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The Colts Offense Has Not Been This Bad in a Long Time

The offensive struggles continue as both the run and pass game hit new lows.

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Indianapolis Colts (3) Vs. New England Patriots (26) At Gillette Stadium Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via 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 just a bad effort, it was a historically bad effort. In week 9, the Colts earned only 8 first downs on their way to a 35.4% Drive Success Rate. That is the worst DSR by any Colts offense since Week 17 in 1999! Their 121 total scrimmage yards is also the lowest total since that 1999 game.


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%

It’s damn near impossible to perform any analysis as there is nothing to analyze. The Colts offense was:

  • last in ppd and expected ppd
  • last in DSR
  • last in yards and yards per play
  • last in EPA per play
  • last in success rate
  • last in overall conversion rate and 3rd down conversion rate
  • last in explosive plays

So my analysis is that this was the worst offense of the week, but that is underselling it. This was the worst offense of any NFL game this year . . . or last year . . or the year before that. You get the idea.

For all you Time of Possession fans, try to square the above numbers with the Colts 15th-ranked TOP. Actually, I’ll do it for you: your stat is crap and you have no idea what you are talking about.


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

Let’s turn to the passing game:

  • last in EPA per dropback
  • 3rd-to-last in passing success rate
  • last in passing conversion rate
  • last in net yards per dropback
  • 3rd-to-last in accuracy (cpoe)

For everyone that thought a mobile QB was the answer to our O-line woes, it’s not. Mobility is nice, but without quality QB play behind it, it’s just running around.


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

The run game is just more of the same.

  • 2nd-to-last conversion rate
  • 2nd-to-last yards per carry
  • last epa per carry
  • last adjusted success rate

Prior to the season, I predicted that the run game would take a step back. I said A STEP!! The Colts went from having the 2nd-best run game in 2021 to the worst run game in 2022. I would laugh if it weren’t for this boundless rage that consumes me.


This is what quit looks like. This offense has done what I thought was impossible: make me not want to watch Colts games.

In the next chart, good passing is on the right and good running is at the top. The Colts are more of a low and to the left kind of team.

Next week the “offense” will face the Las Vegas Raiders, whose defense currently ranks dead last in DVOA. The Raiders give up the 2nd-most points per drive of any team, but the Colts score the least points per drive, so it should be a captivating battle between a stoppable force and a movable object.

The Raiders have a much better rush defense (17th DVOA) than passing defense (32nd DVOA). Of course, that doesn’t really matter because the Colts offense is good at neither (31st pass DVOA, 32nd rush DVOA).

Let the race to the bottom begin!