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Week 1 QB stat tracker: Anthony Richardson’s debut in numbers

Indianapolis Colts v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

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)

Before I jump into the numbers, there is the obvious context of this being Anthony Richardson’s first NFL start, so extracting some type of judgement on his play is not only ridiculously pre-mature but also not the point. As always, I am merely showing what his numbers were and how they relate to other QBs in the league.


If it wasn’t for a streak of negative plays between the 3rd and 4th quarters (including the interception), the numbers might have been really good. As it is though, the final tally was in the middle of the pack for week 1.

His +0.10 EPA per dropback is a lot better than many rookie QB’s first games and was far better than the numbers put up by C.J. Stroud (-0.23 epa/d) and Bryce Young (-0.17 epa/d).

These next graphs plot Anthony Richardson’s week 1 against the previous 17 weeks of Colts QB play. As you can see, EPA efficiency and Success Rate are about average for the league, but a big improvement for the Colts. 1st down conversions weren’t bad, but overall yardage efficiency was significantly below average.

The EPA efficiency vs Success Rate plot shows Richardson right in the center. This could have been (should have been?) so much much worse.


Completion rate was not an issue as the passes were primarily kept short. With 16 minutes left in the game, the incompletions started to pile up dragging down yards per attempt. There were only 3 completions over 10 yards passing depth all game.

The next charts show the short attempts and completions. As long as those can be completed at a very high rate and get good YAC, then that can be a viable strategy.


The ball was spread around a lot, but no one other than Pittman threatened to accumlate any yardage.

More receivers averaged negative value than positive, so that’s not good.


The big knock on Ricahrdson coming into the NFL was accuracy and week 1 didn’t help reverse that narrative. His 64.9% completion rate may seem fine, but that was on primarily short passes and should have been about 70% ( -5.5% cpoe). Richardson must become more accurate for the offense to have any success.


He got rid of the ball faster than average, but again it came on short passes so that is to be expected. The trendline of the plot against depth shows his Time to Throw was about right for his passing depth.

4 sacks for such a mobile QB is troubling especially considering there wasn’t an inordinate amount of presure (19th perssure rate).


Richardson loves the left side of the field, attempting 51.4% of his passes there. That’s probably not a good thing. Depth-wise, he did really well within 10 yards, but stuggled with anything deeper.


opd, edp, arsr, pr%, ttt, adot, ay/c, sck%, scr%, ta%, aa%, aay, cmp%, cpoe, yac, yacoe, ypa, ny/d, 1st%, td%, to%, epa/d, psr

Ranks are of 30 teams through Sunday night.

This was a pass-first game (9th edp), which is probably wise as the run game was awful (26th arsr). Richardson was quick to throw on short attempts (20th ttt, 26th adot). With a below average amount of pressure (19th pr%), it seems like he abandoned too many plays (10th aa%), however his mobility limited the damage on those plays (11th aay).

His receivers got good yards after the catch (4th yac, 8th yacoe), but his accuracy issues (20th cpoe) dragged yardage efficiency down (14th ypa, 16th ny/d). He didn’t earn a lot of first downs (17th 1st%) and for the number of dropbacks, his TD rate was a bit low (20th td%). His 1 interception was about average for a QB (15th to%).

That all combines into 13th ranked EPA efficiency and 15th Success rate.