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Week 16: Colts Offense by the Numbers

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Carolina Panthers v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images

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, Football Outsiders and the nflSCrapR project for being awesome sources of weekly data.


For the grinches who wanted nothing but the Indianapolis Colts to lose out so they could hoard a slightly higher draft spot, your heart stayed 2 sizes too small this week. But the rest of us got an early Christmas present with a start to finish beat-down of the Carolina Panthers.

The Colts offense racked up 25 first downs which led to an 83.3% DSR, which is their 2nd highest of the season (90.6% against ATL). There was only one 3 & out drive and all but 2 drives made it into Carolina territory.


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%
Ignoring the kneel-down drive, the Colts offense accounted for 3.0 points per drive (Adj PPD) which is 5th best on the week. They had no trouble moving the ball down the field (4th DSR, 7th 1st/ply) with a high per play value (11th EPA/ply) and success rate (5th wTSR).

One black mark though, is a low third down conversion rate of 36.4% (16th 3DC). The Colts dominated in third down conversions in 2018, but have struggled this year, especially since week 4.


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

Note: Dropback numbers now include QB scrambles.

There are those that think a game manager QB is good enough (they’re wrong) and through their eyes, Jacoby Brissett probably had a decent game (he didn’t). While he had 2 very good scrambles and a rushing TD, he could do nothing through the air.

119 passing yards on 27 attempts for a 4.4 YPA is just god awful, ranking 31st of all QBs. His 2 scrambles made up for the 3 sacks but even so, his net yards per dropback (NY/db) was still only 4.4 and ranks 27th.

His average play value was low (27th EPA/ply) and the % of dropbacks that were successful was also poor (27th wPSR, 28th 1st/db). In the red zone, he had a 33% completion rate (2 for 6) for 4 yards with 0 TDs and 0 first downs.

That’s just bad QB play. If you can’t see that, then your eyes are broken. Sure, he didn’t turn it over and yes he ran for a TD, but that just isn’t enough.

<cue the “it was good enough to win / just doing what he is asked / team was built for Luck / was good until he was injured / he can’t throw and run routes and catch” crowd>


RUSH TOTALS

Mouseover definitions: wRSR, Yds, Car, TD, Fum Lost, RSR, 1st/c, YPC, 10+ #/Yd, 3rd, 3DC

Note: The run stats now exclude QB scrambles and only measure the impact of designed runs (QB designed runs included).

On the week, the Colts finished first in weighted success rate (wRSR) . . . that’s right, using a stat that no has ever heard of or understands, the Colts running backs performed better than any other team this week. OK, fine. Throw away my custom stat. They still finished 1st in EPA per carry (0.40 EPA/c).

The key driver of those # 1 rankings is the volume of TDs (3) and first downs (12). That equates to 40% of all carries ending in a TD or first down, which is the 2nd highest rate of all teams (1st/c).

I’m not a huge fan of yards per carry, but when the team has the 2nd best mark on the week (6.1 ypc), I’m going to mention it.


CONCLUSION AND NEXT MATCH-UP

The rushing production was the driving force of why this offense was so good. If you are only going to put up 142 yards passing (pass + sacks + scrambles), then the run game has to step up and the Colts’ running backs did, totaling 182 yards.

The season ends for the Colts in Jacksonville as they will face a Jaguar defense that Football Outsiders ranks 29th by DVOA. They are particularly susceptible to the run (31st DVOA) and with the Colts running game surging while the pass game collapses, expect to see another run first game from the Colts.

The Jacksonville pass defense isn’t very good either giving up the 10th most EPA per dropback of any team. So, if Jacoby is going to have a rebound, this is the game to do it.

I, for one, will be rooting for a win.


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