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Week 17: Colts Offense by the Numbers

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Las Vegas Raiders v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Each week during the season, I will be walking through the data from the previous Colts game and 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.

This wasn’t the worst Colts offensive effort of the year (week 10 JAX), but it was knocking on the door. For only the 3rd time this year, the Colts failed to eclipse a 70% DSR. Given the starting field position, that level of play normally yields 15.5 points, so the offense was fortunate to get 20 points with that effort. I wonder if there were any lucky passes involved?


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

2.22 points per drive is in line with some of the supporting stats (18th DSR, 17th EPA/ply). However, yards per play (21st yds/ply) and first down conversion rate (21st 1st%) point to a weaker offense.

On the year, ppd drops a bit as well as the rank, falling one spot to #7. DVOA nudges them down to 11th. Yeah, OK.


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

I detailed the disaster that was Carson Wentz in my QB stats post. Here are just a few of the things he was bad at.

  • 21st in epa/d
  • 22nd in passer success rate
  • 27th in first down conversion
  • 24th in net yards per drop-back

On the year, he has a stranglehold on being average, ranking 16th in epa efficiency and 16th in yardage efficiency. DVOA says this passing offense is 18th. I’m finding it hard to care.


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

The run game was highly efficient . . . again. They had top 10 yards per carry (4.8) and epa per carry (5th) . . . again. Conversion rate was great (4th). . . again. That all combines to a #4 spot on the week.

On the year, the run game jumps 4 spots to #2 in aRSR while DVOA has them still holding on to the #1 spot.


This was clearly a failure of the passing game. Even just a league average performance would likely have earned the win. At this point, I think we know who Wentz is. He is an average QB who can sometimes look great or awful. Very few teams can have sustained success with that.

We got one last chance. The Colts travel to Jacksonville to face a team that has one of the worst defenses in the league (31st DVOA), but yet managed to cause the Colts offense to trip all over themselves in week 10. The Jaguars defense gives up the 3rd most points per drive yet the Colts could only manage 16 total offensive points in their first meeting.

Through the air, the Jags defense is dead last in DVOA and I have them 31st in epa efficiency against. So why did Wentz have one of his worst performances last time? Because Wentz, that’s why. I don’t what to tell you. Expect greatness or abject failure. It’s a 50/50 call.

On the ground, the Jaguar defense is a bit better, ranking 21st in DVOA and 28th in aRSR against. Last time, JT had a 116 yard, highly efficient day. I expect a heavy dose of “more of the same, please”.

As of today, we are 15.5 favorites. We’ll see.