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The Colts Offense Ends the Season With a Good Performance in a Terrible Year

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NFL: Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts Robert Scheer-USA TODAY Sports

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.

In week 18, the Colts' offense racked up 25 first downs for the 2nd best Drive Success Rate of their season. An 80.6% DSR ranks in the 87th percentile of all 2023 offenses and drove the Colts to their 3rd highest point total of the year.

Of course, all was not great. An interception and a turnover on downs turned the Colts away with 0 points on 2 redzone appearances and a pick 6 gifted the Texans a double-digit lead.


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%

The pick-6 reduced net PPD down to only a 16th rank, but the drivers behind that all look much better:

  • 2nd-ranked DSR
  • 6th-ranked yards per play
  • 8th-ranked first down conversion rate

The following table are the season totals and the Colts manage to stay 1 spot from the cellar in PPD. That is in line with the 27th-ranked DSR and 30th-ranked yards per play. By DVOA this offense finished 32nd, but that was only because there is not a 33rd team.


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

Ehlinger doesn’t rate too well on the week, coming in at 24th in epa per dropback. He was a bit better in success rate where he finished 19th, but that is still not good.

On the season, Colts passing EPA efficiency was baaaarely better than the Texans, but easily worse than every other team. DVOA is not as optimistic ranking the Colts dead last.


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

The Colts rushing was the best it has been since week 12. They had the 3rd-highest YPC which drove the 11th-highest first down conversion rate. EPA-wise, they finished the game with the 5th-ranked EPA/c and the overall 8th-ranked aRSR.

However, that effort was not enough to lift them out of last place in season-long rushing aRSR. DVOA gives the Colts a break and ranks them 31st in the run game.


It is fitting that the Colts and Texans tied to start the year and finished the season battling in a 1-point game. These offenses are 2 peas in an atrocious, impotent pod. I’m not sure which one is worse but I do know that 30 other offenses are significantly better.