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, NFL.com, Football Outsiders, and the nflFastR project for being awesome sources of weekly data.
Wow, wow, wow . . . wow. This was a ridiculously good performance by the Colts offense.
29 first downs is tied for the 5th most by any team so far this year and translates to this year’s 6th highest (tied) Drive Success Rate. In other words, the Colts had no trouble moving the ball against a top 10 Jacksonville defense.
The final tally of 34 points was only 1 point over expectation, so it wasn’t fluky scores either. This team earned every point . . . well except for 1 mathematically speaking.
The offense ranks #1 on the week in points per drive and DSR. They also earned the 9th most yards per play, which translates to the 4th highest EPA per play. Their success rate ranked 5th and they did it off of average starting field position (14th of 28).
The pass/rush ratio tilted towards the pass more than any other team and that game plan compiled the 4th most offensive yards this week.
Of course, all that matters is Time of Possession and we lost that battle, so I’m not sure if the win even counts.
Matt Ryan is back, baby!! Okay, probably not, but it sure was fun to watch.
While Ryan put up the 2nd most passing yards, that is not really a stat to hang your hat on. Miami put up the most passing yards (418) and finished 16th in EPA efficiency and 22nd in points per drive.
What matters is how Ryan achieved those yards and he did it with the 4th highest EPA efficiency and 6th best passing success rate (7th at team level). He did it with the 9th most yards per drop-back, the 5th highest passing conversion rate and the 8th best accuracy (cpoe). And he did it all with . . . . drumroll, please . . . NO TURNOVERS!!
He also didn’t get sacked, however there was an intentional grounding, which is basically a sack, but that is just nitpicking. Lots of quick, short, pressure-beating throws was the story of the game (17th time to throw, 32nd depth of target).
The run game was pretty non-existent as Deon Jackson was busy catching a butt-load of passes, but when the Colts did run, they were better than average. And since they have been dead last in rushing proficiency (32nd aRSR, 32nd DVOA), “better than average” is a huge step up.
18th in ypc and 19th in epa/c is not impressive, but they managed the 11th highest conversion rate and punched in a TD, so they get a 13th ranked aRSR this week.
I doubt Ryan can maintain the level of play he showed in week 6, so the run game needs to get better and get better soon.
CONCLUSION & LOOK AHEAD
I can’t say enough good things about how the offense played, so I won’t even try.
Instead, let’s look at the team through 6 games. So far, I have them 32nd on the ground (aRSR) and 20th in passing. Football Outsiders ranks this offense 31st overall. I think that is a little low as they are 22nd in points per drive and 20th in DSR. That 20th-22nd range feels right to me.
Hopefully, the team can improve on that when they travel to Tennessee in week 7. The Titans rank 24th in both points per drive against and DSR against, so teams have not had a lot of trouble driving the field and scoring against them.
They are horrible against the pass, yielding the 5th highest EPA efficiency to opposing QBs. Football Outsider’s agrees with my assessment, giving them a 29th DVOA ranking. Matty Ice had his 2nd best game against them in week 4, even though it came in a losing effort.
On the ground, the Titans are tough, ranking 2nd in aRSR against and 3rd in defensive rush DVOA. That is about the worst match-up possible for the Colts ailing run game.
To me, that means this should be another pass heavy game, but I’ve been told that they don’t play the games on spreadsheets. Although, I have seen Pac-Man played on a spreadsheet. Just sayin’.