clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Week 5 QB analysis: 2 QBs combine for 1 outstanding performance

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-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)


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%

These numbers represent the combined efforts of Anthony Richardson and Gardner Minshew in week 5.

  • The Colts implemented a run-first offense and thanks to outstanding play from our $42M $4.5M running back, they had the 8th-best rushing attack for the week.
  • The QBs faced heavy pressure but managed to get the ball out for a respectable attempt depth, although completion depth was on the shorter side (8th pr%, 14th adot, 21st ay/c).
  • Overall accuracy, which had been a problem in previous games, was very good this week. This fueled higher-than-expected YAC from the receivers and drove fantastic yardage efficiency (4th cpoe, 6th yacoe, 3rd ypa).
  • While the blended QB of Richardson/Minshew was not that mobile, they reacted to pressure by avoiding sacks and throwing the ball away instead (13th scr%, 23rd sck%, 9th ta%). That adds up to an average abandoned play rate, but below average abandoned yardage, which was a slight drag on the overall yardage efficiency (17th aa%, 25th aay, 7th ny/d).
  • The Colts were best in the league at getting first downs from pass plays, however, that translated to 0 passing TDs. The good news is that there were 0 turnovers as well. (1st 1st%, tied 30th td%, tied 26th to%).

The Colts’ big yardage efficiency and ability to move the chains resulted in the 5th-best EPA per dropback of the week. Passing Success was not as great, ranking 13th, which means the magnitude of the successful plays was relatively large. In other words, the Colts hit on some explosive plays and mostly minimized the impacts of the negative plays.


Richardson had the first 13 dropbacks and he had 5 successful plays for a passing success rate of only 38.5%, but his 38-yard completion on 3rd & 16th was a massive EPA play and boosted his EPA efficiency on the day to a very respectable +0.16. By itself, that would have ranked around 13th.

Minshew did much better, finding success on 10 of 17 dropbacks for a 58.8% success rate and a whopping +0.63 EPA per dropback, which was the 2nd-best of any QB in week 5. His only real bad outcome was the failed attempt on 4th & 1 (which arguably should have been a 1st and goal and thus not as bad an outcome).

This was the best passing the Colts have seen in a while.


9.7 Yards per attempt is ridiculously good and that breaks out to 8.2 ypa for Richardson and 11.1 ypa for Minshew. That was achieved by a crazy good 76.9% completion rate.

The depth of targets came back to a more normal level this week.

On the year, the Colts have relied on YAC for the bulk of their yardage.


The QBs made completions to 8 different receivers, including Josh Downs, who caught 6 of 6 targets for a team-leading 97 yards. On the year, Pittman is still #1 in yards and targets, but Downs is challenging.


Accuracy was quite a rebound, going from dead last in week 4 to the 4th best in week 5.


Neither QB registered enough dropbacks to qualify for a time-to-throw number from NFL NextGen stats, but according to PFF, Richardson was pretty quick (11th) and Minshew was a little slow (23rd). That probably puts the Colts as a team right near the middle.


It’s interesting that the Colts QBs avoided throwing to the middle of the field. But they found success outside of that so, no harm, no foul I guess.