clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Week 16 Colts Defensive Rankings and Analysis: Defense fails to stop a bad offense

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Atlanta Falcons Dale Zanine-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.

Why can’t we have nice things? Against a bad Atlanta offense, the Colts’ defense let the Falcons move the ball at will as Indy gave up over 400 yards and a 74.2% Drive Success Rate.

2 Falcon drives started in Colts territory and 5 of the other 8 crossed into the Colts’ side of the field. In other words, the Falcons found themselves in scoring position on 7 of 10 drives. Fortunately, the Colts defense managed to limit 5 of those drives to just field goals, but that is kind of a hollow celebration.


(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%

2.90 Points per Drive is the 8th worst for the week and drops the season total 2 spots to 18th.

Against the Colts, the Falcons had the 5th highest yards per play and the 3rd highest conversion rate and they didn’t turn the ball over snapping the Colts’ 19 week takeaway streak.


(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 Colts let Taylor Heinicke have a pretty good day. He finished with the 11th best EPA per dropback, but the Colts maintain their season rank against the pass at 13th.

Heinicke felt almost no pressure (31st). He was sacked only once and he didn’t tun the ball over as he accumulated the 9th best conversion rate (1st/d) off of the 15th best yardage efficiency (ny/d).


(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,

Against the run, the Colts defense fared no better. They gave up the 12th highest adj Rush Success Rate and the 2nd highest Yards per Carry. On the season, the Colts still have a tight hold on the 25th ranked rush defense (aRSR).


So bad rush defense plus bad pass offense equals, well you do the math.

Week 17 brings the Raiders to the Luke. Their offense rank 25th in Points per drive and 23rd in Drive Success Rate, so this shouldn’t be too hard . . . just like the Falcons.

Aiden O’Connell has started 8 games and he has been less than impressive. He ranks 27th in EPA per dropback and 28th in Passer Success Rating. He doesn’t scramble much, preferring to throw the ball away to avoid pressure, but he has an above average sack rate (11th) and he loves to turn the ball over (4th to%).

On the ground, I have the Raiders run game at 26th in adj Rush Success Rate. They have OK Yards per Carry (17th), but they don’t get a lot of rushing first downs or TDs (29th 1st/c, 22nd TD%). Of course, the Colts are horrible against the run so take those numbers with a grain of salt.