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Week 6 QB analysis: A sign of things to come?

Syndication: The Indianapolis Star Jenna Watson/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK

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)

In week 4, against the Baltimore Ravens, I said that Gardner Minshew had played poorly and the more informed readers made sure to let me know that it was because of the weather, a tough defense and no JT. Proof of that came a week later, when he played a brilliant game in relief of Anthony Richardson.

And then yesterday happened.


  • In week 6, no one passed more often on early downs than Minshew (1st edp).
  • He did not endure a lot of pressure, but that was primarily due to his quick release time (27th pr%, 24th ttt).
  • His depth of target was below average, which makes sense with such quick throws. His depth on completions ranked about the same as depth of attempts, so that all makes sense (21st adot, 21st ay/c) .
  • The receivers did a decent job earning additional yards (16th yac, 14th yacoe), but Minshew’s poor accuracy depressed his completion rate, which led to poor yardage efficiency on attempts (23rd cmp%, 21st cpoe, 19th ypa).
  • Although he was sacked 3 times, when measured as a % of dropbacks, that was well below average and he didn’t scramble much preferring to use throw-aways to deal with the pressure (24th sck%, 19th scr%, 7th ta%).
  • That resulted in a low abandoned play rate and the yardage on those plays was about average (18th aa%, 16th aay). So, the impact to yardage efficiency was small and it didn’t shift his ranking much when moving the measure from attempts to dropbacks (18th ny/d).
  • If that was the whole story, I wouldn’t complain so much, but in addition to a below average yardage efficiency, he also didn’t get first downs, didn’t throw TDs and he turned the ball over a lot (22nd 1st%, 22nd td%, 2nd to%).
  • This dropped his efficiency when shifting from yards to EPA value (20th EPA/d, 22nd PSR).

For those of you that think, “Yeah, but this is not who Minshew really is” . . . this is who Minshew really is. The Jaguars are not a tough passing defense, the weather was fine and I even saw JT on the field. So, no excuses, this was a bad performance and its not going to be an anomaly.

Gardner Minshew is a backup QB for a reason. When he was a starter for the Jags, his yardage efficiency ranked 23rd, his conversion rate ranked 25th, his TD rate ranked 20th and his EPA efficiency ranked 25th. Those rankings are not that much different from what we saw on Sunday. He won’t always throw so many picks and in some games he will do well, but overall, he’s not going to move the offense consistently down the field and he’s not going to rack up a lot of TDs.

In other words, the Colts offense is not going to get better. Strap in, a looong season is ahead.


That is a lot of pass plays and most of them are red . . . which is bad. Minshew had some extreme negative plays and did not compensate for them with a lot of positive plays, so poor efficiency AND poor success rate.

The line went down in all charts: down = bad.


This is officially a ludicrous number of attempts and look how many of them are < 5 yards.

Short attempts followed by short completions. That can be a winning formula if you complete a lot of them. Minshew did not.


Pittman was the garbage-time king.

Pittman’s average target resulted in negative value.






I guess the left side of the field saw some positive receptions. Soooooo . . . hooray