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Week 15: Colts Defense by the Numbers

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NFL: Indianapolis Colts at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-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.


Based on the chart above can you guess when the New Orleans Saints stopped trying to score? If you can’t, then stop watching football.

On the first 6 drives, the Saints scored on every drive and had a 93% Drive Success Rate (26 first downs on 28 series) with a ridiculous 5.7 points per drive. The Colts could literally not stop the Saints from scoring.


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%
The Rams gave up 44 points saving the Colts defense from being the worst in point efficiency against (31st Adj PPD).

Of course, it’s always possible for a defense to have performed better than the scoreboard indicates . . . just not in this case. The Colts could not stop giving up first downs (32nd DSR against, 31st 1st/ply against) and the average play value surrendered was similarly horrific (31st EPA/ply against, 31st wTSR against)

424 yards, 8 explosive plays, 56% 3rd down conversions, no forced turnovers. There’s just not a good number to be found. This was one of the worst defensive performances by any team all year.


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

The passing defense ranks dead last in everything. Well, actually Net Yards per Attempt against was only 31st, so . . . yay.

As I pointed out in the game thread, about the only defensive accomplishment against the pass on the night was that Drew Brees did not get a perfect passer rating. Of course, this is the same game where by QBR, Jacoby Brissett was above average. Sometimes stats are stupid.


RUSH TOTALS

Mouseover definitions: wRSR, Yds, Car, TD, Fum Lost, RSR, 1st/c, YPC, 10+ #/Yd, 3rd, 3DC
Even on the ground, the Saints did pretty well, managing 7 first downs and 3 explosive runs for a 9th best wRSR.


CONCLUSION AND NEXT MATCH-UP

Just like the Colt’s poor offensive performance, the defense getting pasted was not a surprise either. The Saints are a top 5 offense and Drew Brees is certainly going to be a first ballot Hall of Famer.

Next up the Colts D will face the Carolina Panthers led by . . . hold on . . . <googles Carolina 3rd string QB> . . . William Grier . . . hmmm . . . I got nothin’.

The Carolina offense hasn’t scored a lot of points this year (18th Adj PPD) and with a shiny new just out of the box QB, I would expect them to be even worse. But you never know as sometimes a new QB can jump start an offense . . . not for the Colts, but for other teams.

I could quote Carolina passing stats for QBs that used to be playing, but suffice it to say that Carolina has been much better running the ball than passing it. Christian McCaffrey averages 18 carries and 8 targets a game. Look for him to beat those numbers on Sunday as the Panthers will rely heavily on him to move the ball.

This is a great opportunity for the defense to get back to form.


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