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Week 17 Colts’ QB Analysis: Uneven but effective


NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Indianapolis Colts Bob Scheer-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)


The sum total of Minshew’s week 17 performance was the 2nd most efficient QB play on the week, but that number hides underlying issues. Here’s how it breaks down.

(Use the right-left arrows to toggle between stats for the week and the season)

  • The Colts leaned heavily on the pass with a highly effective complimentary run game (3rd edp, 9th arsr)
  • Minshew was well protected even though his time to throw was higher than average (24th pr%, 13th ttt)
  • His passing depth was about league average, but his accuracy was good, as he connected on most of the longer ones, giving him a top 10 completion depth (15th adot, 15th cpoe, 9th ay/c)
  • Normally, long completions have short YAC, but Minshew was hitting receivers in stride, giving them the ability to rack up the 6th highest YAC (5th yacoe).
  • When Minshew was pressured, he was throwing the ball away instead of taking sacks (2nd ta%, 20th sck%).
  • All of that combines into the 4th best net yards per dropback on the week, which explains most of his 2nd ranked EPA/d.

However, It wasn’t all roses, as he had a below average conversion rate which explains his low Pass Success Rate (19th 1st%, 21st PSR). Absent those two 50+ yard completions, Minshew’s yardage efficiency was 5.5 YPA, which is a pretty bad number.

This inconsistency in the play to play performance is more like the Minshew we are used to, but his deep ball passing put him in the top tier of QBs this week. Is it repeatable? Who’s to say?

. . . I am, I’m to say and no, it’ s not repeatable.


The biggest negative play he had was a 3rd down sack, but all his other negative plays were fairly minor. Compare that to his positive plays where he had 6 dropbacks that were as or more impactful than his worst negative play. That drives his insanely higher EPA value.

However, outside of those explosive plays, he didn’t do much and he had more negative than positive dropbacks, which drove his pretty bad success rate.

Basically he minimized mistakes, maximized opportunities and everything else was “meh”.

The deep passes broke the downward trend of EPA and yardage efficiency, but all the other dropbacks continued the slide of conversion rate and success rate.

The end result is what matters for the game and that was very good. How the end result was achieved is what matters for future games and that was not as promising.


Take away those 2 deep completions and this becomes a fairly unimpressive graph.

2 weeks in a row of longer completions is encouraging.


Pierce’s 1 catch makes him the leading receiver in yardage for the week. That’s kind of telling.

(Use the right-left arrows to toggle between stats for the week and the season)


Accuracy was much better this week. It’s pretty interesting that on passes >30 yards Minshew completion rate is 12 points higher than league average, but on pretty much all other depths he is below average.


For the 2nd week in a row, he held the ball slightly longer than average, but he had a corresponding passing depth which explains that. It certainly did not impact sack volume this week.


Note to self: Have Minshew pass on the right side of the field.

(Use the right-left arrows to toggle between stats for the week and the season)