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How Bad Has Matt Ryan Become? Let Me Count the Ways

A promising first quarter was followed by 3 quarters of epic collapse.

Indianapolis Colts v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Adam Bettcher/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)


For the 2nd game in a row, the first-quarter passing was great, but unfortunately, the rest of the game counts too. Against the Vikings, from the 2nd quarter onward, Ryan threw only 7 passes that added positive value, compared to his 21 negative value dropbacks. His overall 35.1% success rate is 5th-worst this week (so far) and is indicative of what this Colts’ passing offense has become.

The passing EPA efficiency in the last 4 games has been bad . . . like almost league-worst bad. Only Kyle Allen and Colt McCoy have done worse.

Just to clarify, on the following charts, the lower left quadrant is not where you want to be.


A sub-60% completion rate is almost never good, but with an average depth of target of 3.1 yards, it is verifiably terrible.

In the last 9 games, 8 of them have had a below-average completion depth. That also came with the 30th-ranked YAC. I’m not a math whiz, but a small number plus a small number is usually a small number.


Is it that he spread the ball around a lot or that no one could consistently gain any yards?

The upper right quadrant of the following graphs is where you want your receivers to live. We are in no danger of that happening.


His accuracy has been on a 6 week plunge into the abyss.


His release time has been quick, so that makes up for everything.


There’s not much green in this game pass location chart.

There’s not much in the season chart either.


Comparisons are out of the 30 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

Okay, let’s wrap this up and never speak of it again.

Horrible accuracy (27th cpoe) on shorter passes (16th adot) with no YAC (21st) equals poor YPA (22nd). Add to that an inability to scramble and avoid sacks (18th scr%, 13th sck%) and you get horrible net yardage efficiency (26th ny/d).

No turnovers is good, but an inability to get first downs or touchdowns is not (19th 1st%, 19th td%) and so, his poor net yardage stays poor when measured by EPA (26th psr, 21st epa/d).