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Matt Ryan Can’t Find Success Against a Tough Eagles Defense

The Eagles have the best pass defense in the league (DVOA) and Matt Ryan struggled against it.

Syndication: The Indianapolis Star Robert Scheer/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK

Thanks to the nflFastR project and NFL NextGen Stats for the timely sources of data.

For those of you new to this, I will publish key QB stats each week judging how well the Colts passing game performed. Yes, O-Line, receivers, and play-calling impact these numbers but they are primarily QB measures. I will probably modify the charts throughout the season. Commentary will be brief but feel free to let me know in the comments that stats aren’t everything. (click charts for larger view)


The opening drive was impressive but it was comprised of only two passes, 1 of which was a 1 yd gain. After that, the game became more pass-heavy and the drives stalled. On the day, Ryan had poor efficiency and a low success rate.

It wasn’t his worst game of the year, but he had difficulty getting first downs off of low yardage passes.

The Colts pass game can’t (and won’t) get out of the lower left quadrant of poor efficiency and low success.


Completing passes was not the problem. It was just that they were too short and there was not enough yac to make up for that.

Depth of targets was similar to last week, but completions were about 12 a yard shorter and YAC was almost a full yard shy of last week’s mark. That is a significant efficiency drop.


Would it kill us to have a 100 yard receiver sometime?


Accuracy is not an issue for Matt Ryan. It has been one of the few positive aspects of the passing game this year and. For the season, Ryan is the 10th most accurate QB (cpoe). Before the year started, I wrote that Ryan should improve in 2022 for 3 reasons:

  1. He is accurate
  2. His protection should improve compared to the Falcons
  3. The Colts receivers should get him more YAC

1 out of 3 ain’t bad.


Ryan took a tick longer this week to get rid of the ball, but still pretty fast. However, it didn’t help much in avoiding sacks.


The long passes were the only areas of the field that had overall success.


Comparisons are out of the 26 teams that have played through Sunday night.

Mouseover for definitions: opd, edp, arsr, ttt, adot, 20+, cmp%, cpoe, ay/c, yac, yacoe, ypa, pr%, ta%, scr%, sk%, aa%, ny/d, to%, 1st%, td%, rze, orze, 20+e, psr, epa/d

There’s not much more to say. He threw short passes, quickly, with good accuracy (20th adot, 24th ttt, 11th cpoe), but combined with low yac, it resulted in low yardage efficiency (21st yacoe, 18th ypa).

On top of that, he was sacked a lot, further reducing dropback efficiency (7th sk%, 22nd ny/d). Low average yardage made it difficult to get first downs, which made it hard to find the end zone (20th 1st%, 22nd td%).

All of that drove his overall poor efficiency (21st epa/d, 23rd psr). Again, the Eagles have the toughest pass defense in the league so this really wasn’t shocking.