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Week 7 QB analysis: If it wasn’t for the turnovers . . .

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Indianapolis Colts Bob Scheer-USA TODAY Sports

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)


There was so much to like about Gardner Minshew this week and also a few plays not to like.

  • The Colts were the 3rd most run-heavy team this week and despite a couple of big runs from Moss and Taylor, the average success on the combined carries wasn’t that great (30th edp, 24th arsr)
  • Minshew was pressured a lot and so he was sacked a lot and he scrambled a lot (4th pr%, 2nd sck%, 3rd scr%).
  • He also got rid of the ball faster than average, but still managed deep throws and deep receptions (22nd ttt, 6th adot, 4th ay/c).
  • His accuracy was much improved from last week, but was still only about average (18th cpoe)
  • Thanks to some monster plays from Pittman, Taylor and Downs, the Colts had the most YAC of any team this week (1st YAC, 1st yacoe).
  • Decent accuracy + long completions + lots of YAC = 13.3 yards per attempt!!! (1st ypa)
  • While the pressure caused Minshew to abandon a significant portion of his pass plays, his legs helped him maximize the yardage from those plays (1st aa%, 10th aay).
  • So, great efficiency on attempts + good efficiency on abandon plays = great efficiency on dropbacks (2nd ny/d).
  • He was just OK at getting first downs, but he was awesome at getting TDs (18th 1st%, 2nd TD%). If I just stopped there, then I would have called him a top 5 QB on the week, however ...
  • Turnovers matter and he had a lot of those (1st to%). That obviously drags down the overall value of his play and it is reflected in his EPA efficiency, which is just above average (15th EPA/d). The turnovers are not as impactful to succes rate and so, he finished top 10 there (10th psr).

Nothing spoils great QB play like turnovers and this next chart shows how a day filled with “Wow!” moments just ends up being “meh” overall.


The impacts of the turnovers just destroyed any chance Minshew had of accumulating good overall value. Of course when just counting postive vs negative plays, he did well.

The passing offense is getting more yards per play as the season wears on, so that is a huge positive sign. But if they can’t translate that into conversions, then points will be hard to come by.


He had a 70% completion rate on passes > 10 yards. If he keeps that up, the Colts will be a potent offense.

The pendulum swung back to long passes/completions this week. Overall, it is trending longer as the season progresses.


Downs is becoming “the guy”.

WR’s in the upper right quadrant is what you want and that is what we got.


Minshew’s accuracy bounced back to average this week. Historically, Minshew has not been inaccurate, so I don’t expect problems going forward (assuming decent protection).


In general, the Colts have been getting rid of the ball much quicker than can be explained by depth of target. So, that is a good thing.


This is far more green than I am used to seeing on Colts’ charts. On passes between 10-20 yards, Minshew was on fire.