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.
For the second week in a row, the Colts offense came out like world beaters, as they scored 3 TDs on their first 4 drives. 20 first downs in the first half ties for the second most by any team this year (Rams 21 in wk 16).
But then in the 2nd half, this offense, that looked as fertile as the Tennessee Valley, could bear no points. The insides of NRG Stadium became a rocky place where the 6th seed could find no purchase.
Of course, that could be because a 21 point shutout lead caused a change in game script. Luck passed 22 times in the first half, but had only 10 attempts the rest of the game.
The Colt’s put up the best offensive numbers of anybody in Wild Card weekend. Sure, Dallas managed 3 more points but they were slightly less efficient coming in behind Indy’s #1 ranked 79% DSR and the #1 Adjusted Points per Drive of 2.3.
Indianapolis continued their domination of Third Down Conversion rate into the post-season earning firsts on 64% of 3rd downs. They even managed to steal 2 first downs from opponent penalties.
Andrew luck’s 6.8 Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt wasn’t overly impressive, but the passing stat that matters most is the % of passes that earn first downs and he killed that with a 44% rate.
Luck’s completion rate dipped below 60% for only the third time this season. That is likely due to a 10.3 yard Average Depth of Target, which is by far Luck’s longest of the year, as his 9.2 air yards per completion. Longer passes usually lead to smaller Yards After the Catch and this week was no exception as the Colts, yet again, posted a sub-standard YAC.
I would love to see a passing game with high completion rate, high air yards AND high YAC, but as long as you are moving the chains consistently, who cares? (Well, me a little.)
Ironically, the Texans had the best rushing efficiency for the week even though the Colts buried them in yards. That’s not to say the Colts didn’t run well, because they were fantastic.
Led by Marlon Mack’s 6.1 Yard per Carry, 143 yard performance, the Colts put up a 43% weighted Rush Success Rate, supported by 10 converted first downs (5 of them on 3rd down). Add to that, 6 explosive runs and you get arguably the best Colts run game of the year.
The ability to be successful on the ground while grinding the clock was the perfect complement to the Colt’s fast scoring start.
CONCLUSIONS & NEXT MATCH-UP
Like the game against Tennessee, the offense seemed worse than it was because the scoring was in bunches instead of spread throughout the game. Luck didn’t have Star Wars numbers, but he was efficient and threw for first downs (which is kind of the whole point). The run game was stellar.
Next up is an outdoor winter game in the loudest stadium in the NFL against the #1 team in the league. Cool. While Kansas City is a scary opponent, their defense is not. Ranking the pass game (ANY/A) and run game (wRSR) for each team shows a clear Indy offensive edge.
|Ranks||IND Off||KC Def|
|Ranks||IND Off||KC Def|
Since KC’s defense had the league’s most sacks but the last place rush defense, I wouldn’t be surprised if Frank Reich wants to slow the game down by running on the Chiefs and keeping this from being a 40+ point shootout.
On the other hand, KC gives up the 4th most first down conversions through the air, so if our O-line is as good as we think they are, then maybe Luck can have a field day.
TRAILING 5 WEEK TOTALS (per game)
The data for playoff teams is 6 weeks trailing.