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Week 3: Colts Offense by the Numbers

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NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Indianapolis Colts Trevor Ruszkowski-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.

There’s not much to say that you don’t already know. The offense was bad. A hobbled QB with an injured/struggling O-Line was a recipe for 16 points. 10 of the 16 points came off of good starting field position, but when starting behind their own 30, the team could not find the end zone.

At one time in the NFL a 70.4% Drive Success Rate would have been considered good. Those days are gone.


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%

The 20th ranked points per drive lines up with DSR (21st), EPA efficiency(21st), Success Rate (22nd) and 1st down rate (23rd). So, there is no hidden story in the numbers here. The offense just played poorly.


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

The passing game was a joke with a 27th EPA efficiency and a 31st ranked passing success rate. That was driven by an inability to move the chains (30th 1st down rate), which in turn was driven by an inability to gain yards through the air (28th ny/d).

Had Wentz been fully healthy, I think this is a very different outcome. I guess it could have been worse. Chicago only completed 6 passes all day and averaged 0.3 yards per drop-back. Yikes.


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

The bright spot of the day was the rushing game, which by my custom metric of adjusted rushing success rate was 3rd best. The Colts runners had the 2nd highest conversion rate, the 6th highest yards per carry and the 2nd best EPA per carry.

Thank god we called 68% pass plays.


Have you heard that phrase “hope springs eternal”. Yeah, not today. This is a bad offense. There are so many things broken, that not even duct tape will help.

We’re going nowhere until Wentz can get healthy and stay upright and even then, I’m not sure it gets that much better. According to PFF, when not under pressure, Wentz ranks 18th in yards per attempt. That’s not bad but it’s not good either. That would require a big improvement in the run game to get the overall offense in the top 10 range.

Next week the offense faces Miami, who has given up the 13th most points per drive this year. Football Outsiders ranks the Dolphins defense #7 by DVOA, but I honestly have no idea why. They rank 19th in passing efficiency against (epa/d) and 21st against the run (adj RSR).

So, if you believe me, then this is a good chance for the offense to score more than 17 points. If you believe Football Outsiders, then this will be the hardest defense we’ve faced yet and you should prepare for single digits. We’ll see.