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.
As so often has been the case this year, this offense was hard to watch. 17 first downs is in the 31st percentile for all league games this year and leads to the 26th percentile for Drive Success Rate (65.4%).
You just can’t go 6 drives in a row without scoring points. Well, I mean you can, but that’s a bold strategy Cotton.
My adjusted ppd counts the pick 6 as negative offensive points so Indy’s 3 net offensive points gave Tampa Bay a run for their money. However, since the Colts eked out fewer drives, they win on a per-drive basis. How about that? We’re not last! We’re not last! We’re not last!
From a DSR and expected ppd perspective that was a 22nd-ranked effort. That is somewhat in line with a 25th yards per play and an 18th first down conversion rate. Ironically, without the turnovers, this might have been enough to win.
Due to the ludicrously hurtful pick-6, the Colts were the worst passing efficiency team in week 7 (epa/d). By success rate, they managed a 15th ranking (PSR) , which means when not turning the ball over, the passing game was getting at least some value. However, a 26th-ranked net yardage efficiency and conversion rate (ny/d, 1st%) doomed the aerial attack.
The run game was “meh” again this week, which is actually an improvement. The Colts actually had the 16th-highest ypc, but that came on runs that converted first downs at the 6th-highest rate.
CONCLUSION & LOOK AHEAD
No offense is going to win games unless they can score points and the Colts' offense can’t score points. Turnovers are obviously a huge issue, but even if I remove all turnover drives from the league data, the Colts only manage the 27th-best ppd and the 21st DSR. This is not an offense on the edge of being good. It is highly dysfunctional at many levels.
For the season, in the stats I care about, the passing game ranks 27th (epa/d) and the run game is dead last (aRSR). As a sanity check, Football Outsiders agrees (30th pass, 32nd run).
While the Washington Commanders' offense may rival the Colts for incompetence, their defense does not. The Commanders' defense ranks 14th in points per drive against to go along with a 16th DVOA ranking.
Against the pass, they give up the 14th-lowest EPA per dropback and the 8th-lowest passing success rate. They also have the 10th most sacks per game so we’ll see what Ehlinger can manage. The good news is that DVOA thinks the Commanders’ passing defense is garbage, giving them the 29th rank. I’m not sure how they come to that conclusion as Jalen Hurts and Cooper Rush are the only QBs that had good games against them.
On the ground, they are very stingy, yielding the 5th lowest adj RSR and the lowest first down conversion rate. DVOA calls them the 4th best rushing defense and I have to agree. This is another horrible match-up for the Colts rushers.