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Week 13 Colts Offensive Rankings and Analysis: When is a lot of points not a lot of points?

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Indianapolis Colts v Tennessee Titans 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,, Football Outsiders, and the nflFastR project for being awesome sources of weekly data.

31 points is seemingly a lot of offense. However, take away 6 points in overtime and 6 points from a defensive score and you are left with 19 points in regulation. That’s not a lot, especially when you give 2 points away on a botched conversion attempt.

The Colts’ earned 19 first downs, which volume-wise is good, but out of 29 series, it is an anemic 65.5% Drive Success Rate (17th out of 26 teams) and includes 6 three-and-outs (assuming you include the drive that gained a total of -3 yards before settling for a field goal . . . which I do).

The Colts were inconsistent at moving the ball and when they did, they had trouble reaching the endzone. They were inside the opponent 10 yard line 6 times and walked away with only 2 TDs.


(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 ended with 2.08 PPD which ranks right about average for the week and brings their season total to 1.92, which is also right about average for the year (16th).

Thanks to some good special teams play, the offense had the 6th best starting field position in week 13. Unfortunately, their yards per play was not nearly as good and their conversion rate was even worse (14th yds/ply, 19th 1st/ply).

On the bright side, the team drew first downs off of 4 Tennessee penalties and some big yadage pass plays made it easier to drive the field.


(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

Despite having the 21st ranked passing conversion rate, Minshew was able to rack up 162 explosive play yards that lifted his EPA efficiency to 16th on the week. On the year, Colt’s passing remains at 18th place in EPA/d.

I described Minshew’s play in detail in my weekly QB analysis, but suffice it to say that he was OK . . . well just shy of OK. He certainly nailed the game wining drive in OT and that was awesome, but prior to that . . . not awesome.

On the year, he is playing around where the 20th best QB plays . . . like Wentz did . . . like Brissett did. It’s not what I would call terrible, but it’s also not a long term winning strategy.


(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,

Without Taylor, the rushing game was just not as effective, putting up only 49 yards in total on a 17th best adj Rush Success Rate. On the year, the team maintains a 13th ranked aRSR.

Just like through the air, the Colts could not convert well on the ground, with a 15th ranked conversion rate off of 2.1 yards per carry (24th).


This was a poor offensive outing all around and the team was fortunate with the result. Had the Titans not missed an extra point this could have easily been a 1 point loss. Or had the 2 blocked punts not have happened, then who knows what the final score would have been. On the other hand, correcting a few red zone mistakes might have made this a blow-out Colts win.

In week 14, the Colts will visit the Bengals, whose defense has given up the 9th most points per drive this year. They rank 27th in defensive Drive Success Rate, but they are pretty good at getting takeaways (tied 7th).

Against the pass, they give up the 10th highest EPA/d and the 2nd most net yards per dropback (7.0 ny/d). They are about average at getting sacks, but they give up the 2nd most explosive pass plays per game. Will Minshew hold the ball a little longer and press his deep ball luck? Let’s hope not.

On the ground, the Bengals have the 3rd worst rushing defense (30th aRSR). They give up the highest rushing conversion rate to opponents and the 3rd highest yards per carry. This should be a no-brainer run-heavy game for the Colts.