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)
What a sound, well-executed, technically precise game. Nothing satisfies like a come from behind tie. Let’s relive that journey though numbers.
So, I’m starting off the year with a quandary. Almost all of my QB stats are geared around “drop-backs”, which I am defining as passing attempts + sacks + scrambles. In other words, designed QB runs are not included.
This means that for QBs that get a lot of their production from their legs, I am only measuring part of their value. I am fine with that, because I don’t really care how well a QB runs (it’s adds less value than passing on average and is not sustainable in the long run).
However, this also means that fumbled snaps are excluded as they are considered a running play. Therefore, since there were multiple fumbled snaps in this game, I am inherently excluding critical plays from my analysis and I’m not sure how I feel about that. Part of me wants to include them, but it’s tough to assign blame on those plays and I have no easy way to include them without also including all designed QB runs into my passing stats and I know I don’t want to do that.
I ended up excluding them, but understand if you think I am wrong about that. So having said that, here is the EPA value by play for all of Matt Ryan’s drop-backs in week 1.
Overall, it wasn’t bad, but you can see a decent start trail off to a disastrous 3rd quarter. A 0.09 EPA per drop-back and a 48.1% success rate is a bit above league average and I was hoping for better, but I’m certainly not enraged by his performance. If the 4th qtr and OT are signs of things to come, then I will be very happy.
Here is how those numbers compare to all the other teams (Monday night excluded)
For the following graphs, I’m doing something different. This year, I’m going to show a moving window of the last trailing 18 weeks. So, this will show some of Ryan’s last year data as well as the current season, with the last data point in the chart being the most recent week.
Net yardage efficiency and 1st down rate were above average, which is a very good sign . . . or maybe a fluke. Too early to tell.
There was a good mix of depth on attempts and a lot of passing 1st downs. If the receivers can clean up the drops, the numbers will get much better.
Overall, depth of target was below average and completed depth was right about average.
For week 1, the receiver season charts are the same as the weekly chart because duh.
Pittman was clearly the go-to target. We obviously need a #2 to step up.
Pittman also provided good value and target depth relative to other league receivers.
A 64% completion rate is about average but cpoe-wise, it was a tad low. Drops were certainly a factor.
Slightly faster time to throw on shorter than average passes. Makes sense.
Deep targets and screens were a problem but between 0-20 yards, Ryan was pretty good.
These stats don’t include the QBs from Monday night’s game and again, the numbers exclude the botched snaps.
Frank Reich favored the run game a bit, but on the whole play-calling was pretty balanced (16th edp).
Ryan threw quick, short passes that gained above average yac (18th ttt, 23rd adot, 12th yac). His accuracy was off, but even so, the receivers gained more yac than expected (21st cpoe, 11th yacoe), which salvaged his efficiency and led to an average 7.0 YPA (17th).
He did not see a lot of pressure, which was a factor in the lower than average sack rate and led to a better than average net yardage efficiency (26th pr%, 20th sk%, 12th ny/d). Assuming you don’t penalize him for the botched snap turnover, his turnover rate was actually below average (19th to%).
The biggest plus from his game was throwing first downs, which he did a lot (5th 1st%), but on the other hand, he didn’t throw TDs very well and that is kind of important too (25th td%).
The 11th best passing success rate and the 13th best epa per dropback (of 30 QBs) is a little below where I expect him to perform for the season, but it’s not a terrible start.