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.
No shutout! Woohoo!
This is the rare case where a game's DSR lies. A 70% DSR is about league average but against the New Orleans Saints, the Indianapolis Colts offense was clearly not average. It wasn’t even good enough to be bad.
On the first 7 drives, the Colts could only collect 9 first downs on 16 series for a 56% DSR, which perfectly describes their effort (wretched). But then that number was given a face-lift by the final garbage drive which saw the Colts add another 7 first downs and a score. However, since the average team only needs about 4 first downs to reach the endzone, it shows that even when being given pity points, Indianapolis struggled.
ESPN’s QBR ranked Jacoby Brissett as the 13th best QB this week . . . 13th!!! This illustrates my problem with proprietary stats like QBR: I can’t open up the hood to see where the measure went wrong, but wow is it wrong.
Brissett’s play efficiency was horrible both in terms of yards and Expected Points Added (26th EPA/ply, 30th NY/A). His success rate numbers agree (26th wPSR, 29th 1st/db).
He tried to stretch the field somewhat with the 10th longest depth of target of any QB (aDOT), but he had a lot of trouble completing those passes with a 53% completion rate.
Well at least the run game . . . oh, that’s right, it sucked too.
Outside of a Jacoby Brissett scramble, the run game notched 39 yards. Unless you can pass for 300 yards, that’s not going to cut it (and we can’t pass for 300 yards).
It seems stupid to even calculate a success rate measure for such a small volume, but I did anyway and the result is 27th (wRSR).
CONCLUSION AND NEXT MATCH-UP
This outcome was actually not surprising, but that doesn’t really help much. The Saints have a top 10 defense (by DVOA) and the Colts offense has been fading as injuries and just plain poor play has amassed.
In week 16, the Carolina Panthers visit Lucas Oil Stadium and they bring a 24th ranked defense with them. Football Outsiders thinks the defense is a bit Jekyll and Hyde ranking them 9th against the pass and 32nd against the run by DVOA. I tend to agree as I have them at 13th against the pass (EPA/ply) and 31st against the run (wRSR).
I can’t vouch for FO, but I definitely know what I am talking about, so prepare for a heavier run game and less Jacoby than we have seen in the last few games . . . and by that I mean fewer attempts. I don’t actually think you can get fewer yards.