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Week 16: Colts Offense by the Numbers

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NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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

It’s tough to win games when you are scoreless on 5 consecutive drives. It’s really tough to win when you do it on your last 5. The first 40 minutes looked great, but then the team only managed 5 more first downs the rest of the game.

In the last 20 minutes, over 5 drives, the Colts rushed the ball 3 times . . . 3!


Mouseover for definitions: Adj PPD, PPG, Yds, P/R%, DSR, xOPPD, Strt Fld, EPA/ply, adj TSR, 1st/ply, Pen 1st/ Yds, 3DC, 3rd ytg, Expl Plys, TO, TOP%

24 points isn’t bad and at 2 points per drive, that is about league average. The supporting metric of EPA/ply agrees ranking 16th.

Instead of the season totals, the next chart shows the cumulative stats for the last 6 weeks. In that time the offense has been very good, putting up the 7th best PPD and EPA/ply as well as the 10th best DSR and 9th best first down conversion rate. Going into the last week the offense still looks strong (assuming offensive line health).


Mouseover definitions: EPA/db, PSR, Cmp, Att, Yds, TD, Int, Sk, Sk Y, 1st/db, NY/A, Cmp %, aDOT, cpoe, YBC, YAC, 20+ #/Yd

Philip Rivers had a bad week, falling into the bottom 10 in QB efficiency. His success rate (PSR) was similarly bad (25th) and his passing conversion rate was even worse (1st/db 27th). Add to that, two turnovers and you have bottom of the league play.

Relative to the last 6 weeks, this game is the exception and not the rule. Rivers has been top 10 in efficiency (9th EPA/db, 10th NY/db).


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

The running game had better success. 4th best EPA/c and 9th best rushing conversion rate translates to an 11th best ranking when adjusting for game situation (adj. RSR).

Since week 11, the Colts run game has had the 6th best EPA/c, the 3rd best rushing conversion rate and the 9th best YPC. All of that combines to a 3rd ranked adj RSR.


I do think there was some bad officiating that impacted the game but that was not why the offense sputtered on Sunday. The team just didn’t execute. They needed to be good and they were just average. Usually, they are good.

It’s hard to believe that the end of the regular season is upon us. Game 16 brings the Jaguars to Indianapolis. By pretty much any measure, the Jaguars defense isn’t good. By DVOA, they are 31st. By points per drive given up, they are 27th and if you look at just the last 6 weeks they are dead last. They have given up more than 30 points 9 times this year.

Against the pass they are bad: 31st DVOA, 26th EPA/db. Against the run they aren’t very good either: 22nd DVOA, 29th adj RSR.

The Colts offense should do well, as only 1 team this year has scored less than 24 points against them . . . oh . . .right.