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.
For the third week in a row, the Indianapolis Colts defense played an outstanding game.
The Colts held the Jacksonville Jaguars to only 15 first downs for a 62.5% DSR, which included five 3 & Out drives.
The Colts kept the Jags from moving the ball (7th DSR against) and from scoring (9th Adj PPD against), In per play measures, the result weren’t as good but still better than league average (13th EPA/ply against, 14th wTSR against, 13th 1st/ply against).
They gave up 0 first downs on penalties and limited explosive plays to 4, 2 of which occurred on the last garbage time drive.
It’s tough to measure the run game as there basically wasn’t one. The Colts defense surrendered only 29 rushing yards and 2 first downs on 9 carries. That ranks 12th in wRSR against and 8th in EPA/carry against but is almost meaningless with such low volume.
CONCLUSION AND NEXT MATCH-UP
The Colts defense holds a much deserved 11th place ranking by weighted DVOA having played very well over a 4 game stretch. The last team they had trouble with was the Houston Texans.
Speaking of which, the Colts travel to NRG Stadium to face a tough Houston offense tonight. On the year, the Texans have put up the 7th most points per drive (Adj PPD) and move the ball easily with the 4th best DSR.
Deshaun Watson is the real deal, ranking 9th in DYAR and 5th in QBR (if you believe in that numbers mumbo-jumbo). But the Colts defense comes in at 10th against the pass by DVOA so it will be strength against strength.
Their rush game is highly efficient (7th wRSR, 2nd EPA/c), averaging over 140 yards a game (110 without Watson). Running is the weaker aspect of Eberflus‘ squad so unless the Colts can build and maintain a lead, look for the Texans to keep it on the ground.