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Week 7 Offensive Rankings and Analysis: Colts decide to run

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NFL: Cleveland Browns at Indianapolis Colts Trevor Ruszkowski-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.

38 points is a lot. That’s a good offensive effort, but it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. This was a boom or bust day for the Colts:

  • They scored 5 TDs, but had 4 turnovers that led to 17 opponent points.
  • Their 5 TD drives averaged 71.4 yards, but their 10 non-scoring drives averaged 5.3 yards.
  • They had 285 yards in explosive plays, but they had the 6th worst Drive Success Rate.


(Use the right-left arrows to toggle between stats for the week and the season).

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 fumble in the end zone counts as negative offensive points, so when adding that in, the points per drive drops to 14th on the week and 16th on the season (down 2 spots).

The Colts’ offense had the 4th highest yards per play, primarily due to the 2nd most explosive play yards in week 7. However, since msot of that great yardage efficiency came from a handful of plays, it did not lead to a lot of first downs and the team ranked 14th in conversion rate and 21st in DSR.

It’s hard to argue against 38 points though. I just think the explosive plays are not very repeatable and if the offense has to rely on them to move the ball, then that could be problematic.


(Use the right-left arrows to toggle between stats for the week and the season).

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 turnovers were an anchor on an otherwise high EPA day. Minshew ended the week 13th in EPA/d and 10th in Passing Succes Rate. He was 5th in conversion rate and 2nd in overall yardage efficiency (ny/d).

His 240 yards in explosive plays and 4 TDs is even more impressive when considering that he only dropped back to pass 30 times, compared to 60 in the previous week. He was why this offense was so potent this week.

He was also why there were 4 turnovers.


(Use the right-left arrows to toggle between stats for the week and the season).

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

The Colts ran the ball 40 times with moderate to poor efficiency. They were 13th in yards per carry, but only 18th in terms of EPA/c. A 16th ranked conversion rate limited the team to just 19th in adjusted Rush Success Rate and on the season, that drops their ranking to 13th overall.


Point-wise, the offense was great, but on overall value per drive, including tunrovers, they were just about middle of the pack.

The Saints visit Indianapolis in week 8 and they bring a defense that has surrendered the 5th fewest points per drive of any team. They give up the 3rd lowest oppponent Drive Success Rate and the 5th lowest yards per play. That’s tough.

Against the pass, they yield the 7th lowest EPA efficeincy to opponent QBs. They also limit QBs to only 5.6 yards per dropback (7th lowest).

Against the run they are even tougher, with the 3rd lowest opponent adj Rush Success Rate. They give up 2.9 yards per carry (3rd lowest) and the 5th lowest opponent conversion rate in the league.

This is the 2nd premier defense the Colts will have faced in as many weeks. Hopefully, the offense can treat the Saints defense like they did the Browns . . . without the turnovers.