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 Season Stats. Thanks to Pro Football Reference, NFL.com, Football Outsiders and the nflFastR project for being awesome sources of weekly data.
Against the Green Bay defense, the Colts scored on 6 of their 7 drives that didn’t have an offensive penalty or turnover. Interesting.
31 points in regulation is a lot, but 2 turnovers and 5 field goal attempts to get there isn’t exactly textbook.
Ignoring OT, the Drive Success rate was 74.2%, which is good, but not great. 4 regulation drives without a first down is 4 too many in my book.
Point-wise, the Colts offense lands in the top 10 for the week, but by the stats that predict future play the results were just about average (15th EPA/ply, 15th DSR) .
That lines up with the season numbers where Colts are 17th in points per drive, 16th in DSR and 15th in EPA/ply. That’s about as average as you can get.
A good passing day for Philip Rivers is hidden in the EPA efficiency due to the 2 turnovers, both of which are arguably not his fault. Without those plays, he breaks into the top 5 in efficiency. But those plays actually count, so 14th place it is, even though his yardage efficiency was 8th (NY/db).
On the year, 0.15 EPA/db is 14th best and only 0.01 behind his average from 2016-2018. This is basically the Philip Rivers I was expecting.
3.8 yards per carry is not that impressive but a 27% first down conversion (8th) is. The Colts run game is not flashy, but it is producing when it matters giving them a 7th best adjusted success rate on the year.
CONCLUSION AND LOOK AHEAD
This was another good performance from the offense in a critical game to help maintain the division lead.
Next up, the offense faces the Titans defense for the 2nd time in 3 weeks. Last time around, Football Outsiders ranked the Tennessee defense 18th by DVOA. This week they are 26th. They rank 28th in EPA per play given up, but only 20th in points per drive against. Clearly, they are below average.
They are vulnerable in the air, as opposing QBs put up the 9th highest EPA per dropback and convert 36.4% of their passes into first downs (12th most), which is partly why the Titans passing defense is 25th on DVOA. Last time around, Rivers killed them with short passes.
On the ground, their defense is slightly better, but still not good. I rank them 19th in adjusted rushing success rate which aligns with FO’s DVOA ranking of 18.