clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Week 12: Colts Offense by the Numbers

New, comments

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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.


There was a lot of unhappiness and anger towards the Indianapolis Colts offense in week 11 as they only managed to score 17 points against the Houston Texans. However, it was a slow-paced game with the Colts only seeing 9 drives, so that outcome shouldn’t be that unexpected.

19 first downs is not a lot, but on only 26 series, the resulting 73.1% DSR is above league average. And while 1.9 points per drive isn’t good either, the Colts scored less per drive against Tennessee and Denver but most fans were content to trot out the “good enough to win” mantra in those games. Not this time.

Bottom line: this offense was better than average for a slow paced, run the ball, conservative, safe game.


TEAM TOTALS

Mouseover for definitions: Adj PPD, PPG, Yds, P/R%, DSR, xOPPD, Strt Fld, EPA/ply, wTSR, 1st/ply, Pen 1st/ Yds, 3DC, 3rd ytg, Expl Plys, TO, TOP%

12th in Adj PPD, 10th in DSR, 9th in wTSR and 11th in 1st/ply tells me that this wasn’t too bad an effort. It’s not what I would call good, but far from the dumpster fire based reactions.

The average yards to gain on 3rd downs was 5.4 yards which is the shortest of any team on the week and a tribute to the improvement on 1st and 2nd downs. As such, it’s not surprising that the Colts were also best at converting those plays (1st 3DC).

The problem was there were not a lot of explosive plays so the converted series were shorter than average and shorter series require more series to reach the end zone. But hey, no turnovers either. Conservative. Safe.


PASS TOTALS

Mouseover definitions: EPA/db, wPSR Cmp, Att, Yds, TD, Int, Sk, Sk Y, Rtng, 1st/db, ANY/A, NY/A, YPA, Cmp %, aDOT, aYd/cmp, YAC, 20+ #/Yd
While total volume was ridiculously low, most of that came from Frank Reich’s play calling and doesn’t reflect poorly on Jacoby Brissett at all. In fact, Brissett did well in getting first downs (10th 1st/db) and his rate of success was also pretty good (9th wPSR).

However, despite that, his overall EPA was negative. The problem was a familiar one in that he had few deep completions (26th aYd/cmp) resulting in bad yardage efficiency (20th NY/A). You could blame T.Y. Hilton and for this game you would probably be right, but this has been a season-long Brissett issue and not a Hilton issue.

In the past, this problem has been swept under the rug with short touchdown passes that boosted the perceived value of the passing game and launched the Colts to slim margin wins. However, that TD pace has slowed with Brissett throwing 1 TD and 1 pick in his last 3 full game starts and I think fans are starting to realize what not being able to average more than 6 yards a pass gets you; a safe, conservative offense that unless the run game explodes will not score much. That’s when 1 score wins can easily become 1 score losses.

I find it ironic that in games where Brissett put up similar numbers (JAX, TEN, KC) he was praised, but for this game he is being roasted. I guess wins and losses tend to do that.


RUSH TOTALS

Mouseover definitions: wRSR, Yds, Car, TD, Fum Lost, RSR, 1st/c, YPC, 10+ #/Yd, 3rd, 3DC
The run game was asked to carry the load of the offense with 39 carries (4 QB runs) and for the most part it delivered. A 14th ranked success rate isn’t anything to get excited about (34.1% wRSR), but 10 first downs was good enough for an 8th ranked 1st/c and 175 yards with a 3rd best EPA/c shows that the run game added a lot of value to the overall offense. Just not enough.

If you need 200+ yards a game from your rushing offense to win, then good luck with that.


CONCLUSION AND NEXT MATCH-UP

Safe. Conservative. Average. Get used to it.

Next up is the Tennessee Titans and a defense that started the year as one of the toughest in the league but has since dropped off. Currently ranked 16th by DVOA, they gave up 15.3 points per game with Mariota as the starter, but 26.3 points since Ryan Tannehill took over. I’m not sure how a change at QB makes the defense worse, but there it is.

Against the pass, I show the Titans are about average (15th EPA/ply, 14th wPSR, 15th 1st/db, 17th NY/A). Football Outsiders strongly disagrees ranking them 23rd and to that I say . . . whatever. If I only look at the last 5 games, then I am inclined to agree with them. Either way, they aren’t good. So, this is an opportunity for Frank Reich to open up the passing game and for Brissett to prove himself.

Unfortunately, the same opportunity won’t exist in the run game. Here, Football Outsiders and I are on the same page; the TEN run defense is really good (DVOA 5th, wRSR 6th, EPA/c 3rd). Marlon Mack will still be out so Jonathan Williams and Nyheim Hines (and Wilkins?) have their work cut out for them.


SEASON TOTALS

Mouseover for definitions: Adj PPD, PPG, Yds, P/R%, DSR, xOPPD, Strt Fld, EPA/ply, wTSR, 1st/ply, Pen 1st/ Yds, 3DC, 3rd ytg, Expl Plys, TO, TOP%
Mouseover definitions: EPA/db, wPSR Cmp, Att, Yds, TD, Int, Sk, Sk Y, Rtng, 1st/db, ANY/A, NY/A, YPA, Cmp %, aDOT, aYd/cmp, YAC, 20+ #/Yd
Mouseover definitions: wRSR, Yds, Car, TD, Fum Lost, RSR, 1st/c, YPC, 10+ #/Yd, 3rd, 3DC

TRAILING 5 WEEK TOTALS

Mouseover for definitions: Adj PPD, PPG, Yds, P/R%, DSR, xOPPD, Strt Fld, EPA/ply, wTSR, 1st/ply, Pen 1st/ Yds, 3DC, 3rd ytg, Expl Plys, TO, TOP%
Mouseover definitions: EPA/db, wPSR Cmp, Att, Yds, TD, Int, Sk, Sk Y, Rtng, 1st/db, ANY/A, NY/A, YPA, Cmp %, aDOT, aYd/cmp, YAC, 20+ #/Yd
Mouseover definitions: wRSR, Yds, Car, TD, Fum Lost, RSR, 1st/c, YPC, 10+ #/Yd, 3rd, 3DC