clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Simply Unwatchable

Sam Ehlinger had his 2nd start against one of the best pass defenses in the league ... and it showed.

Indianapolis Colts v New England Patriots Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images

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)


I’m gonna be honest. I barely watched this game. After 1 quarter of 2 incompletions and 3 sacks, I saw the writing on the wall and shifted my focus to a steady stream of beers and other games where they actually played football. Every once in a while, I would glance over to watch the Colts’ passing offense fail miserably.

Now that I look at the data, it’s easy to see why that was the case, as almost every dropback was a negative play. Seriously, 12 positive epa plays on 42 dropbacks is one of the worst success rate I have ever sort-of-witnessed. A -0.65 EPA per dropback is not just the worst Colts QB performance of the year, it is also the worst since Scott Tolzien’s week 1 start in 2017.

Usually, when I say someone is off the charts, I mean it as a good thing.


I don’t know what to complain about first: the poor completion rate, the pee wee league short passes or the abysmal yards per attempt. I mean, take your pick, because it’s all bad.

I’m too lazy to look up the last game where the average completion depth was shorter, but I bet it’s been at last 4 years.


Does it even matter?


Last week, I wrote that if Ehlinger maintained his accuracy, it would be all sorts of good news. He didn’t . . . and it’s not.


Nine sacks. I could talk about him holding the ball too long, but that seems like I am burying the lead.


Just to clarify, red is bad.


Comparisons are out of the 24 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

I’m too depressed to unpack all of this, so here’s the express version.

Ehlinger took a long time to inaccurately throw short passes that gained poor yac (7th ttt, 23rd cpoe, 24th ay/c, 18th yacoe). He abandoned almost 13 of his pass plays and his 9 sacks helped give him the worst yardage efficiency of any QB (1st aa%, 24th ny/d). He turned the ball over and showed an inability to get first downs, let alone a TD (9th to%, 24th 1st%, 23rd td%). It was the worst QB performance of the week (22nd psr, 24th epa/d)