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.
An offense that manages 26 points and 27 first downs in 4 quarters often wins the game, just not this past week. It may have been sloppy at times and was a disappointing outcome, but the Colts offense against the Tennessee Titans was not bad.
The 12th ranked points per drive is in line with the 13th ranked EPA per play and is actually higher than the season average of those stats (both 17th). Basically, the offense we saw on Sunday is actually a bit better than what we can probably expect going forward. If you find that a little upsetting then you are what I call a rational person.
The Rivers/Brissett passing game was definitely in the “meh” zone ranking 13th in EPA efficiency and 15th in passing success rate. That’s not too far off from the season totals (11th, 13th respectively), of course those averages include wild swings of highly efficient games mixed in with some really poor ones.
The run game wasn’t good, but at least we hardly used it. 54 yards on designed runs with a 14th ranked conversion rate and 17th ranked success rate (adj RSR) is also in the “meh” zone. Like passing, that is right in line with season totals.
CONCLUSION AND LOOK AHEAD
This was a good demonstration of the average 2020 Colts offense. They can certainly be better — I’ve seen it — but better shouldn’t be the expectation. 12 weeks in and this offense has shown you who they are: better than last year, but worse than it’s going to take to have playoff success.
The good news is that next we get to face the Houston Texans defense, ranked 25th by Football Outsiders DVOA. They rank 28th in points per drive given up and 30th in EPA efficiency per play against.
Houston opponent QBs have the 4th highest EPA efficiency and 4th highest passing first down conversion rate. On the ground, they aren’t any better yielding the 5th highest rushing first down conversion rates and the 4th highest rushing success rate (adj RSR).
This could be — should be — a get well week for the offense. Colts open as 3 point favorites.