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 as the sources of weekly data.
If I could only have one stat to measure a team by, it would be the highly under-rated Drive Success rate (DSR). DSR is basically the percentage of a team’s down series that are converted to a first down or a TD.
DSR = (First Downs + TDs) / (# of Drives + First Downs)
It is one of the best stats there is to both explain how an offense performed as well as predict performance in future games, but unfortunately it is not an intuitive stat. In week 2, the Colts put up a 70.8% DSR but that probably doesn’t mean anything to most football fans.
Therefore, I have built a drive detail graphic to help flesh the number out visually.
OK tell me that graphic isn’t awesome. There is a lot of detail, but let’s walk through a bit of the Colts week 2.
Each bar represents the team’s drives in top-down order, with the starting field position on the left and the ending field position on the right. Therefore, the length of the bar represents the drives net yards, which is the numbers in white.
Just looking at the relative length of the bars, you can get a feel for the success of each drive. Drive 1: awesome. Drive 2: not so much. DSR basically measures the relative length of drives.
The Colts had three 75 yard TD drives and one 58 yard drive that ended with a fluky pick. That is what good offenses do (not the pick). They also had 5 drives in a row without a first down. That is what bad offenses do.
The mixed bag of results is why the Colts 70.8% DSR is just a bit above league average (68%) and not as good as the previous week’s 72%.
These are the numbers for week 2 only (I’m hoping to have season totals added by next week). I have added a few metrics since last time that I think help builds out the narrative of the game.
At 2.1 adjusted points per drive (drives with QB kneels removed), the offense did better than league average but just barely (just like DSR!). An above average DSR and a below average yards per play (4.7), means that the Colts did not get their points with big plays.
And that is backed up by the first down conversion metrics. The % of non-penalty first downs per play (25%) is below what other teams are doing. That could be a sign of a bad team or it could point to a team that runs shorter plays and pushes it’s conversions to 3rd downs.
Well, what do you know, the third down conversion rate of 56.3% was 2nd best this week. Combine that with last week’s league best 64% and either the Colts are getting very lucky on 3rd downs or they are putting themselves in an easier position to convert.
Average 3rd Down Yards to Gain
|Team||Week 1||Week 2||Total|
|Team||Week 1||Week 2||Total|
The Colts have the 3rd lowest 3rd down yardage situations in the league. That’s a dink and dunk offense. Combined with a high 3rd down conversion rate, it’s a dink and dunk offense executing well.
Sorted by ANY/A, Luck has a very poor mark this week, finishing 29th of all QBs. That is primarily driven by the 2 picks and the short yardage play calls.
His completion rate of 67.7% is pretty high, but it’s completely due to a near league low 4.3 average depth of target. That is very low and probably can’t sustain a successful game unless your defense steps up . . . hmmmmm.
As low as Luck’s aDot is, his air yards per completion is even lower at 2.7. That is a big red flag in my book as it implies that you aren’t connecting on the longer passes you do throw. Luckily the above average 5.9 YAC helps make up for that a little bit. But even combined his Yards per Attempt was only 5.8. That is . . . bad. Like lose a lot of games bad.
I don’t see this offense scoring a lot of points unless they can get a little more depth out of the passing game.
I have sorted this table by weighted Rush Success Rate as that is the most correlated to and predictive of wins than any of the other run stats presented.
Indy’s week 2 is about average, with a 29% wRSR. The unweighted RSR show that about 39% of all runs were “successful”: defined as a TD, first down, 45% of yards to gain on 1st down or 60% of yards to gain on 2nd down.
Since the weighted stat is lower that means that a lot of that success came from 1st and 2nd down gains (which are weighted lower). Excluding QB kneels, 24 of the Colts 26 carries came on 1st or 2nd down.
That’s neither good nor bad but it is encouraging that we are at least average in some running measure.
The DSR points to an offense that is working in aggregate, but the extremely low yardage plays are concerning. Basically, the Colts margin for error is much thinner than other teams. If 3rd down conversions start to dip, we haven’t shown that we have the explosive play ability to make up for it. It will look a lot like the middle of the Washington game, where there were 5 successive drives without a first down.
But it’s only week 2 and there is a lot of offense we haven’t seen yet.
Thoughts? Suggestions? Comments? Leave it below.
- Pts: All team points
- Adj PPD: Points per drive with defensive and special team scores removed from team points and drives ending in QB kneels excluded from drive counts
- Net PPD: Adj PPD with adjusted points reduced interception and fumble TD returns
- Strt Fld: Average starting field position (all drives)
- DSR: Drive Success rate calculated as FD + TD / (Drives + FD). Typically TDs are included in FD counts and so DSR = FD / (Drives + FD - TDs). Drives ending in kneel downs are typically excluded.
- 1st%: The number of non-penalty first downs divided by plays.
- 3DC: The % of third downs converted to firsts.
- 1st%: The number of non-penalty passing first downs divided by attempts + sacks.
- aDOT : The average depth of passes thrown relative to the line of scrimmage (completed or not)
- aYd: Air Yards for completed passes
- 20+ : Pass plays for more than 20 yards
- ANY/A : Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt = (Yds - Sack yds + 20 * TD - 45 * Int) / (Att + Sacks)
- 1st% : The number of non-penalty rushing first downs divided by carries.
- 10+ Yds : Rush plays for more than 10 yards
- RSR: Rushing Success rate is the % of carries that result in success defined as a TD, First Down, 45% of ytg on 1st down and 60% of ytg on 2nd down. 4th quarter adjustments are included for time remaining and point differntial
- wRSR: Weighted RSR is RSR with a weighted value attached to each success type. TD = 2, FD = 0.9, 45% of ytg on 1sts = 0.65 and 60% of ytg on 2nd = 0.55.
- EPA/c: Expected Points Added per carry. This uses EPA data as calculated by the nflscrapR project.