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Colts Refuse to Score 20 Points: “It’s a Bold Strategy, Cotton”

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Indianapolis Colts v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Richard Rodriguez/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.

Let’s be clear, a 64.3% Drive Success Rate is poor and it accurately describes how the Colts could not drive the ball against Dallas. However, the 5 turnovers are, BY FAR, the larger story.

There are lots of ways to end a drive but in terms of value lost, turnovers are a killer. They not only end your drive but they often set the opponent up with great field position. So, I could whinge about low DSR, but that would be like complaining that the band is out of tune while the Titanic sinks.

No stat that I pull out of my hat is going to convey the full impact of the soul-crushing, pee wee league, giving-away-the-game turnovers that this offense committed. I mean, seriously, who turns the ball over on 4 drives in a row? That was a clown show.


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%

As if it weren’t bad enough that the offense put up less than 20 points for the 9th time this season, they also gave up 7 opponent points as well, which reduced their ppd to 24th on the week. Yep, that’s who this team is. Actually, it’s worse than that: on the year the Colts rank 31st in ppd.

Oh well, at least we won TOP.


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

It’s kind of amazing, that Ryan can throw 3 picks and still not be the worst QB of the week.

Even if I ignore the picks, everything else was still awful; 24th Pass Success Rate, 23rd Net Yards per dropback, etc.

On the year, the Colts' passing EPA efficiency ranks 29th and their pass DVOA is 31st. It’s beyond embarrassing. It’s far worse than Carson Wentz and by that I mean 2021 Carson Wentz. It’s actually about the same as 2022 Wentz.


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

As usual, the run game clawed its way toward the bottom. The 26th-ranked ypc drove a 28th-ranked conversion rate. EPA-wise that is 31st epa/c and their adjusted success rate comes in 25th.

On the year, the run game is 32nd in aRSR, which is good because they are also dead last in rushing DVOA. So, that all lines up.


The unsettling thing here is that I know it could get worse.

No game next week so nothing to look forward to . . . ever. You want a prediction? I’ll give you a prediction: It’s gonna be cold, it’s gonna be grey, and it’s gonna last you for the rest of your life.