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The Colts Offense Can’t Pass and Can’t Run.

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NFL: Indianapolis Colts at New York Giants Vincent Carchietta-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.

Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. If you have not yet made it to the last stage of football grief by now, then I’m sorry, but there’s not much I can say to get you there. Let me just say that the Colts have a very, very bad offense . . . I mean really bad . . . like 2011 bad.

This team has scored more than 20 points only 3 times this year and week 17 was not one of those times. The good news in last Sunday’s game is that they scored on every drive that entered Giants’ territory. The bad news is that it only happened twice. Actually there’s a lot more bad news than that, but let’s keep it simple.

A 66.7% Drive Success Rate is a 32nd percentile effort, which, while horrible, is also the highest mark this offense has since since week 12 (PIT).


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 3rd worst PPD is backed up by the 4th lowest total yards. The offense ranked 26th in 1st down conversion rate and 25th in EPA per play. If you watched the game, then none of this really adds any new information, so I’ll just stop there.

On the year, the Colts have outscored only Houston and only by +0.06 points per drive, securing the #31 spot in that metric. Of course, that could change next week. Football Outsiders ranks the Colts offense 32nd, but I think that may be too high.


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

The one-two punch of Foles-Ehlinger failed to land any body blows on the Giants defense. Combined, they had the 6th worst EPA efficiency and the 5th worst Passing Success Rate. 124 net passing yards is not what I call impressive.

On the year, the Colts passing is 31st in EPA/d (thanks again Houston!) and 32nd in DVOA.


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

The run game against the Giants was just as bad as the passing, with a 5th worst aRSR off of the 7th worst rushing conversion rate.

I’ll point out that the Colts were middle of the pack by YPC (14th), which just shows how unreliable YPC is. Runs on early downs gain significant yards on average, so if a team never runs on 3rd down — like the Colts on Sunday — then their YPC is going to be skewed upward relative to other teams.

For 2022, the Colts are dead last in aRSR and 31st in DVOA.


Here is how the 31st passing and 32nd rushing stacks up against other teams. Not only are the Colts terrible, they are distinctly terrible as only the Texans are even remotely close to them in performance.

Speaking of the Texans, the Colts get to take on their 20th ranked (DVOA) defense in week 18. I have the Houston defense at 14th in PPD against, but 20th in DSR against. DSR tends to be the better predictor, so let’s go with that.

The Texans are better against the pass (16th DVOA, 16th epa/d against) than the run (26th DVOA, 24th aRSR). Great, now our worst run game in the league can do its thing.