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Week 15 Colts Offensive Rankings and Analysis: Successful despite mistakes

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Pittsburgh Steelers v Indianapolis Colts (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

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, NFL.com, Football Outsiders, and the nflFastR project for being awesome sources of weekly data.


The Colts opened the game with 2 drives that looked like they were going to continue their insistence on making drive ending errors and found themselves in a 13 point hole. They were impressive on a 75 yard TD drive but followed that in drive #4 with a dropped TD pass that resulted in a turnover on downs.

A 70.4% Drive Success Rate is not that impressive (15th) and reflects the mistakes the team made. However, none of those drives were cut short by turnovers, penalties were limited and even failed drives resulted in 9 points.


TEAM TOTALS

(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 Colts enjoyed the 8th best Points per Drive of the week and that lifts their season rank 5 spots to 13th (14th to 18th ranks are only -0.01 to -0.03 ppd behind).

The 9th best yards per play helped the team get the 3rd shortest yards to gain on 3rd down, but they still had trouble converting those (18th 3DC).

It was the lack of turnovers and the 2nd best average starting field position that really kept the offense afloat (13 points came off of short drives).


PASS TOTALS

(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

Minshew’s EPA is only poor because of the dropped TD pass. Had that pass been caught, he would have been the 11th best in EPA efficiency on the week. For the year, the Colts passing ranks 18th and that feels about right.

Minshew’s 3 TD/0 INT are certainly the most impactful numbers of the game, but underneath that, he had only decent yardage efficiency as he struggled to get first downs (14th ny/d, 20th 1st/d).


RUSH TOTALS

(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 run game was strong. 9 first downs led to a 12th best conversion rate. A 7th best YPC certainly didn’t hurt in achieving those numbers.

I’ve got team rushing at 12th for the week and 13th on the year.


CONCLUSION & LOOK AHEAD

This was kind of a strange game. Despite having less than stellar supporting numbers, Minshew found success and that led to the run game taking the reins and not letting go. It’s exactly the result you want from an offense, but I question how easy it is to replicate.

The Colts travel to Atlanta in week 16 to face a Falcon defense ranked 12th in defensive PPD and 5th in defensive Drive Success Rate.

Despite those impressive numbers, the Falcons defense is not great against the pass. They give up the 18th most EPA/d and they don’t get many sacks or INTs (24th sck%, 24th to%). But somehow they make it work as a bend-don’t-break defense and still limit QBs to the 6th lowest Passing Success Rate.

Their defensive strength is against the run. They have the #1 defensive adj Rush Success Rate, supported by the 6th lowest opponent YPC and 3rd lowest conversion rate. They also give up the 2nd fewest rushing TDs per game.

This will be a strength on strength and weakness on weakness match-up for the Colts offense.