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.
Wow, wow, wow. The Indianapolis offense scored on 8 of its 9 drives against the Raiders, racking up 37 points. The sole scoreless drive included a horrendous missed PI call that would have put them 10 yards from the end zone and another likely score.
25 first downs on 29 series is an 86.2% drive success rate, showing how easily the Colts moved the ball.
We’re #1! We’re #1.
4.63 points per drive is the most by any team this week and tied for the 2nd most of any team so far this year. The Colts also grabbed the #1 spots this week for most EPA per play and the highest play success rate (adj TSR).
Unfortunately, the Colts lost the time of possession battle, ranking 20th on the week and so this is really a hollow victory. I’m not even sure the win counts.
The offense had 14 explosive plays for 327 yards, by far the most the Colts have put up this year. The next closest would be week 5 against the Bengals, when the team had 9 plays for 218 yards.
This performance was a shot in the arm for the season totals as they move from 16th to 11th in points per drive and 13th to 9th in EPA/play. Football Outsiders agrees moving the offense from a mere 16th rank all the way up to 16th . . . wait, what? Screw them.
We’re #1! We’re #1.
Rivers was the most efficient QB of the week putting up a first place 0.59 EPA per dropback. His passing success rate only ranked 19th, but let’s just ignore that. His yardage efficiency was also good, as 8.7 net yards per dropback is the 3rd highest of any QB.
On the season, he has slowly crept up the rankings, putting the team 6th in EPA/db and 6th in NY/db, partially driven by the 3rd lowest sack rate of any QB. Football Outsiders couldn’t agree more putting the pass game at 15th by DVOA . . . oh . . . ummm. Moving on.
We’re #1! We’re #1.
I hate yards per carry as a stat, but when your team rushes over 30 times and maintains almost 7 ypc, that is some impressive running. Jonathon Taylor alone ran for 7.5 ypc accumulating 150 yards, 2 TDs and 4 additional first downs. As a whole, the rushers earned the 4th highest first down conversion rate and the 4th highest EPA per carry. They had 9 explosive rushes and a 75% 3rd down conversion rate.
Add all that up and you get the #1 adjusted rushing success rate of the week. That helps move the run game up to the 7th spot on the year and Football Outsiders ranks them all the way up to 19th. Seriously, what the hell?
CONCLUSION AND LOOK AHEAD
So I guess by DVOA we are still just meh. A lot of that has to do with schedule as they have us ranked 10th before adjusting for opponent and they have Rivers 9th in DYAR. All I know is that this week was an offense firing on all cylinders and it was a thing of beauty. The team is getting better at the right time.
Hey, let’s do Houston again. Nothing much has changed since my write-up 2 weeks ago. The Texans defense still isn’t very good (30th DVOA, 27th ppd against). They still give up the 4th highest EPA per dropback to opposing QBs (26th passing DVOA). If anything, their rushing defense has gotten worse, dropping from 28th to 32nd in adjusted rushing success rate (29th rushing DVOA).
I said week 13 should have been a get well week for the offense and it started out that way, even if we disappeared in the 2nd half. This is the Colts chance to play a whole game against the Texans and put their defense on their heels, just like they did to the Raiders.
Colts are 7 point favorites.