranked 29th) usually means a lot of short passes, but Dalton’s impressive YPA of 8.7 shows that wasn’t the case here. That’s just an ugly combination.
  • There really is no good story here except for the interception . . . which was awesome.


  • 100 yards and 5 first downs is not exactly running on us all day but the high EPA/c shows the Bengals were very efficient against our run defense.

(edit: there was an error in my data on EPA/c, which I have fixed . . . we’re still bad).


Well, there you go: sort of a bad news, bad news kind of thing. Although the defense showed some signs of life, it’s not going to show in the stats until they deliver consistency.

As I said in my previous article, this will be an evolving format throughout the season, so let me know what you like, what you don’t like or what you want to see.