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Week 4 QB analysis: 3 parts trash, one part treasure

How did Colts rookie QB Anthony Richardson fare in Sunday’s loss to the Rams?

Indianapolis Colts v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

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)

For three quarters, Anthony Richardson struggled under center, but a brilliant game-tying 4th quarter all but made up for that.


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%
  • Richardson faced slightly higher than average pressure, partly because he held the ball longer than he did in week 1 (13th pr%, 12th ttt).
  • He took advantage of that longer time to throw with the longest attempts of any QB this week and he turned those attempts into the longest completions, albeit with the worst accuracy of any week 4 QB (1st adot, 1st 1y/c, 32nd cpoe).
  • Despite the poor accuracy, the receivers still garnered above-average YAC for the long passes, assisting in a very good yardage efficiency (12th yacoe, 10th ypa).
  • He abandoned a lot of passing attempts but managed good yards on those broken plays, so his yardage efficiency was not diluted too much on a dropback basis (7th aa%, 7th aay, 9th ny/d).
  • He was just OK at getting first downs, but he had a good TD rate and a low passing turnover rate as the lost fumble was a run play (16th 1st%, 8th td%, tied 27th to%).
  • That all adds up to a good EPA efficiency, but a very poor success rate (13th epa/d, 25th psr).

Basically, when he completed passes, they were big plays and he looked great, BUT he had a lot of incompletions. Either he improves his accuracy or his average play value in the future will likely drop.


In the first 3 quarters, Richardson was pretty bad. His first 20 dropbacks resulted in only 6 positive EPA plays, 7 points, 99 net yards, and a 33.3% completion rate.

Then he hit the Peyton Manning button and went 6 for 7 on big yardage plays, all of them for first downs, driving down the field on 2 consecutive drives that earned 15 points after a game-tying 2-point conversion. It was a thing of beauty.

Of course, he turned back into a pumpkin and went 3 and out to end regulation and never saw the ball again.

Overall, this was a vast improvement over last week and an improvement from week 1.


You can see that right up until 14 minutes remaining, this looked like one of the worst passing games in recent memory and then the next 7 passes completely changed that.

AR was not shy about throwing long.

Season-wise, the Colts are still a short-pass offense.


The ball was spread around well, but in general, I like to see the wide receivers be the yardage leaders. I doubt Ogletree will become the next Travis Kelce.


Long passes are expected to have a low completion rate but 11 for 25? C’mon man. CPOE is a key stat that I deeply care about for gauging Richardson’s development. This week was not encouraging.


Time to Throw ticked up this week, but with the longer passes that makes sense. It likely invited a bit of pressure and thus the high abandoned play rate. Hopefully, he will find these receivers sooner and avoid the bailouts with higher value passes. Protection certainly plays its part here too.


Richardson did not focus on the right side of the field like he did in week 1, but his success was primarily found there.