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