Each week during the season, I will be walking through the data from the previous Colts game analyzing the numbers to form a sort of “what happened” narrative as well as comparing the Colts against all other teams in the league. For a glossary of the stats listed, reference Stats for the 2019 Season. Thanks to Pro Football Reference, NFL.com and the nflSCrapR project for being awesome sources of weekly data.
Too little. Too late. That is the narrative for the Indianapolis Colts offense in last Sunday’s week 4 showdown with the Oakland Raiders.
On the whole, it was not a terrible offensive effort, but if you are going to spot the opponent 2 turnovers and 7 points then you need to be a lot better than “not terrible”.
A consistent strength for the Colts went missing this week as 3rd down conversion rate dropped below 50% for the first time this year. This lack of success is likely due to the 8.6 yards to gain on 3rd, which was the longest on the season and the 7th longest of any team this week. The Colts offense was clearly not getting it done on 1st or 2nd downs like they usually do.
Jacoby Brissett wasn’t terrible, but he was also not good. Many posts I have read say that he played good enough for the team to win and while I don’t necessarily disagree, that is an awfully low bar to set for a QB. I mean 15 pieces of flair is the bare minimum.
For those that want to blame those numbers on receiver drops, you’re not completely wrong. However, even when removing those plays, Brissett was still below average in 3 of those 4 stats. Also, I’ve got to wonder how many of those drops happen if his JUGS machine isn’t set to ludicrous speed.
One area where Brissett did well this week was explosive plays, with 4 passes of 20+ yards for 126 yards total including a touchdown. He is tied for the most TD passes in the league but this is his first one of over 20 yards. It’s important that he be able to add to that explosive TD number. 6 of Brissett’s 10 TDs have come from within the 5 yard line and while a score is a score, QBs add more value when they can hit the endzone from far away. Co-leaders Patrick Mahomes has 7 TDs of 20+ yards and Lamar Jackson has 5.
On the first 2 scoring drives, the running game played a prominent part accounting for 75% of the yards gained, but then it was shelved as the Colts running backs only touched the ball 6 times in the 2nd half.
This is definitely not a level of play that is “good enough to win”.
CONCLUSION AND NEXT MATCH-UP
Next up, the Kansas City Chiefs. Oh . . . joy.