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.
Against the 1-win (at the time) Miami Dolphins, the Indianapolis Colts put up what is easily their worst offensive performance of the year and that includes the horror show against Denver.
The Colts played from a deficit on all but the first drive and put up new lows in Drive Success Rate and points per drive. Half of their 12 drives were 3 & outs that amassed 15 yards and 2 turnovers. On the other 6 drives, they could only manage 19 first downs . . . and 1 more turnover.
It’s hard to believe that there were teams that performed worse but 19th in Adj PPD is still far from good. The success rate was poor (20th DSR, 20th wTSR) and per play efficiency was worse (22nd EPA/ply).
Brian Hoyer finished below average in the top 4 passing stats (EPA/ply, wPSR, NY/A, 1st%) and like 80% of the QBs who do that, he lost the game.
His per play value was terrible (22nd EPA/ply). His passing success was worse (24th wPSR). His yardage efficiency was similarly bad (21st NY/A). But bizarrely, his ability to get first downs was much better (12th 1st%). That’s still not good, as 30% is below league average, but it shows that when he wasn’t throwing picks, he had a glimmer of success moving the chains with his arm.
The run game was not terrible, rather it was just ineffective. The Colts only managed 7 rushing first downs, but that isn’t bad considering they never attempted a single 3rd down conversion on the ground.
I wish we had been in a position to run the ball more, but playing from behind limited carries and yards.
CONCLUSION AND NEXT MATCH-UP
With Jacoby Brissett, we seemed likely win this game, but his production against Denver two weeks ago wasn’t much better, so its fair to question what this offense can do going forward when not completely healthy.
Week 11 brings the 12th ranked (by DVOA) Jacksonville Jaguars defense to Lucas Oil stadium. The DVOA ranking matches most of my measures as well (12th Adj PPD against, 11th DSR against, 12th wTSR against, 14th 1st/ply against).
They are stout against the pass by the top 4 passing metrics (13th EPA/ply against, 11th wPSR against, 13th 1st/db against, 13th NY/A against). So assuming Brissett starts, he will have a tough welcome back game.
Against the rush, they aren’t as good but far from bad (19th wRSR against). They don’t give up a lot of rushing first downs overall (16th 1st/c) but they give up 62% rushing conversions on 3rd downs (28th). So if we can get into short yardage on 3rd downs, Mack & co. should be able to find success.